Analisa Leaming, Tom Galantich & More to Lead THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Starlight Theatre, 7/25-31

Analisa Leaming, Tom Galantich & More to Lead THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Starlight Theatre, 7/25-31

The hills of Kansas City will soon come alive with The Sound of Music, and talented performers from Broadway and Kansas City stages will lead the way to Starlight Theatre.

The classic musical from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II is the fourth production of Starlight's 2014 Broadway season. It opens Friday, July 25 and runs seven consecutive nights through Thursday, July 31. A special Monday night performance is scheduled for July 28.

The Sound of Music tells the classic story of the stern Captain von Trapp discovering a new love for his children when a free-spirited governess, Maria, brings laughter and music back into their lives. Set in Austria in the months before the 1938 Anschluss that ultimately developed into World War II, the musical is the final collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein. It opened on Broadway in 1959 and has been revived numerous times since.

"We are ready to show audience members a few of Starlight's favorite things and showcase many of musical theatre's best creative staff, performers and musicians," said Rich Baker, Starlight President and CEO. "This show brings wit, warmth, gentle humor and, of course, memorable music to our stage."

Leading the creative staff is Philip Wm. McKinley, a Tony Award-nominated director who may be best known for shoring up Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and turning it into a Broadway box office success. He also directed The Boy from OZ starring Hugh Jackman, Mozart L'Opera Rock in Tokyo, which broke box office records, and seven editions of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey's The Greatest Show on Earth. After a seven-year absence from Starlight, McKinley returns to direct his ninth Starlight production.

The cast performing at Starlight features veterans of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national tours in lead roles, including Analisa Leaming as Maria, Tom Galantich as Captain von Trapp, Suzanne Ishee as the Mother Abbess, James Judy as Max Detweiler and Glory Crampton as Elsa Schrader. Galantich was recently seen in Don't Dress for Dinner and Boeing Boeing on Broadway; his other Broadway credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, City of Angels and Into the Woods. Leaming understudied the role of Maria and played Sister Sophia on a recent Asian tour of The Sound of Music; she also played Grace Farrell in the national tour of Annie.

The company of The Sound of Music also includes several professional actors from the Kansas City area as well as 11 youth cast members with local roots. Making his Starlight debut as a young messenger turned Nazi, Rolf, is Seth Jones, a two-time nominee and one-time winner of Starlight's 2011 Blue Star Award for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role when he attended Raymore-Peculiar High School. Jones went on to finish in the top three among male actors at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York. He has performed at several Kansas City theatres including School House Rock Live! at The Coterie Theatre and Carrie: The Musical at EGADS Theatre.

Six teens from Kansas City area high schools will perform as members of Starlight's Blue Star All-Star Chorus. Five local youth actors will portray von Trapp children.

The original production of The Sound of Music on Broadway starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. The show won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, ran from 1959 to 1963, and tallied 1,443 performances. In 1965, 20th Century Fox released the film adaptation of the musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

Tickets for The Sound of Music at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $10 to $85. Tickets are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

Discount prices for groups of 15 or more are available. For information about group pricing, contact group sales manager Stacey Million at 816.997.1137 or stacey.million@kcstarlight.com.

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