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Live Oak Theatre: Alive with “The Sound of Music”

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The Live Oak Theatre’s mainstage will be alive with “The Sound of Music” from March 17 through April 2. These performances are in collaboration with the Law Office of Paul H. Nessler, Jr. P.A. and Karen E. Leonardo, Attorney at Law. They are set to take place at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville. Friday and Saturday evening shows are at 7:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 pm. Doors will open approximately 30 minutes before showtime.

With the original Broadway production winning five Tony Awards, “The Sound of Music” is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. This heralded classic is based on the 1949 memoir of Maria von Trapp, the Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Many songs from this musical have become beloved standards, including “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi,” and the title song “The Sound of Music.”

The original Broadway production, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, opened in 1959 and won Tony Awards that included Best Musical out of nine nominations. The show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals and was adapted as a 1965 film musical produced and directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. “The Sound of Music” marked the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein. A live televised production of the musical aired in 2013 on NBC, starring Carrie Underwood as Maria, with Stephen Moyer as Captain von Trapp.

Live Oak spokesperson Vince Vanni is excited to bring “The Sound of Music” to the Live Oak mainstage. “‘The Sound of Music’ is Randi’s (Randi Olson, Live Oak artistic director) favorite. We have always tried to obtain the rights to ‘The Sound of Music,’ however, we were not granted the rights until this year. Personally, I am thrilled that we waited this long,” shared Vanni. “Now that the (Live Oak) conservatory is so fully established, we have an enormous amount of talent. The show is almost completely double cast… two casts of von Trapp kids, Two Marias…. And we even got TWO Mother Abbesses who are capable of reaching those notes. Wow!”

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Live Oak Director Kris Mitten sees “The Sound of Music” as the ultimate family-centered story. Mitten stated, “The story of family is always of interest, and this family faces many challenges – the loss of a mother, the angst of adding a new woman (wife and mother) into the existing family, then add the outside struggle of a country being taken over and the world war looming, yet this family not only endured but thrived together in love. Since we’re double cast, we always have more costuming in general, and also have to have children’s matching costumes from curtains – that will be fun.”

Cast members came well-prepared for this production. “I encourage watching the movie, but more importantly watching the Broadway musical, which is what we are performing and has different scenes, even some different songs,” said Mitten. “Also, watching Youtube to see some of the original cast is always fun. The von Trapp family also has a whole history behind it that can be researched.”

This production features a plethora of fresh new thespian talent. “We are excited to add some first-timers into our troupe to walk along with our faithful family of Live Oak actors,” said Mitten, “who always come with so much energy and joy.”

Mitten believes that viewers will enjoy a version of “The Sound of Music” that achieves a perfect balance of theatrical and cinematic elements. Mitten shared, “Pretty much everyone knows the movie version of ‘The Sound of Music,’ but the Broadway version is slightly different,” said Mitten. “We plan to give a nod where possible to the differences in the movie while staying true to the original Broadway production.”

Advanced seats for The Sound of Music are $25 for adults and $10 for children 13 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Advanced seats for ‘Singin’ in the Rain, Jr.’ (preview to come) are $20 for adults, and $10 for children 13 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket. Advanced prices are available up to approximately 24 hours before each performance. Twenty-four hours prior to showtime, ticket prices increase by $5 for adults and children.

Flex Passes for Live Oak Theatre’s two spring musicals are available until noon on March 1st. You may reserve seats for these musicals for only $40 for adults and $15 for children that are 13 and under with the purchase of an adult reservation. Here’s how it works. Buy a Flex Pass for “The Sound of Music” and the Acorn Theatre production of “Singin’ in the Rain, Jr..” Then, at your leisure, choose the dates you wish to attend.

For more information about the Live Oak Theatre Company or to reserve seating or Flex passes, email [email protected], call 352-593-0027, or go to www.LiveOakTheatre.org.

The cast of Live Oak Theatre’s production of “The Sound of Music” is:

White Cast Red Cast

3/17 7:30pm 3/19 2:30pm
3/25 2:30pm, 3/26 2:30pm 3/24 7:30pm, 3/25 7:30pm,
3/31 7:30pm, 4/1 7:30pm 4/1 2:30pm, 4/2 2:30pm
Caitlyn George……..Maria……..Katie Marra
John Allocco……..Captain Von Trapp……..John Allocco
Lenia Staley……..Leisl……..Lexi Allocco
Leif Rasmussen……..Friedrick……..Elijah Torres
Evelyn Mitten……..Louisa……..Alannah Allocco
Nick Ritenis…….. Kurt……..Jasper Monroe
Samantha Sanborn……..Brigitta……..Isabella Rossiter
Maria McKissock……..Marta……..Sophia Rossiter
Tessa Genao……..Gretl……..Presley Othouse
Ben Staley……..Rolf……..Michael DePriest
Randi Olsen……..Elsa……..Amy O’Neil
Timothy Rasmussen……..Max……..Kaiden Rossiter
Ellen Sanborn……..Mother Abbess……..Victoria Sanborn
Elizabeth Stebleton……..Sister Bertha……..Julie Hofstede
Quincee Willis……..Sister Margaretta……..Dawn Hester
Zoe Lallis……..Sister Sophia……..Stephania Torres
Kyle Staley……..Franz…….. Stephen Rees
Elizabeth Kohler……..Frau Schmidt……..Elizabeth Stebleton
Vince Vanni……..Zeller……..Ian Moorhouse

In addition…

Abby DePriest……..Fraulein Zeller……..Ava McCoy
Rowan Wilson……..Baron Elberfeld……..Rowan Wilson
Amy Norris……..Baroness Elberfeld……..Amy Norris
Molly Pianin……..Ursula……..Molly Pianin

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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