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Starlight Theater nabs Brodaway director of 'Spiderman' for 'Sound of Music'

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Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre announced at noon today that Broadway’s Philip Wm. McKinley directs The Sound of Music at Starlight Theatre, July 25-31 when the Spiderman director returns to Kansas City for his 9th Starlight production.

In a press release from Staright at noon, Feb. 26, “Internationally known Director Philip Wm. McKinley will direct The Sound of Music at Starlight Theatre, July 25-31. McKinley previously directed Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark and The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman, as well as the internationally acclaimed Mozart L’OPERA ROCK which premiered last year in Tokyo, Japan.”

“Starlight is thrilled to have Phil McKinley returning to direct our production of this beloved classic - The Sound of Music,” Donna Thomason, Interim President of Starlight Theatre, said . Phil is like family to those of us who have been a part of Starlight for many years. He’s an incredibly talented director whose career continues to rise at a staggering rate. We are very lucky he found time in his busy schedule to lead our production. Phil comes to Kansas City after finishing a great run with Spiderman on Broadway. He is known for creating impactful and memorable productions, full of heart, and I have no doubt this production will be one of the highlights of our 64th season."

The Sound of Music marks McKinley’s eighth production at Starlight. He previously directed three productions of The Wizard of Oz, (the first in 1991, starring Phyllis Diller that garnered McKinley a Kansas City Drama Desk Award for Best Director); Peter Pan, Big River; Jekyll and Hyde; the Kopit/Yeston Phantom and Grease.

“I’m excited to return to Kansas City and especially to be welcomed back at Starlight. It’s a magical venue unlike any other theater in the United States. I hold many fond memories of Starlight and the summers I spent with the Starlight family. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to return to Starlight and give back to the theater that offered me support and encouragement in my early career,” McKinley said. “I’m looking forward to the joys and challenges the outdoor theatre offers a director and to working with the cast and company that we’re assembling for one of the greatest American musical theater classics, The Sound of Music.”

The Sound of Music is the fourth production in Starlight’s 2014 Broadway Season. The Sound of Music, being locally produced, includes many local actors from the Kansas City community as well as some of Broadway actors. Season and individual tickets will go on sale to the public beginning April 14; group tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit