Broadway's 'Mary Poppins' has a new nanny

By the Associated Press | August 25, 2011 | 6:30 PM EDT

In this theater image released by Disney on Broadway, Steffanie Leigh is shown as Mary Poppins. will make her Broadway debut in the title role, beginning performances at the New Amsterdam Theatre Tuesday, Oct. 11. She replaces Laura Michelle Kelly who willplay her final performance on Oct. 9. (AP Photo/Disney on Broadway, Joan Marcus)

NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway's "Mary Poppins" will soon have a new leading nanny.

Producers said Thursday that Steffanie Leigh will make her Broadway debut in the title role beginning Oct. 11. She'll be taking over from Laura Michelle Kelley, who originated the role and bows out on Oct. 9.

Leigh has spent the last eight months playing the umbrella-weilding nanny on a North American tour of the hit musical. The Carnegie Mellon University graduate's regional theater credits include "Into the Woods" and "Beauty and the Beast."

"Mary Poppins," co-produced by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh, is based on both the children's books by P.L. Travers and the beloved 1964 movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. It opened on Broadway in 2006, two years after debuting in London.