Before flying across the arena, Mary Poppins lead actress Melissa Nicholson, headed to Canopy Tours for practice.

There is an ironic twist to Nicholson's role, she's scared of heights.

However, she was determined to face her fears before the high-flying shows begin at Rotorua Energy Events Centre on Sunday.

"I was a bit anxious heading out to Canopy Tours but the team was lovely and very mindful of my fear of heights. As soon as we got going I absolutely loved it," Nicholson said.


Nicholson has a string of roles to her credit including Cabaret, Rent, Annie, Chicago, and Hairspray.

Many will recognise her from her last Rotorua role as Eva Peron in Evita.

Offstage she is an English teacher at Otumoetai College, Tauranga.

After Rotorua Musical Theatre had to move the show from the closed Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre to the Rotorua Energy Events Centre, organisers quickly began discussing how to make the show work in the new and larger venue.

"The arena is going to be magical and coupled with an innovative set, fantastic backstage crew and talented performers," said Rotorua Musical Theatre president Natasha Benfell.

There will be 12 shows of Mary Poppins – The Broadway Musical at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre between Sunday and March 24.

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Seating and family concessions are available through Ticketmaster.