Captain Von Trapp will receive a proper Father’s Day salute as ACT Theater Company presents Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music at West Middle School Auditorium in Andover from June 13-15. More than 40 local cast members will “start at the very beginning” in this classic Broadway hit and having you humming along until “So Long, Farewell.”
“This show is one of the most beloved movies and musicals of all time,” said Director Charles Gracy. “ACT wanted to bring this incredible tale to the Andovers and our amazing cast will ensure you fall in love with it all over again. We hope to see many dads – and moms, grandmas and grandpas too – connecting with their children this Father’s Day weekend through the magic of music, just as Captain Von Trapp did.”
More than 100 local children and teens came out to vie for a role as one of seven Von Trapp children – a record number of young auditioners for ACT. The cast of 23 children (the Von Trapp children are double cast, each performing in two of the four shows) and 18 adults will tell the beloved story of the Von Trapp family. At the March auditions, ACT producers were blown away not only by the numbers, but also the talent and enthusiasm of these kids.
“The Sound of Music is a classic musical with a classic message of love – love for singing, love for country and love for family. Today, the classics aren’t often as popular with younger generations,” said show producer Cara Kennedy, “but The Sound of Music knows no limitations. This timeless story has reinvented itself from broadway show to movie and now live television performance, gaining new fans along the way. It’s wonderful to see so many kids as excited about the show now as when it debuted 55 years ago.”
The original Broadway production opened in November 1959 and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The film version, the most popular movie musical of all time, starred Julie Andrews in one of her most memorable roles and garnered five Academy Awards. Most recently, NBC’s December 2013 telecast of Sound of Music Live!, featuring Carrie Underwood, has renewed national interest in the musical. According to ratings, the show was the most successful non-sporting NBC Thursday in the past 10 years.
The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein has undeniably become the world’s most beloved musical. When a spirited postulant proves to be a “problem” for the pious, she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval Captain. Her growing rapport with the youngsters, coupled with her fun loving disposition, gradually captures the Captain’s heart and they marry. Upon returning from their honeymoon, they learn that Austria has been invaded by the Nazis, who demand the Captain’s immediate service in their navy. The family’s late night escape over the mountains to Switzerland on the eve of World War II provides one of the most inspirational finales ever presented on stage.
In keeping with the family theme, four real Andover families will be on stage for ACT’s Sound of Music performances. The Day Family will have mother Julie performing as Frau Schmidt alongside triplet daughters Kristina (Louisa), Elizabeth and Taylor (both ensemble). The Coppola Family is on stage for the first time together, as dad Phil (Herr Zeller) is joining daughter Gianna (Brigitta) for his theater debut. The Jones Family features mom Lisa (Sister Berthe) and son Andrew (Kurt). Finally, the McCarron family has mom Lauren, a teacher at Andover’s West Elementary, in the ensemble and daughter Alison (Leisl) appearing in their first stage show together.
ACT is putting on four performances: Friday June 13th at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday June 14th at 2:00 p.m.; Saturday June 14th at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday June 14th at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $22.00 and are available at www.acttheatercompany.com or through a cast member.