Hot on the heels of Christopher Plummer serenading Julie Andrews with "Edelweiss" to commemorate her last day in Victor/Victoria comes the news that a new production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, The Sound Of Music, will make its way to Broadway in March 1998.
According to Theatrical Index, Susan H. Schulman will direct the musical, which is produced by the Baruch-Frankel-Viertel Group (making it a likely candidate to fall under the new producing partnership between PACE Theatrical Group and Jujamcyn).
A call to PACE Theatricals (Aug. 7), however, received the response that there'd be no substantive news on Sound Of Music for at least "two t o three months."
Set designs will be by Heidi Landesmann (Moon Over Buffalo, Smokey Joe's Cafe).
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. 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."
Rebecca Luker's name has been mentioned for the lead role. The production is not connected to a current American tour of Sound Of Music in South East Asia, which (according to Variety) stars Marie Osmond.