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Timeless Family Classic to Open July 1 at Culbreth Theatre

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – June 21, 2010 – This year a Charlottesville summer classic is joining forces with a classic for every age and season when The Sound of Music opens the 2010 Heritage Theatre Festival season.  The beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein show will open on July 1 at Culbreth Theatre, bringing with it a tale and array of songs that have been delighting generations since the show’s Broadway debut in 1959.

Thanks both to the musical and of course, the film, The Sound of Music has captivated audiences worldwide with its inimitable charm and a nearly unparalleled collection of unforgettable songs.  The final collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein yielded an embarrassment of classic riches ranging from Do-Re-Mi to Edelweiss, My Favorite Things, So Long, Farewell and many more, while making the legendary von Trapps the unofficial first family of musical theater.

The Sound of Music (Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein and Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse) will be presented at Culbreth Theatre from July 1-3 and July 5-10, at 7:30PM each evening. There will be a 2PM matinee performance on July 10th. Tickets for the show are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors (60+) and U.Va. faculty and staff, and $15 for students. Season and single show tickets are now available at the U.Va. Arts Box Office in the Culbreth Theatre building, online at www.uvahtf.org or by calling 434-924-3376.

“This show is the perfect way to open our season,” said Robert Chapel, producing artistic director of Heritage Theatre Festival and the director of this production. “We had such a terrific reaction to our production of Oliver!, which opened last season, and thought we would continue that tradition of family friendly shows to open this season as well, And you don’t get more family friendly, or more cherished, than The Sound of Music.”

The show’s cast will feature a collection of local favorites, Chapel said, as well as some exciting new discoveries for Heritage audiences. “We are delighted to welcome back audience favorites Doug Schneider and Lydia Horan with this production,” Chapel said, “in addition to introducing our audiences to actors they have never seen before but will likely be hearing from again.”

These include Emily Rice, who will be starring in the production as Maria. “Over the years I have had the great fortune of working with a number of students from Elon University, many of whom have become audience favorites for many years. This year, I am thrilled to introduce our audiences to Emily, whose remarkable talent and great charm make her not only a perfect choice to play this iconic role, but also make her a performer to watch for many years to come in the worlds of musical theater and beyond.”  Audiences will have a second chance to see Emily in her role as Logaine Schwartzandgrubenniere in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Playing opposite Emily is another Heritage import, Lance Ashmore. Lance comes to Charlottesville by way of Cygnet,, Ohio…and thanks in part to the powers of YouTube. “I am not exactly what you’d call an early adapter when it comes to the technological revolution,” Chapel said, “but thanks to this show I am further along than I used to be! Lance auditioned for me on YouTube, and I am delighted to have found him. 

The 2010 Heritage Theatre Festival season will continue at Culbreth Theatre with A Tuna Christmas, which will once again rely on the power of two talented actor/comedians, Evan Bridenstine and J.P. Scheidler, to bring to life the entire wacky town of Tuna, Texas as it gets ready to celebrate the holidays as only the fine folks of Tuna can.  A Tuna Christmas, written by Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, and directed by William Howard Rough, will run from July 15-17 and August 2 & 5.

The Heritage Season will also include Neil Simon’s classic comedy Barefoot in the Park (opening July 22) and the wildly popular word-jumbled comedy, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which opens on July 29.

For complete ticket and schedule information or to order your tickets today, visit www.uvahtf.org or call the box office at 34-924-3376.

Press photos are available at http://www.virginia.edu/heritagetheatre/pressCenter.htm.

Heritage Theatre Festival Publicist-
John Kelly
John Kelly PR