Mississippi College

MC's Sound of Music Opens October 8

September 3, 2009

Mississippi College students will portray the story of the Von Trapp family singers in their October production of "The Sound of Music."

Spotlighting the talented family of pre-World War II Austria, the production made its Broadway debut in November 1959 and six years later became an Academy Award winning movie starring Julie Andrews. MC's version opens Oct. 8 and closes Oct. 18.

Audiences at the Jean Pittman Williams Recital Hall will soon get to hear such classic songs as "My Favorite Things" and "Climb Every Mountain" plus "Do Re-Mi."

Internationally celebrated for a half-century, "The Sound of Music" is based on the memoirs of Maria Von Trapp. The music is by Richard Rodgers and the lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel were the stars of the original Broadway production.

Katherine Graddy of Madison and Jennifer Adams of Mount Olive are booked to play the lead role of the governess, Maria, as MC kicks off its fall theatre season. Rehearsals began weeks ago. When she's not acting or hitting the books at MC, Graddy works with youth in her church. She's also active in her community in Madison County.

There are nearly 40 MC students signed up on the Sound of Music cast list. Kristen P. Johnson, an MC assistant professor of voice, is serving as the show's director.The production is sponsored by the university's Department of Music.

Johnson raves about the entire case, including the show's two leads. "Katherine Graddy and Jennifer Adams are both doing a wonderful job as Maria," she says. "They both embody that quality in Maria's character that is a combination of genuine spirit, femininity and boyish adventure."

While students are still learning their parts - from the nuns chorus to the role of Franz the butler to Captain Georg Von Trapp, Johnson says putting the production all together is a big job.

"It is going to be a huge undertaking to produce this show with so many different components going into it," Johnson said Thursday, just hours before an evening rehearsal. There's the choreography, set design, staging "and of course the music which carries the show," the music professor said.

Show dates on the Clinton campus are Oct. 8-10 and Oct. 15-17 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 11 and Oct. 18, both at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for students from MC or other schools and $15 for adults. Tickets are expected to go on sale three weeks before the show. For more information, call Linda Edwards at the MC Department of Music at 601.925.3440.

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