Photo Flash: THE SOUND OF MUSIC Tour Finds Its New 'Maria'; Plus a Peek Inside Rehearsals!
This lavish new production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien, announces Charlotte Maltby as Maria Rainer, beginning January 3 in her national tour debut. Charlotte Maltby begins in Milwaukee, WI, then continues to Indianapolis, IN. Scroll down for a peek at Maltby and O'Brien in rehearsal!
Director Jack O'Brien had this to say about casting the iconic role of Maria: "I was privileged to actually see Mary Martin in the original production - as I was myself just a junior at the University of Michigan. She was a great star, and she was giving a 'great star's' performance. She was at the apex of her career, and she was both brilliant and 46 years old.
"But in reading it privately, something caught my eye: Maria is probably, as a postulant, no more than six or seven years older than Liesl! She may be many things - a country lass, a climber-of-trees, a young renegade, but she is clearly NOT an established star! How interesting! I've always believed Maria was a 'star-making' part, rather than the leading role we remember from the movies and our experience; so I went looking for someone with star-making magic."
On his new leading lady, who takes over the role from Kerstin Anderson, he said: "You often wonder if lightning ever strikes twice? Our original Maria in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, an undergraduate sophomore from Pace University, was just such an original - and as a truly youthful "discovery" in her theatrical debut, she pretty much shattered both expectations and all previous molds. So when it came time for her departure, one wondered if the entire event might change into something very different... and then, Charlotte Maltby walked through the door.
"The daughter of celebrated writer and director, Richard Maltby, Jr, she was, of course, theatrical royalty personified; but was I prepared for her poise, her naturalness, her timing, her elegance? No, I was not. Was I prepared for that voice - one of the richest and most powerful I believe I have ever heard in a theatre before? No, I most assuredly was not. And yet, there she stood - and the tears in my eyes as I heard the first notes of THE SOUND OF MUSIC testified that we were in a small age of theatrical miracles: there was lightning once more, pure, and anything but simple.
"Our discovery now is your pleasure; we are blessed by not only the continuing gift of this "sleeping beauty" of a musical, but more so by the refreshing talent that is somehow inevitably attracted to perform in it."
Charlotte Maltby joins a cast that includes Ben Davis (Broadway's Violet, A Little Night Music, La Bohème) as Captain Georg von Trapp and Melody Betts as The Mother Abbess with Merwin Foard as Max Detweiler, Teri Hansen as Elsa Schraeder, Austin Colby as Rolf and Paige Silvester as Liesl. The von Trapp children will be played by Roy Gantz (Friedrich), Ashley Brooke (Louisa), AUSTIN LEVINE (Kurt), Iris Davies (Brigitta), Kyla Carter (Marta) and Anika Lore Hatch (Gretl).
The ensemble includes Carey ReBecca Brown, Ronald L. Brown, Cáitlín Burke, Christopher Carl, Donna Garner, Jillian Jameson, Robert Mammana, Darren Matthias, Anna Mintzer, Julia Osborne, Zane Phillips, Rebecca Pitcher, Michael Spaziani, Emily Trumble, Maria Failla, Meghan Hales and Adam Hill.
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), choreographed by Danny Mefford (Fun Home, The Bridges of Madison County and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and music supervision by Andy Einhorn (Bullets Over Broadway, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, Brief Encounter, The Light in the Piazza). 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 the 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). Casting by Telsey + Company/Rachel Hoffman, CSA.
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.
UPCOMING TOUR DATES:
Milwaukee, WI January 3-8, 2017
Indianapolis, IN January 10-15, 2017
Louisville, KY January 7-22, 2017
Omaha, NE January 24-29, 2017
Iowa City, IA January 31-Feb. 5, 2017
Des Moines, IA February 7-12, 2017
Nashville, TN February 14-19, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI February 21-26, 2017
Rochester, NY February 28-March 5, 2017
Waterbury, CT March 7-12, 2017
Hershey, PA March 21-26, 2017
Buffalo, NY March 28-Apr. 2, 2017
Schenectady, NY April 4-9, 2017
Memphis, TN April 18-23, 2017
West Palm Beach, FL May 9-14, 2017
Toronto, ON June 6-11, 2017
Washington, DC June 13-July 16, 2017
Cleveland, OH July 18-23, 2017
Additional cities to be added.
Charlotte Maltby (Maria Rainer). Charlotte is humbled to be bringing this amazing woman's story across the nation. Charlotte was recently seen playing opposite Shirley Jones in her autobiographical musical HAVE YOU MET Miss Jones? NYC credits: STARTING HERE, STARTING NOW (Woman One), ICON (Princess Constance). Regional credits: world premier of EMPIRE at La Mirada Theatre (Betty/Bill Johnson), THE SECRET GARDEN at Cincinnati Playhouse and Baltimore Centerstage (Martha), HAIRSPRAY (Penny Pingleton) and LES MISERABLES (Fantine) at The Muny. Film credits: Ithaca (dir. Meg Ryan), AWOL, People People, The Last Five Years (dir. Richard LaGravenese), Work It, Honey! . TV credits: "Aquarius" (dir. David Duchovny/NBC). University of Michigan grad (GO BLUE!) Grateful as ever to her ladies at Abrams, Telsey + CO, this incredible company, and of course - Jack O'Brien.
For more information, visit www.TheSoundOfMusicOnTour.com.
Photo Credit: Lindsay Hoffman