The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 1, 2013

'Sound of Music' staged on on the Showboat

Musical to be presented July 3 to 21
The Clinton Herald

---- — 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).

Mother Abbess is played by Rachael Swartz. A third year M.F.A performance candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi, Rachael is the education director for CAST this season. Sisters Margaretta, Berthe and Sophia are played by Michele Eissens, Hailey Goble and Laurel Decker. Showboat veteran Rob Engelson is Max Detweiler and Hilary Mullaney is Frau Schmidt. The role of Elsa Schraeder is performed by Jill Nigh and Rolf is played by Nathan McHenry, both seen in “Godspell.” Derrick Bertram is Franz.

Adding their talents to the company are: Elliott Litherland, Dorothy Farach, Jordan Hirl, Karen Mallinger, Sheila McMinimy, Mary Pirch, Samantha Strodtman, Matt Espey, Aiden McMinimy, Noah Strausser, Haley Appel, Erin Hardigan, Carolyn Hopkins, Hailey Hughes, Danica Smith, Cassandra Van Zuiden, Emma Van Zuiden, and Kayla Zeimet.

Organizing a show with such a large cast is a monumental task. Creating costumes for “The Sound of Music” is CAST newcomer Jenna Damberger. She is a 2009 graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College, most recently working as a costume designer throughout the Cleveland area. The rest of the design team includes: Director Tommy Iafrate, Assistant Director Rachael Swartz, Choreographer Carly Berg, Musical Director Laurie Lewis, Scenic Designer Rob Berls, Lighting Designer Cassie Mings, Sound Designer Kyle Davis, Stage Manager Nicole Frechette and Assistant Stage Manager Seth Kieser.

“The Sound of Music” is being performed at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre from July 3 through July 21. Tickets cost $23, $20 for seniors and $16 for students and children. The CAST box office is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are still available at the box office, by calling 242-6760 or online at www.clintonshowboat.org .