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Previews for The Sound Of Music start Feb. 6, 1998, with an opening set for March 12, 1998 at the Martin Beck Theatre, 302 West 45th St. (Annie, now on tour, closed at the Martin Beck, Oct. 19.)
Tickets go on sale through Tele-Charge Nov. 2 at (212) 239-6200.
Starring alongside Luker are Michael Siberry as Georg von Trapp and Patti Cohenour as the Mother Abbess. Siberry starred as Nicholas Nickleby in the legendary Royal Shakespeare Company show of that name. Cohenour's many credits include The Phantom Of The Opera (as Christine) and The Mystery Of Edwin Drood. Jan Maxwell of A Doll's House will also be in the cast, as will Fred Applegate, Patricia Conolly, Sara Zelle and Dashiell Eaves (the courier in 1776). Supporting players include Reno Roop, Tracy Alison Walsh, Margaret Shafer, Ben Schaeffer, Kristie Dale Sanders, Lynn C. Pinto, Patricia Phillips, Ashley Rose Orr, Betsi Morrison, Gannon McHale, Matthew Loney, Jeanne Lehman, Timothy Landfield, Tad Ingram, Siri Howard, Ryan Hopkins, Kelly Cae Hogan, Martha Hawley, Natalie Hall, Gina Ferrall, John Curless, Ann Brown, Andrea Bowen, Nora Blackall, Laura Bananti, Joan Barber, Matthew Ballinger and Anne Allgood.
Susan H. Schulman will direct The Sound Of Music, which is produced by the Baruch-Frankel-Viertel Group and sponsored by Hallmark.
In an August story headlined "Broadway To Hear the Sound of Luker," Luker told reporter Alec Harvey of the Birmingham News in Alabama that she will be playing the role on Broadway. "I'll try to make it my own," she is quoted saying of the role, "but you know, you'll always think of Julie Andrews singing those songs."
Luker, a Birmingham native, was a Best Actress Tony nominee for her Magnolia in Show Boat. She also had a featured role in the Old Globe Theatre's Time And Again in 1996. In 1989, Luker played Christine in Broadway's Phantom Of The Opera.
Luker also mentioned that the Mother Superior would be played by Patti Cohenour, who played the Phantom's Christine in 1988 -- a year before Luker stepped into the role.
Sets for Music will be designed by Heidi Ettinger (Moon Over Buffalo, Smokey Joe's Cafe). Lighting is by Paul Gallo, sound by Tony Meola, costumes by Catherine Zuber. Michael Lichtefeld will serve as choreographer, with Michael Rafter providing musical direction and Bruce Coughlin creating the orchestrations.
Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse wrote the libretto for 1959's Sound Of Music, based on the story of the "Trapp Family Singers" as documented by Maria Augusta Trapp. The autobiographical story told how the Trapps escaped from Austria during World War II.
The original production starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. The film starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Broadway last heard "Do Re Mi," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and "So Long, Farewell" in 1991 when Debby Boone, Laurence Guittard and Werner Klemperer starred in a revival at City Opera's New York State Theatre.
Director Schulman made her Tony-nominated Broadway debut with Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd at Circle in the Square. She also directed the Tony-winning The Secret Garden, its two and a half year national tour, as well as its Australian premiere. Other credits include the York Theatre's Off-Broadway revivals of Merrily We Roll Along and Company, along with the recent Violet and the "Encores!" staged reading of The Boys From Syracuse. She was resident director for Pittsburgh's Civic Light Opera for several seasons (Follies, West Side Story, 1776, Funny Girl) Schulman graduated from the NY High School of Performing Arts, Hofstra University and the Yale School of Drama. She is executive vice president of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
A source close to the production said the idea for a revival of Sound Of Music came about when Melissa Errico wowed the crowd in an Encores! staging of One Touch Of Venus. "She could basically write her own ticket at that point," the source said, "so when she said Maria was a role she really wanted to play, things fell into place. Now she's doing High Society, so she's out of the project, but the producers fell in love with the musical all over again and decided to do it anyway."
Luker's name had long been mentioned for the lead role for the production, which is not connected to a recent American tour of Sound Of Music in South East Asia, which starred Marie Osmond.