DPAC Will Introduce Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music to a New Generation on Dec. 1-6

The Durham Performing Arts Center will present The Sound of Music on Dec. 1-6
The Durham Performing Arts Center will present The Sound of Music on Dec. 1-6

The Durham Performing Arts Center will introduce The Sound of Music to a new generation on Dec. 1-6 in its 2,700-seat state-of-the-art theater in the American Tobacco Historic District. The 1959 Broadway and 1961 West End musical was once so popular in these parts that the old Ambassador Theatre in downtown Raleigh screened the 1965 film of The Sound of Music nonstop for more than a year!

DPAC will host eight performances of the brand-new National Tour of this Triangle audience favorite, produced by Grove Entertainment and Ted Chapin, directed by three-time Tony Award® winner Jack O’Brien (Hairspray in 2003, Henry IV in 2004, and The Coast of Utopia, Parts 1-3 in 2007), and choreographed Danny Mefford (2015 Best Musical Tony winner Fun Home, The Bridges of Madison County, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). Set in Salzburg, Austria in early 1938, just before and after the Anschluss by which Nazi Germany forcibly incorporated Austria into the Third Reich, the show stars Kerstin Anderson as free-spirited Nonnberg Abbey postulant Maria Rainer (whom the Mother Abbess and her fellow nuns characterize as “A flibbertigibbet — A will-o’-the-wisp — A clown”) and Ben Davis as former gruff, no-nonsense World War I Austro-Hungarian Navy submarine commander Capt. Georg von Trapp.

The Sound of Music features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, “suggested” by Baroness Maria Augusta von Trapp’s 1949 memoir, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. (For the straight skinny on the story, click here.) The Sound of Music added its title tune, “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” and “Edelweiss” to the show-tune repertoire.

According to the Durham Performing Arts Center:

“… This lavish new production [launched] at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles [on Sept. 20, 2015] … and will then tour North America for multiple seasons, playing multi-week and week-long engagements….

“According to director Jack O’Brien, ‘The Sound of Music has been in our ears for decades, as it deserves to be. But it might be time to look once more, and more closely, at this remarkable work which, I feel, begins to reveal itself as deeper, richer, and more powerful than ever. It’s no longer ‘your mother’s’ familiar Sound of Music. We are tearing off the varnish of the past from one of the great glories of our theatergoing experience and making it fresh! This is an opportunity we’ve all longed to create!’

“Producer Beth Williams (Grove Entertainment) said, ‘It’s a great privilege to bring this beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical to theaters across North America. We hope that people of all ages will continue to fall in love with it for the first time, or all over again, and that it will truly become one of their ‘favorite things.’ From our distinguished team led by the creative master Jack O’Brien, audiences can expect a truly magnificent production of The Sound of Music.’

“In the words of Ted Chapin, president and executive director of Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company, ‘The Sound of Music continues to be the world’s most beloved musical. When a major national tour was suggested, I not only agreed, but was willing to roll up my sleeves and do whatever I could to fashion a new stage production that would re-engage today’s theatergoing public. The show was originally created for Broadway, and seeing it on stage only reinforces the power of the story and the score. And with Jack O’Brien at the directorial helm — well, we simply couldn’t do better. Landing somewhere between The Coast of Utopia and Hairspray (shows for which Jack won the Tony), his production will be smart, focused, and surprising. I can’t wait.’

The Sound of Music enjoyed extraordinary success as the first live television production of a musical in over 50 years when ‘The Sound of Music Live!‘ aired on NBC in December 2013; 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with such songs as ‘My Favorite Things,’ ‘Do-Re-Mi,’ ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain,’ ‘Edelweiss’ and the title song. For more information, please visit http://www.TheSoundOfMusicOnTour.com.”

In addition to Kerstin Anderson as Maria and Ben Davis as Capt. Von Trapp, the tour cast includes Merwin Foard as the captain’s friend, conniving musical impresario Max Detweiler; Teri Dale Hansen as the captain’s girlfriend, wealthy widow Baroness Elsa Schraeder; Paige Silvester as his 16-going-on-17-year-old daughter Liesl; Dan Tracy as Liesl’s 17-year-old Nazi-sympathizing boyfriend, telegram delivery boy Rolf Gruber; Jeremy Michael Lanuti as the captain’s son 15-year-old Friedrich; Maria Suzanne Knasel as his 13-year-old daughter Louisa; Quinn Erickson as his son 11-year-old Kurt; Svea Elizabeth Johnson as his daughter 10-year-old Brigitta; Mackenzie Currie as his seven-year-old daughter Marta; Audrey Bennett as his five-year-old daughter Gretl; Donna Garner as Capt. von Trapp’s housekeeper Frau Schmidt; Darren Matthias as his butler Franz; Andrea Ross as another member of the von Trapp household staff named Ursula; Carey Rebecca Brown as Sister Berthe the Mistress of Novices; Julia Osborne as Sister Margaretta the Mistress of Postulants; Elisabeth Evans as Sister Sophia; Christopher Carl as Admiral von Schreiber; Ronald L. Brown as Baron Elberfeld; Kelly McCormick as Baroness Elberfeld; and Brent Schindele as the sinister local Austrian Nazi Gauleiter Herr Zeller. Daniella Dalli (Dec. 1-4) and Cáitlín Burke (Dec. 5 and 6) will substitute for Ashley Brown as the Mother Abbess.

Besides director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Danny Mefford, the tour’s creative team includes musical supervisor Andy Einhorn, music coordinator John Miller, music/director conductor Jay Alger, associate director Matt Lenz, associate choreographer Jonathan Warren, Tony-nominated scenic designer Douglas W. Schmidt (42nd Street and Into the Woods), four-time Tony winner lighting designer Natasha Katz (Once, Aida, The Coast of Utopia, and The Glass Menagerie), 2014 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre recipient Jane Greenwood, hair designer Tom Watson, sound designer Ken Travis (Aladdin, Newsies, and Memphis), associate lighting designer Jake DeGroot, associate costume designer Dan Urlie, and associate sound designer Alex Hawthorn. The show also features orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and dance and vocal arrangements by Trude Rittman.

SECOND OPINION: Nov. 29th Raleigh, NC News & Observer mini-preview by Roy C. Dicks: http://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article47041640.html; Nov. 25th Durham, NC Herald-Sun preview by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: http://www.heraldsun.com/lifestyles/sound-of-music-tony-winning-director-says-new-musical-tour/article_325b78e8-9319-11e5-922f-b31681993045.html (Note: You must subscribe to read this article); Nov. 25th Durham, NC Indy Week mini-preview by Byron Woods: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/the-sound-of-music/Event?oid=4875628; and Nov. 25th Burlington, NC Times-News preview by Logan A. White for “Teens & Twenties”: http://teensandtwenties.com/sound-of-music-touring-show-begins-tuesday-in-durham/.

The Durham Performing Arts Center presents THE SOUND OF MUSIC at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-3, 8 p.m. Dec. 4, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 5, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.

TICKETS: $30-$145. Click here for DPAC Special Offers.


DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), tickets@dpacnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.

Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/209813.

GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.

SHOW: http://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/the-sound-of-music and https://www.facebook.com/events/877738978988408/.

VIDEO PREVIEW: http://thesoundofmusicontour.com/#media.

TOUR: http://thesoundofmusicontour.com/ and http://www.ibdb.com/Production/View/500922.

TOUR CAST & CREATIVE TEAM: http://thesoundofmusicontour.com/#castcrea.

DPAC NEWS RELEASE: http://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/rodgers-hamersteins-the-sound-of-music-is-coming-to-dpac-december-1-6-2015.

2015-16 SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: http://www.dpacnc.com/suntrust-broadway-series-2015-16. PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan_your_visit/getting_here.

PARKING: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan_your_visit/parking_guide.

NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5th, performance.


The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (1949 memoir): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Story_of_the_Trapp_Family_Singers (Wikipedia).

The Memoir: https://books.google.com/ (Google Books).

Baroness Maria Augusta von Trapp (née Kutschera, author, 1905-1987): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_von_Trapp (Wikipedia).

The Sound of Music (1959 Broadway and 1961 West End musical): http://www.rnh.com/show/95/The-Sound-of-Music (Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization), http://www.ibdb.com/Show/View/8195 (Internet Broadway Database), and https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sound_of_Music (Wikipedia).

The Sound of Music (1965 film): http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/90931/The-Sound-of-Music/ (Turner Classic Movies page), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059742/ (Internet Movie Database), https://www.facebook.com/TheSoundOfMusic (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/SoundofMusic (Twitter page), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sound_of_Music_%28film%29 (Wikipedia).

Movie vs. Reality: The Real Story of the von Trapp Family by Joan Gearin: http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2005/winter/von-trapps.html (Winter 2005, Vol. 37, No. 4, of Prologue magazine, published by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration).

Richard Rodgers (composer, 1902-79): http://www.rnh.com/bio/175/Rodgers-Richard (Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization bio), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=8323 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006256/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Rodgers (Wikipedia).

Oscar Hammerstein II (lyricist and librettist, 1895-1960): http://www.rnh.com/bio/154/Hammerstein-II-Oscar (Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization bio), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=7965 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0358564/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Hammerstein_II (Wikipedia).

Howard Lindsay (playwright, 1889-1968): http://www.rnh.com/bio/78/Lindsay-Howard (Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization bio), http://ibdb.com/Person/View/6373 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0512231/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Lindsay (Wikipedia).

Russel Crouse (playwright, 1893-1966): http://www.rnh.com/bio/164/Crouse-Russel (Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization bio), http://ibdb.com/Person/View/8531 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0189496/ (Internet Movie Database, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russel_Crouse (Wikipedia).

Jack O’Brien (director): http://thesoundofmusicontour.com/som-member/jack-obrien/ (tour bio), http://www.ibdb.com/Person/View/6551 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0639590/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_O%27Brien_%28director%29 (Wikipedia).


Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing robertm748@aol.com and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail robertm748@aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)

By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).