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Casting Announced for The Sound of Music-including American Idol finalist

Casting Announced for the Holiday Treat that Makes the World Sing!


Millburn, NJ- Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee- Producing Artistic Director, Todd Schmidt-Managing Director) is pleased to announce the cast for its holiday musical masterpiece, The Sound of Music. One of the most beloved and inspirational stories of all time, this tale of love and courage is Rodgers and Hammerstein's final triumphant collaboration. Directed and choreographed by Paper Mill Playhouse favorite James Brennan, The Sound of Music will bring families of all ages together this holiday season. Leading the cast are Ben Davis as Captain Georg von Trapp, Elena Shaddow as Maria von Trapp, Edward Hibbert as Max, Donna English as Elsa Schraeder, Chelsea Morgan Stock as Liesl, and American Idol finalist Anthony Fedorov as Rolf. The Sound of Music will run at the Millburn, New Jersey, theater from November 23 to December 30, 2012. The official press opening is Sunday, November 25, at 7:00pm.  


Based on the true story of the von Trapp family, The Sound of Music has become a beacon of hope and joy for generations. Audiences will revel in the glorious sounds of iconic melodies like "My Favorite Things," "Edelweiss," and "Climb Every Mountain." Talkin’ Broadway writes, "Paper Mill is in top form doing what it does best and it is now the place to be for those who love American musicals. When it comes to revivals of major Broadway musicals, Paper Mill Playhouse has few equals. So when that major revival is Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, there is cause for joy." 


The Sound of Music will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Please visit the Paper Mill Playhouse website or call the box office (973.376.4343) for special holiday schedules. Single tickets are on sale now and range from $26 to $97. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680.  The Sound of Music is generously supported by a grant from The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.


The von Trapp family consists of: Ben Davis (New York, NY) as Captain Georg, Elena Shaddow (Ho-Ho- Kus, NJ) as Maria, Chelsea Morgan Stock (New York, NY) as Liesl, Gracie Beardsley (Summit, NJ) as Marta, Greta Clark (Fenton, MO) as Gretl, Maya Fortgang (Verona, NJ) as Brigitta, Amanda Harris (Montclair, NJ) as Louisa, Hunter A. Kovacs (Maplewood, NJ) as Kurt and Sean McManus (Chatham, NJ) as Friedrich. Ben Davis (Captain) was seen on Broadway in A Little Night Music (Mr. Lindquist, Fredrik); Les Misérables (Javert, Enjolras); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon) and Baz Luhrmann’s La Bohème (Marcello, 2003 Tony).  Elena Shaddow (Maria) returns to Paper Mill Playhouse, where she was last seen as Lili in Carnival. On Broadway, Ms. Shaddow appeared as Anne Dindon in the 2010 revival of La Cage aux Folles and was featured in Woman in White, Fiddler on the Roof, Nine, Sweet Smell of Success and Les Misérables. Chelsea Morgan Stock (Liesl) appeared on Broadway in The Little Mermaid (Ariel and Andrina, original cast and recording); Baby It’s You! and Sister Act.


Edward Hibbert, who will play Max Detweiler, appeared on all 11 seasons of Frasier as Gil Chesterton. On Broadway, Hibbert appeared in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Curtains, The Drowsy Chaperone, Noises Off, Me and My Girl, and others. Hibbert was featured with Carol Burnett in Once Upon A Mattress. American Idol finalist Anthony Fedorov will portray Rolf Gruber. After his fourth-place finish on season four of American Idol, Fedorov worked regionally and Off-Broadway as Roger in Rent and Matt in The Fantasticks. Drama Desk Nominee Donna English will play Elsa Schraeder. English returns to Paper Mill, where she has appeared in Hairspray (Velma), Harold and Maude (Mrs. Chasen), and Meet Me in St. Louis (Anna Smith), among others. English’s New York credits include Nice Work If You Can Get It; Madame X (2011 NYMF Outstanding Performance Award), Ruthless! (Drama Desk nomination); and Broadway, directed by George Abbott. Suzanne Ishee will portray the Mother Abbess. Ishee, a resident of New Jersey, appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera, Show Boat and Mame. Robert DuSold will portray Franz.  DuSold appeared on Broadway and in national tour companies of Mamma Mia!, The Producers, Chicago, Jekyll and Hyde, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Phantom of the Opera, Show Boat, Les Misérables, Cats and Evita. Joy Franz will play Frau Schmidt.  Franz appeared on Broadway in Into the Woods (original, revival, and on PBS), A Little Night Music, Company, Pippin, Musical Chairs, Sweet Charity, Open Admissions and Lysistrata.  


Rounding out the cast are: Ashley Kate Adams, Duke Anderson, Allison Blackwell (Sister Sophia), Jonathan Charette, Christine Cornell, Patrick David, Margaret Dietrich, Maggie Finnegan, Osborn Focht (Herr Zeller), Kera Halbersleben, Jenavene Hester, Dennis Holland (Baron Elberfeld), Norah Long, Robin Lounsbury, Anna McCarthy, Don Noble (Admiral von Schreiber), Jeannie Shubitz (Sister Margaretta), Adam Soniak, Chris Stevens, Mary Stout (Sister Berthe), Sally Ann Swarm and Nadine Zahr (Baroness Elberfeld).


James Brennan (Director/Choreographer) created the Paper Mill productions of Kiss Me, Kate; She Loves Me; Oklahoma!; Noises Off; Boeing-Boeing; A Wonderful Life; Sound of Music (2003); and Crazy for You (which was telecast on PBS). On Broadway, he directed and choreographed revivals of Porter’s Jubilee and Kern’s Sally, and he appeared in Rodgers & Hart, I Love My Wife, Little Me, 42nd Street, Singin’ in the Rain, Me and My Girl, Crazy for You, and more. Off Broadway, he directed Fanny Hill, Richard Cory, and the New York Philharmonic’s My Fair Lady at Lincoln Center.


Tom Helm (Music Director) has conducted more than 40 productions for Paper Mill Playhouse, including Follies, Crazy For You (also on PBS), The Baker’s Wife, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and She Loves Me. On Broadway: musical director of Les Misérables, Me and My Girl, the Brigadoon revival, musical supervisor of the play-with-music Souvenir with Judy Kaye, as well as some performances of Cats. 


The Sound of Music design team includes: Scenic Designer James Fouchard (Paper Mill Playhouse: Kiss Me, Kate; Joseph/Dreamcoat; and Grease. National tours: Can-Can with Chita Rivera, Joseph /Dreamcoat with Patrick Cassidy, The Show-Off with Jean Stapleton, and many more); Costume Coordinator Amanda Seymour (Armide, Juilliard School; Lydia, Yale Rep and Associate credits on Chaplin, Broadway; Uncle Vanya, Soho Rep; Little House on the Prairie, Paper Mill); Lighting Designer F. Mitchell Dana (Broadway designs include The Suicide, Monday After the Miracle, Freedom of the City, Man and Superman, and The Inspector General. Paper Mill credits include Secret Garden, Miss Saigon, Carousel, Baby, She Loves Me, South Pacific, Peter Pan, Man of La Mancha, and many others); Sound Designer Randy Hansen (Paper Mill Playhouse’s resident sound designer, additionally; Sting: A Winter’s Tale and the Sacred Duke Ellington Concert with Jessye Norman, sound designer for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony); and Hair/Wig Design by Leah Loukas (Broadway: Irena’s Vow, American Idiot and The Public Theater’s Into the Woods, associate designer on Jersey Boys, Memphis, Newsies, and Bring It On) Matthew DiCarlo will serve Production Stage Manager (Broadway: Rock of Ages).


“I’m thrilled to bring this wonderful show back to Millburn,” says Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director for Paper Mill Playhouse. “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is an audience favorite and among the most celebrated titles in the musical theater canon. Time and again, we hear stories from our patrons who bring several generations of family together to enjoy our productions. This family-friendly masterpiece continues this tradition. Bring your family to celebrate with the Paper Mill Playhouse family this holiday season.”


The Sound of Music

Music by Richard Rodgers

Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse

Suggested by "The Trapp Family Singers" by Maria Augusta Trapp

The Sound of Music is generously supported by a grant from The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.


Free Audience Enrichment Activities for The Sound of Music

  • Wed. November 28, 6pm, Art Gallery, Director’s Viewpoint
  • Every Thursday during the show, 6pm, Mezzanine, Conversation Club, Learn more about the show you are about to see, led by members of Paper Mill’s Artistic and Education Departments.
  • Sat. December 15, Following Matinee, Orchestra, Cast Talk-Back Series, Meet the cast and ask actors questions about the show or the role they are portraying.


PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, a not-for-profit arts organization, is one of the country's leading regional theaters. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, A Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.


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Shayne Austin Miller

Director of Press and Public Relations, Paper Mill Playhouse

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Phone: 973.315.1639

Cell: 973.741.8918

Fax: 973.379.4218


Paper Mill Playhouse

22 Brookside Drive

Millburn, NJ 07041 <>