LEAVENWORTH — Leavenworth Summer Theater (LST) at the Ski Hill comes alive Friday with the 27th annual production of “The Sound of Music.”
LST’s summer stock continues this July and August when Hatchery Stage hosts “The Music Man” and then back to the Ski Hill for “The Secret Garden” musical.
Actor Maria Tramontozzi is in Leavenworth from Manhattan to play the iconic roles of both Maria Rainer and Marian Paroo, to be the nun and the librarian, to sing “My Favorite Things” and “Till There Was You” and other favorite musical numbers.
She is also cast in “The Secret Garden” as Lily, the character of Mary’s aunt and Archibald Craven’s wife who died of a tragic accident within her garden and metaphorically haunts the walls of Misselthwaite Manor.
As a graduate of Manhattan School of Music in Musical Theatre, Tramontozzi is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts program at Columbia University for Music and Music Education.
Columbia Director Anne Bogart says in the book “A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre” that artists stand on the shoulders of giants. In this LST season, that’s the likes of Julie Andrews and Shirley Jones from the popular 1965 and 1962 film versions of these stage musicals by Rodger & Hammerstein and Meredith Willson.
Since rehearsals have begun, Tramontozzi says that the scenic Leavenworth venues are “a literal and metaphorical breath of fresh air. A beautiful, beautiful place to be. And the three stories I’m telling are so fantastic and to do them outside is a dream.”
“These shows are so children-centered and children bring such light and gifts and positivity and natural instincts to the stage…I’m glad I took those classes because I have knowledge of how children process music and learn material.”
This year LST cast 58 total actors who are all paid stipends. Touring actors are here from Texas, Georgia, Utah and New Jersey for LST’s 28th season, as well as local actors.
Some of these people return again and again for a role, such as Susan Gubsch who is a teacher in Cashmere in her 24th season as Mother Abbess with LST. Tiffany Mausser directs an 11th show with the company.
In “The Music Man” Harold Hill will be played by Jeff Heminger, who met his wife at LST more than a decade ago, and now three of their five kids are in “Sound of Music” this year.
LST Executive Director Christy Shearer says LST productions’ typical audiences include entire Leavenworth families, as well as tour buses from Canada and tourists from Japan and other parts of Asia who visit the Bavarian village.
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