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updated: 11/5/2012 7:17 PM

Wheaton Drama presents family classic and a lively new work

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  • Maria (Rachelle Kates, center) sings to the von Trapp children (L-R Alexandra Burkhardt, Gwen Royle, Brock Royle, Anna Chase Lanier, Daniel Flage, Teagan Earley, Tyler Berger) in Wheaton Drama's production of "The Sound of Music".

      Maria (Rachelle Kates, center) sings to the von Trapp children (L-R Alexandra Burkhardt, Gwen Royle, Brock Royle, Anna Chase Lanier, Daniel Flage, Teagan Earley, Tyler Berger) in Wheaton Drama's production of "The Sound of Music".
    Ken Beach

 
Jo-Ann Ledger

Wheaton Drama, Inc. is bringing two feel-good shows to theatre audiences in November.

Opening November 9 at Wheaton Drama's Playhouse 111 is the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, "The Sound of Music". Director Jim Liesz notes, "It is a heartwarming story filled with familiar songs that people love to both sing and listen to over and over again." Beloved songs include "Do-Re-Mi", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", "Edelweiss", and "My Favorite Things".

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It is not just the music that makes this an audience favorite. Jim explains that the von Trapps, upon whom the musical is based, "is a family that did not compromise on its principles. (They) beat all-odds to retain freedom." The self-discovery, love, humor, hope, and strength in adversity seen in "The Sound of Music" have made the show very popular.

Jim and his production staff won't be surprised if there are repeat visits from audiences, especially since a number of the roles have been double cast. Performance schedules were planned to allow the principal actors and understudies time in the spotlight during the five-weekend run. Jim is very pleased with the cast. "We have a brilliantly talented cast assembled, almost 70 strong, to allow our audiences to relive the splendor of the Austrian Alps."

With marvelous music, an uplifting story, and a cast, crew, and set that is the quite possibly the largest Wheaton Drama has seen, the show is ready to deliver big entertainment.

"The Sound of Music" has music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Suggested by "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers". The show is licensed by R&H Theatricals. Performances are at 8pm Thursdays-Saturdays; 3pm Sundays from November 9 to December 9, 2012. No show Thanksgiving Day. Tickets are $18 for Thursdays; $21 Fridays-Sundays. Visit http://www.wheatondrama.org or call 630-260-1820 to purchase tickets.

Smaller in scale than "The Sound of Music" but certainly no less enjoyable is Jenna Eisenberg's one-woman show, "The Good Life Cafe". Performed at Playhouse 111 at 3pm on November 10 only, "The Good Life Cafe" takes audiences on an entertaining journey of discovery. In Jenna's self-scripted tale of realizing dreams and taking action, she explains, "You will meet a Midwestern teacher, a French chef, an outrageous New Yorker and a Jewish grandmother. They each share themselves through story, song and humor. This is a show that will make you laugh, make you cry and make you think!"

A portion of the ticket sales from "The Good Life Cafe" will benefit the People's Resource Center. Tickets to "The Good Life Cafe" are just $10 and can be purchased at http://www.wheatondrama.org or by calling 630-260-1820.

Wheaton Drama's 2012-2013 season also includes "It's A Wonderful Life - Radio Show" (December 14-16, 2012), "Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure" (January 25-February 17, 2013), "Full Circle" (March 15-April 7, 2013), and "Into the Woods" (May 17-June 9, 2013). In addition to regular performances, an education programme for young people begins in January 2013. Please visit the Wheaton Drama website at http://www.wheatondrama.org for additional information.

At play since 191, Wheaton Drama's productions are staged at Playhouse 111, 111 N. Hale Street, Wheaton, IL 60187. Follow on Twitter at WDIpublicity.

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