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Music fills the hills when 'The Sound of Music' opens at Kansas City's Starlight

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The Alpine adventures of the Von Trapp family and their escape from the hands of Nazi-controlled Austria sets the tone for the upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved classic, “The Sound of Music,” at Starlight Theatre from July 25-31 with a combination of Broadway and local actors performing in the Starlight-produced show.

The classic musical from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II is the fourth production of Starlight's 2014 Broadway season. The family-friendly blockbuster opens Friday, July 25 and runs seven consecutive nights through Thursday, July 31. A special Monday night performance is scheduled for July 28.

"The Sound of Music" tells the classic story of the stern Captain von Trapp discovering a new love for his children when a young, strong-willed governess, Maria, brings laughter and music back into their lives.

The musical begins in Austria in the months before the 1938 Anschluss that ultimately developed into World War II. “The Sound of Music” ended the collaboration of Rodgers and Hammerstein as a fitting finale to their works. The show opened on Broadway in 1959 and has been revived numerous times since.

"We are ready to show audience members a few of Starlight's favorite things and showcase many of musical theatre's best creative staff, performers and musicians," said Rich Baker, Starlight President and CEO. "This show brings wit, warmth, gentle humor and, of course, memorable music to our stage."

The show features a combination of New York and Kansas City talent. Students who participated in Starlight Theatre’s Blue Star Awards are a few of the features performers. Along with them, several young thespians portray most of the Von Trapp children. Other local actors and actresses fill other roles.

The cast includes: Maria, Analisa Leaming; The Mother Abbess, Suzanne Ishee; Sister Berthe, Cathy Barnett, Sister Margaretta Judy Simmons, Sister Sophia, Becky Barta; Captain Georg von Trapp Tom Galantich; Franz - the Butler, Kip Niven, Frau Schmidt - the Housekeeper, Kathleen Warfel; Liesl von Trapp, Claire Charland; Friedrich von Trapp, Brendan Hulla; Louisa von Trapp, Megan Walstrom; Kurt von Trapp, Cam Burns; Brigitta von Trapp, Fiona Scott; Marta von Trapp, Josephine Pellow; Gretl von Trapp, Delilah Rose Pellow; Rolf Gruber, Seth Jones; Elsa Schraeder, Glory Crampton, Ursula, Nancy Nail; Max Detweiler, James Judy; Herr Zeller, Bruce Roach; Frau Zeller, Melinda Macdonald; Baron Elberfeld, Tim Scott; Baroness Elberfeld, Lauren Braton; A New Postulant, Molly Denninghoff; Admiral von Schreiber, John Rensenhouse.

Ensemble: Cathy Barnett, Becky Barta, Daniel Beeman, Lauren Braton, Elliot Harrison Brown, Shea Coffman, Molly Denninghoff, Eric Geil, Cheryl Hodges, Sarah Labarr, Hanna Leigh, Kathryn Long, Melinda Macdonald, Nancy Nail, Kym Chambers Otto, John Rensenhouse, Casi Riegle, Tim Scott, Judy Simmons. Dance Captain: Hanna Leigh.

Blue Star All-star Teen Ensemble: Joann Armstrong, Nehemiah Deason, Joey Parker, Andrea Strickler, Mariah Studebaker, Alec Walberg.

The original Broadway production opened in 1959 and ran for over 1450 performances, according to the International Broadway Database. Subsequent production ran almost 500 more performances.

For more information, visit www.kcstarlight.com.

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