CLINTON — The Showboat is alive with the Sound of Music!
With a cast of more than 40, the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical opens on the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre on Wednesday, July 3, at 7:30 p.m. There is a special Fourth of July performance at 6:30 p.m., planned to end just prior to the fireworks display.
The story follows Maria Rainer, a postulant at Nonnberg Abbey, who is sent to work as governess for the seven children of Captain Georg von Trapp in the days before the Nazi takeover of Austria. The musical is filled with memorable songs: “My Favorite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “Climb Every Mountain,” and of course “The Sound of Music”.
Producing Artistic Director Tommy Iafrate attended regional auditions to select actors for the summer season at the Showboat. At the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Louisville, Ken., Iafrate found both Maria (Nicole Tompkins) and Captain von Trapp (James Putnam Smith), who coincidentally had just met while waiting to audition. A graduate of Wright State University with a B.F.A in acting, Nicole Tompkins is from South Bend, Ind., and was seen in “Godspell.” James Putnam Smith is from Florida, a graduate of Florida School of the Arts with a B.F.A. from Marshall University in West Virginia. Although performing such well-known shows can bring challenges, Tompkins says “Maria is a dream role.” As for Captain von Trapp, Smith “will try to live up to the expectations but still make the role my own.”
The von Trapp children have been double-cast in this show, meaning each character will be performed by two actors who will alternate performances. The “Rodgers Cast” includes: Alice Lind as Leisl, Jordan Keller as Friedrich, Allison Winkel as Louisa, Nathan Hopkins as Kurt, Grace-LaNore Guillory as Brigitta, Mary Kate Mroz as Marta and Lily Leding as Gretl. The “Hammerstein Cast” includes: Taylor Wiebers (Leisl), Caleb Hirl (Friedrich), Kate Struble (Louisa), Brennen Bly (Kurt), Brittany Costello (Brigitta), Emma Terronez (Marta) and Abby Struble (Gretl).