PHOTO CALL: A Christmas Story, The Musical Sends Best Wishes to Alumnus Joe West in The Sound of Music Live!

By Matthew Blank
05 Dec 2013

Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical The Sound of Music comes to the screen in a new live television adaptation Dec. 5. The cast of A Christmas Story, The Musical wished an onstage "break a leg" to Joe West, who was a member of last year's cast and will appear tonight as Kurt Von Trapp.





Executive-produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, The Sound of Music Live! is co-directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford. The telecast of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical is based on the original 1959 Broadway production of The Sound of Music, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, with a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.

Six-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood stars as Maria and “True Blood” star Moyer as Capt. Georg von Trapp with Tony Award winners McDonald (Ragtime, Master Class) as Mother Abbess, Benanti (Gypsy, Women on the Verge) as Elsa Schrader and Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, "Smash") as Max Dettweiler.

The principal cast and members of the creative team recently shared their "Favorite Things" about The Sound of Music with Playbill.com.

The cast also features Tony nominee Christiane Noll as Sister Margaretta, Jessica Molaskey as Sister Berthe and Elena Shaddow as Sister Sophia. Tony nominee Nielsen plays Frau Schmidt, with Sean Cullen as Franz, Michael Campayno as Rolf, CJ Wilson as Herr Zeller, Catherine Brunell as Frau Zeller, Michael Park as Baron Elberfeld, Chase as Baroness Elberfeld, Brown as Ursula and John Bolger as Admiral Von Schrieber.

View Playbill.com's PHOTO CALL with exclusive images from the cast in rehearsal.

Cast as nuns are Georgia Stitt, Ashley Brown, Paula Leggett Chase, Linda Mugleston, Margot de La Barre, Laura Shoop, Sydney Morton, Wendi Bergamini, Cameron Adams, Rema Webb, Rayanne Gonzales, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Adrienne Danrich, Autumn Hurlbert, Catherine Brunell, Leah Horowitz, Gina Ferrall, Nikki Renee Daniels, Joy Hermalyn and Stowe Brown.

Playing the von Trapp children are Ariane Rinehart (Liesl), Michael Nigro (Fredrich), Ella Watts-Gorman (Louisa), Joe West (Kurt), Sophia Caruso (Brigitta), Grace Rundhaug (Marta) and Peyton Ella as young Gretl.

Also featured are Jake Boyd, Shannon Lewis, Samantha Zack, Megan Sikora, Matt Wall, Ward Billisen, Marty Lawson, Alex Michael Stoll, Bob Gaynor, Karl Warden, Brandon Henschal, David Hull, Charlie Williams and Jennie Ford.

The creative team includes production designer Derek McLane, art director Kevin Rupnik and assistant art director Aimee Dombo.

The Sound of Music Live! is produced by Universal Television.

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As previously reported, original Broadway cast members Dan Lauria, John Bolton, Erin Dilly and Caroline O'Connor return for the 2013 engagement of A Christmas Story, The Musical that will run Dec. 11-29 at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, following engagements at Hartford's Bushnell Theatre Nov. 12-17 and the Wang Theatre in Boston, Nov. 20-Dec. 8.

Lauria (Lombardi, "The Wonder Years") plays Jean Shepherd, with Bolton (Spamalot, Contact, Titanic) as The Old Man, Dilly (Nice Work If You Can Get It, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) as Mother and O'Connor (Gypsy, Chicago, "Moulin Rouge") as school teacher Miss Shields.

New to the production are young actor Jake Lucas, who was previously seen on Broadway in Newsies. He stars as Ralphie; Eli Tokash (Mary Poppins) plays Ralphie at certain performances. Noah Baird plays little brother Randy.

The Christmas Story ensemble includes Charlie Babbo, Gabriella Baldacchino, Hannah Isabel Bautista, Charissa Bertels, Tanya Birl, Beada Briglia, Judae’a Brown, Michael Crispi, Andrew Cristi, Mathew DeGuzman, Thay Floyd, Nick Gaswirth, Lizzie Klemperer, Jose Luaces, Mara Newbery, Alexa Niziak, Lindsay O’Neil, David Scott Purdy, Keven Ryan Quillon, Lucas Schultz, Mitchell Sink, Luke Spring, Jenny Lee Stern and Nicky Torchia.

Pete and Lily, the pooches from last season's production of A Christmas Story, return to cause a ruckus as the Bumpus Hounds.

The 2012 run of A Christmas Story, The Musical marked the Broadway debut of Richard Rodgers Award-winning Dogfight songwriters Pasek and Paul. Joseph Robinette authored the book. The score includes such songs as "Red Ryder," "Ralphie to the Rescue," "A Major Award" and "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out." 

The musical earned three 2013 Tony Award nominations, including Best Score, Best Book and Best Musical.

The production will reflect the work of the original creative team, including Tony-winning director John Rando (Urinetown) and Tony-nominated choreographer Warren Carlyle (Chaplin, Follies, An Evening With Hugh Jackman).

Critics warmed to the production that broke box-office records at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre last Christmas.

Read Playbill.com's feature with Pasek and Paul, as well as the film's original Ralphie – Peter Billingsley – who is among the producers of the stage production. 

According to producers, "In 1940's Indiana, a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas—a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. A Christmas Story, The Musical is holiday entertainment that captures a simpler time in America with delicious wit and a heart of gold."

The production has scenic design by Walt Spangler; costume design by Elizabeth Hope Clancy; lighting design by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley; sound design by Ken Travis; wig design by Tom Watson; orchestrations by 2011 Tony nominee Larry Blank; musical supervision by Ian Eisendrath; dance arrangements by Glen Kelly; and vocal arrangements by composer Justin Paul.

A Christmas Story, The Musical is produced by Gerald Goehring, Roy Miller, Michael F. Mitri, Pat Flicker Addiss, Peter Billingsley, Timothy Laczynski, Mariano Tolentino, Louise H. Beard, Michael Filerman, Scott Hart, Alison Eckert, Bob Bartner, Michael Jenkins, Angela Milonas and Bradford W. Smith.

Visit AChristmasStoryTheMusical.com.