Ashley is starring in Mary Poppins, now playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. She originated the role of Mary, the imperious, but beloved nanny, in the hit musical on Broadway three years ago. Now Ashley is on the road in the show's national tour and is bringing a "spoonful of sugar" to Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Dallas, Houston, and Los Angeles. Audiences agree that Ashley is "practically perfect" as Mary.
Before playing Mary Poppins, Ashley starred as Belle in Beauty and The Beast; but performing in Broadway musical is just one facet of Ashley's career. The 27 year old singer has already performed with orchestras, including the New York Pops (twice), the Boston Pops, the Cincinnati Pops, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the Pensacola Symphony. In April she appeared alongside Liza Minnelli, Jennifer Holliday, Kelli O'Hara and others in the New York Philharmonic's Spring Gala New York Moments. In March, 2007, Ashley appeared on ABC's All My Children, playing herself.
Ashley's debut album will be released this fall nationwide. It is a collection of exciting new arrangements of American Songbook classics. Featuring the arranging work of jazz luminaries, Lee Musiker (Tony Bennett) and Yaron Gershovsky (Manhattan Transfer), Ashley's album incorporates her love of jazz, Broadway, Hollywood musicals, and the music from Tin Pan Alley, all which contribute to the legacy of what we know as the Great American Songbook.
There's only three weeks left to see Ashley as Mary Poppins before the "east wind" takes her away from Chicago. The show's run ends on July 12. Families can celebrate Father's Day on Sunday, June 21 by planning a special day downtown with Dad; two performances, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., are scheduled for June 21.