The cast will be headed by Kerstin Anderson as Maria Rainer. A current student at Pace University, Anderson won the role from hundreds who auditioned. This will be her first national tour.
“I’ve always believed Maria was a 'star-making' part, rather than the leading role we remember from the movies; so I went looking for someone with star-making magic,” said director O’Brien in a statement. “And in through the audition door one day walked Kerstin Anderson, still studying at Pace University in New York. She opened her mouth, she sang and the tears welled up in my eyes. If ever there were an enchanting young woman standing on the brink of discovery — this was it! And now, the discovery is about to be all of ours!”
Anderson will be joined by Ben Davis as Captain Georg von Trapp and Ashley Brown as The Mother Abbess with Merwin Foard as Max Detweiler, Teri Dale Hansen as Elsa Schraeder, Dan Tracy as Rolf and Paige Silvester as Liesl. The von Trapp children will be played by Erich Schuett (Friedrich), Maria Knasel (Louisa), Quinn Erickson (Kurt), Svea Johnson (Brigitta), Mackenzie Currie (Marta) and Audrey Bennett (Gretl).
The ensemble includes Carey Rebecca Brown, Ron Brown, Caitlin Burke, Christopher Carl, Kyla Carter, Austin Colby, Daniella Dalli, Elisabeth Evans, Donna Garner, Meghan Hales, Adam Hill, Jenavene Hester, Jeremy Lanuti, Darren Matthias, Kelly McCormick, Julia Osborne, Andrea Ross, Brent Schindele and Jim Schubin.
The production will also feature choreography by Danny Mefford, set design by Douglas Schmidt, costume design by Jane Greenwood, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Ken Travis. The Sound of Music has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, and is suggested by "The Trapp Family Singers" by Maria Augusta Trapp.
Director O'Brien previously stated, "The Sound of Music has been in our ears for decades, as it deserves to be. But it might be time to look once more, and more closely, at this remarkable work which, I feel, begins to reveal itself as deeper, richer, and more powerful than ever. It’s no longer ‘your mother’s’ familiar Sound of Music. We are tearing off the varnish of the past from one of the great glories of our theatergoing experience and making it fresh! This is an opportunity we’ve all longed to create!”
O'Brien's Broadway credits include Hairspray, The Coast of Utopia, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and this season's It's Only a Play.
Ted Chapin, president and executive director of Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company, added, "The Sound of Music continues to be the world’s most beloved musical. When a major national tour was suggested, I not only agreed, but was willing to roll up my sleeves and do whatever I could to fashion a new stage production that would re-engage today’s theatergoing public. The show was originally created for Broadway, and seeing it on stage only reinforces the power of the story and the score. And with Jack O’Brien at the directorial helm – well, we simply couldn’t do better. Landing somewhere between The Coast of Utopia and Hairspray (shows for which Jack won the Tony), his production will be smart, focused, and surprising. I can’t wait."
For more information visit TheSoundOfMusicOnTour.com.