Broadway Vets Grové and Davis Star in Studio Tenn's SOUND OF MUSIC, Now thru 6/17

May 31
12:30 AM 2012


Broadway veterans Jessica Grové and Ben Davis will star as Maria Rainer and Captain Georg Von Trapp in Studio Tenn Theatre Company's upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, playing at the historic Franklin Theatre tonight, May 31 through June 17.

Grové and Davis join a cast that includes some of Nashville's favorite performers, including Nan Gurley (as the Mother Abbess), Marguerite Lowell Howell (as Baroness Schrader), Matt Carlton (as Max Dettwiler) and recent Belmont University musical theater grads Kelsey Self and Douglas Waterbury-Tieman (as Liesl and Rolf). Portraying the other Von Trapp children are Jack Alcott as Friedrich, Annabelle Fox as Louisa, Mary Marguerite Hall as Brigitta, Matthew Dyra as Kurt, Virginia Richardson as Marta and Bella Higginbotham as Gretel. 

The ensemble also includes Shelean Newman, David Compton, Emily Webb, Melodie Madden Adams and Linda Sue Simmons Runyeon.

Studio Tenn's managing director Jake Speck is executive producer, with company artistic director Matt Logan directing and designing the production. Choreographer is Emily Tello, with Chris Rayis as music director/conductor and Laura Matula as vocal director.


Grové has starred on Broadway in Les Miserables (Eponine), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Miss Dorothy), A Little Night Music (MrS. Anderson) and Sunday in the Park with George (Celeste). She also starred as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden with Mickey Rooney and Ertha Kitt. Last month, Jessica played Cinderella in the third annual Show Hope benefit production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, directed and designed by Matt Logan at the Schermerhorn with the Nashville Symphony.

Davis has starred on Broadway in some of the same shows, including Les Miserables (Javert), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon), A Little Night Music (Mr. Lindquist), Knickerbocker Holiday (Brom Broeck) and Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme (Marcello).

Studio Tenn's production of The Sound of Music runs Thursday, May 31 through Sunday, June 17 at the Franklin Theatre, and tickets are on sale now at the Franklin Theatre Box Office at (615) 538-2076 or online at

Originally built in 1937, the Franklin Theatre re-opened to the public on June 3, 2011, following a multi-year, multi-million-dollar restoration. The Main Street landmark is owned and operated by the nonprofit Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. 

Pictured (at top): Ben Davis and Tom Wopat; (bottom) Jessica Grové

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.

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