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Arts / Society

A New National Tour of a Broadway Classic Ponders the Question

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

BY // 02.03.16

For decades now, creative teams have tackled that question for an eager public — on Broadway stages, in cinemas and even live on network television. Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien is the latest to reinterpret Rodgers & Hammerstein’s perennial musical, The Sound of Music, in a new national tour that premieres in Houston this month.

Heading up the cast is a talented newcomer, Kerstin Anderson, a Pace University student who won the role over hundreds of potential Maria von Trapps in extensive auditions. Joining her are stage veterans Ben Davis (Broadways Violet, A Little Night Music, La Bohème) as Captain Georg von Trapp; Ashley Brown (Broadway’s Mary Poppins, Beauty & the Beast) as The Mother Abbess; Merwin Foard (Broadway’s Aladdin, The Addams Family, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables; Disney films including Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame); as Max Detweiler; and Teri Hansen (London’s Show Boat, Broadway’s The Boys from Syracuse) as Elsa Schraeder. Rounding out the cast are young talents Dan Tracy as Rolf, Paige Silvester as Liesl, Audrey Bennett as Gretl, Maria Knasel as Louisa, Mackenzie Currie as Marta, Svea Johnson as Brigitta, Erich Schuett as Friedrich and Quinn Erickson as Kurt.

The Broadway credits — and Tony Award pedigrees — of the creative team are well worth googling: Jack O’Brien, director; Danny Mefford, choreographer; Andy Einhorn, music supervision; Douglas Schmidt, set design; Jane Greenwood, costume design (she received the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre), Natasha Katz, lighting design; and Ken Travis, sound design. Their combined credits read like a Greatest Hits of recent Broadway history: Fun Home, Once, Aladdin, Newsies, The Full Monty, DIrty Rotten Scoundrels, The Coast of Utopia, The Bridges of Madison County, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Bullets over Broadway, Cinderella, The Light at the Piazza, Memphis and countless more.

The beloved musical — whose film celebrated its 50th anniversary last year — features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by the memoir The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp herself. The immensely hummable score includes “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” “I Have Confidence” and, of course, the title song. Past accolades have included Tony, Grammy and Academy Awards for Best Score.

What: New North American Tour of The Sound of Music

When: Tuesday – Sunday, February 16 – 21

Where: The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

Tariff: From $30

Contact: Hobby Center Box Office, 713.315.2525; Ticketmaster

Click here for more information.

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