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'The Sound of Music' Opens at Ahmanson Release

“THE SOUND OF MUSIC” NATIONAL TOUR OPENS

AT THE CENTER THEATRE GROUP / AHMANSON THEATRE

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 AT 8 P.M.

Music by RICHARD RODGERS

Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II

Book by HOWARD LINDSAY and RUSSEL CROUSE

Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp

Directed by JACK O’BRIEN

A brand new production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic “The Sound of Music” launches its national tour at the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre, Wednesday, September 30 at 8 p.m. Directed by three-time Tony Award® winner Jack O’Brien, this lavish new production is currently in previews. The production closes in Los Angeles on October 31, 2015, and will then tour North America for multiple seasons, playing multi-week and week-long engagements.

To purchase tickets for the Ahmanson Theatre presentation, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, call (213) 972-4400 or visit the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre. Ticket prices start at $25. The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, 90012.

Ben Davis (Broadway’s “Violet,” “A Little Night Music,” “La Bohème”) plays Captain Georg von Trapp and Ashley Brown (Broadway’s “Mary Poppins,” NBC’s “The Sound of Music”) plays The Mother Abbess with Merwin Foard as Max Detweiler, Teri Hansen as Elsa Schraeder, Dan Tracy as Rolf and Paige Silvester as Liesl. The von Trapp children are played by Erich Schuett (Friedrich), Maria Knasel (Louisa), Quinn Erickson (Kurt), Svea Johnson (Brigitta), Mackenzie Currie (Marta) and Audrey Bennett (Gretl).

Jack O’Brien introduces his brand new discovery, Kerstin Anderson, as Maria Rainer. A current student at Pace University, Anderson won the coveted role from hundreds who auditioned. This is her first national tour.

“I’ve always believed Maria was a ‘star-making’ part, rather than the leading role we remember from the movies; so I went looking for someone with star-making magic,” says director O’Brien. “And in through the audition door one day walked Kerstin Anderson, still studying at Pace University in New York. She opened her mouth, she sang and the tears welled up in my eyes. If ever there were an enchanting young woman standing on the brink of discovery — this was it! And now, the discovery is about to be all of ours!”

The ensemble includes Carey Rebecca Brown, Ronald L. Brown, Cáitlín Burke, Christopher Carl, Kyla Carter, Austin Colby, Daniella Dalli, Elisabeth Evans, Donna Garner, Meghan Hales, Jenavene Hester, Adam Hill, Jeremy Michael Lanuti, Darren Matthias, Kelly McCormick, Julia Osborne, Andrea Ross, Brent Schindele, Jim Schubin and Aviva Winick.

“The Sound of Music” features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp. This new production is directed by Jack O’Brien (credits include “Hairspray,” “The Full Monty,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “The Coast of Utopia”), and choreographed by Danny Mefford (“Fun Home,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”). The design and production team is comprised of Douglas W. Schmidt, set design (Tony Award® nominee: “42nd Street,” “Into the Woods”); Jane Greenwood, costume design (2014 recipient of Special Tony Award® for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre); Natasha Katz, lighting design (five-time Tony Award® winner: “An American in Paris,” “Once,” “Aida,” “The Coast of Utopia,” “The Glass Menagerie”); and Ken Travis, sound design (“Aladdin,” “Newsies,” “Memphis”).

“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.

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September 22, 2015