James Brennan is Capt. Von Trapp and Luann Aronson is Maria in the new Walnut Street Theatre staging of The Sound of Music, beginning Nov. 5 at the Philadelphia institution known for its new works, revivals and huge subscribership.
The family-friendly musical by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II and librettists Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse opens Nov. 13 and continues to Jan. 5, 2003. A special singalong presentation of the show is planned for 8 PM Monday Dec. 30, with audience members reading lyrics to the classic score. (Mother Abbess might think she's especially blessed when she starts hearing disembodied voices in the abbey as she sings "Climb Every Mountain.")
Brennan appeared on Broadway in Me and My Girl and is a Walnut Street veteran from My Fair Lady, 1776 and Camelot. Aronson, who played Christine in Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera, is making her Walnut Street debut.
Ann Arvia (Broadway's Les Misérables, Walnut Street's Phantom) plays the Mother Abbess, Mary Martello is Elsa, Adrienne Young is 16-going-on-17 Liesl, Bobby Steggert is Rolf and John-Charles Kelly is Max. The cast also includes Sharon Alexander (Sister Berthe), Andie Belkoff or Carly Hawkins (Gretl), Kathryn Brunner or Victoria Masteller (Marta), Gillian Burke (Ursula), Jeffrey Coon (Nazi Lieutenant), Rachel Cohen (ensemble), Kevin DeYoe or Taylor Quilty (Friedrich), Maureen Francis (ensemble), Zachary Freed or Ryan Musick (Kurt), Scott Langdon (Admiral von Schreiber), AJ Luca or Alyse Wojciechowski (Louisa), Lee Golden (Franz), Melissa Joy Hart (ensemble), Barbara McCulloh (Sister Sophia), Joyce Moody (Frau Zeller), Joyce A. Presutti (Sister Margaretta), Roxanne Quilty or Arianna Vogel (Brigitta), Christine Robertson (ensemble), Ed Romanoff (Herr Zeller), Donna M. Ryan (Frau Schmidt), Dan Schiff (Baron Elberfeld), Jamie Lynn Udinson (A New Postulant), Denise Whelan (Baroness Elberfeld), with Nick Baker, Rob Delcolle, Jeremy R. Dueh, Benjamin Kanes.
Charles Abbott directs, with choreography by Andrew Glant-Linden. Musical direction is by Sherman Frank. Deisgners are John Farrell (scenic), Colleen McMillan (costume supervisor), Jeffrey S. Koger (lighting) and P.J. Stasuk (sound). Walnut Street Theatre is at 825 Walnut, in Philadelphia. Tickets range $10-$60 (and $10-$70 New Year's Eve). For ticket information, call (215) 574-3550. For more information, visit www.wstonline.org.
— By Kenneth Jones