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‘Poppins’ to end London run

Prince Edward show set to close

“Mary Poppins” will close in London after a West End run of just over three years.

Disney Theatrical Prods. and Cameron Mackintosh’s nanny will sail up into the sky for the last time at the West End’s Prince Edward Theater on Jan 12. Planning is already under way for an international touring version, which will hit the road later that year.

The Broadway production, recently nominated for seven Tonys, including musical, has been playing at the New Amsterdam since October. Show was the top-grossing new production of the 2006-07 Rialto season, bringing in $33.7 million to date.

London lifespan of “Poppins” could raise questions about the ultimate longevity of the Gotham production. The West End incarnation bowed in London to positive reviews and strong sales in December 2004, but biz softened during its first year. (Disney does not release box office figures for its West End shows as it does for its Broadway product.)

“Poppins,” however, is considered a favorite property more among Americans than Brits. The tale of an English family’s magical nanny originated in a series of books by scribe P.L. Travers, but the character hit it big Stateside with Disney’s 1964 screen version that starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

The U.S. touring production of the Broadway incarnation, likely to head out in fall 2008, looks poised to generate robust receipts.

The West End rumor mill posits that “Poppins” will be replaced at the Prince Edward by the West End preem of “Jersey Boys,” with an opening penciled in for March.

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