‘Sound of Music’ returns to where it all began
One of the world’s most beloved musicals, “The Sound of Music,” returns home to the legendary Shubert Theatre, where the original production made its world premiere in 1959.
The oft-described “spirited and romantic” musical story of Maria and the von Trapp family singers, inspired by Maria Augusta Trapp’s life story, will be on stage at the New Haven landmark through Sunday, Nov. 12.
The new NETworks production features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The musical’s Tony-, Grammy- and Academy Award-winning Best Score includes such classics as “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and the title song. Billed as a family event, the theater says the production is appropriate for any child who can sit still for the 23/4-hour show (includes one intermission).
“Sparkling, fresh and lively” is the way the Los Angeles Times describes the new production.
In the starring role of Maria (played by Mary Martin when it debuted on stage and Julie Andrews in the 1965 film) will be Jill-Christine Wiley, a 25-year-old New York actress and Lancaster, Pa., native.
During a break in a recent weeklong stop in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Wiley said she is loving life on the road, exploring her character and touring the sights. She is a veteran of national tours, having most recently played Belle in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” also produced by NETworks.
Wiley said she considers “Sound” to be a beautiful story she never tires to tell. (The story continues to be extremely popular: When “The Sound of Music Live!” aired on NBC in December 2013, it was seen by more than 44 million people. The 50th anniversary of the film version was celebrated in 2015; it continues to be the most successful movie musical in history, the theater said.)
“It’s such a privilege to follow in the footstep of such iconic women; it’s very humbling.” She has prepared herself for the tour by doing “my research. I read her autobiography,” Wiley said, adding she searches for the “real” Maria in every performance.
“I see myself as a truth teller. Telling Maria’s story from naive tomboy, (a novice in a religious order) and a nanny, to her passion and love for children. She is on a beautiful journey in life to being a mother and discovering her true path. This is a story that is rewarding to share,” Wiley said.
Being on tour “keeps me on my toes. It’s live theater and anything can happen, especially when working with children. There are always different challenges, venue to venue. So you need to show up each day and (live) in the present, to go with the flow and to .... enjoy.”
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