Ashley Brown (born February 3, 1982) is an actress who is best known for playing the title character in the United States national tour and Broadway productions of Mary Poppins.

Career

Brown initially caught the attention of casting director Tara Rubin not long after graduating from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. After a successful audition, she was cast in the Disney touring production On the Record. This in turn led to her Broadway debut on September 20, 2005 replacing Brooke Tansley as the lead character, Belle, in the Walt Disney Theatrical production of Beauty and the Beast. She departed the role on May 28, 2006, after eight months and she was succeeded by Sarah Litzsinger.

On November 16, 2006, Mary Poppins opened on Broadway with Brown starring as the title character. Brown left the Broadway Company on October 5, 2008 after playing the role for two years and was replaced by Scarlett Strallen who previously played the role in the West End.

In March 2007, Brown appeared on All My Children as herself.

On March 11, 2009, Brown reprised the role of Mary Poppins in the US National Tour. She left the tour on February 7, 2010, and was succeeded by Caroline Sheen.

On October 20, 2009, Brown performed the role of Snow White in the world symphonic premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - A Symphonic Retelling, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

She has recorded her first solo album of American songbook standards, which was released in January 2010.

Brown played Maria in The Muny production of The Sound of Music, which ran from July 26 - August 1, 2010. For this role she won the Kevin Kline Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical.

Brown recently starred as Oona in the world-premiere of the new musical Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin, which ran at the La Jolla Playhouse from September 7 through October 17, 2010.

Brown most recently played the role of Mary Poppins again in the Broadway production from March 8 - July 17, 2011 while Laura Michelle Kelly was away filming a movie.

Brown is slated to play Magnolia Hawks alongside Nathan Gunn, Alyson Cambridge, and Morris Robinson in Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Show Boat, which will run on select dates opening February 12 and closing on March 17, 2012.

Theatre credits

Year

Title

Role

Venue

Other notes

2004

Meet Me in St. Louis

Rose

The Muny

2005-2006

Beauty and the Beast

Belle

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

2006-2008

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

New Amsterdam Theatre

Original Broadway cast member,

Nominated-Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical,

Nominated-Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance,

Nominated-Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical

2010

The Sound of Music

Maria

The Muny

Winner-Kevin Kline Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical

2010

Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin

Oona

La Jolla Playhouse

2011

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

New Amsterdam Theatre

Return to role

Tours:

Year

Tour title

Role

Other notes

2004-2005

On the Record

Kristen

2009-2010

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins