The cast of Lyric's all-new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's masterpiece, The Sound of Music, is taking shape.
In addition to Titanic star and Chicago native Billy Zane as Captain von Trapp, Broadway baby Jenn Gambatese as Maria, Edward Hibbert (a star of Broadway and TV) as Max, and opera luminaries Christine Brewer and Elizabeth Futral (as the Mother Abbess and Elsa Schraeder, respectively), Lyric has just announced a lineup of stellar young actors as the rambunctious brood.
Here are some fun facts about the talented crew that makes up the von Trapp Family Singers!
Betsy Farrar (Liesl): Liesl might be 16 going on 17, but Betsy has a wealth of stage credits to her name. She can be seen now in Gypsy at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The Ball State University graduate's other Chicago credits include Hello, Dolly! (Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook) and the Apollo Theater's Million Dollar Quartet.
Brady Tutton (Friedrich): This fearless Friedrich enjoys extreme sports like skateboarding, snowboarding and wakeboarding. You might have previously seen him on Chicago Fire and heard him as the voice of Jack on Disney's Doc McStuffins.
Julia Schweizer (Louisa): Julia loves snow days (and she's had plenty of opportunities this winter!) as well as cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery and spending time with her family and friends. She has appeared in productions of Beauty & the Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Sound of Music at The Muny in St. Louis.
Michael Harp (Kurt): Michael is an accomplished dancer (tap, ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop) and has appeared in numerous musicals at The Muny in St. Louis including Bye Bye Birdie, Les Misérables, Damn Yankees, Shrek the Musical, and Mary Poppins.
Isabelle Roberts (Brigitta): Isabelle loves tumbling and circus arts-in addition to piano and percussion-and recently appeared in the role of Young Fiona in Shrek the Musical at Northwestern University.
KyLee Hennes (Marta): KyLee has been singing in church since she was 5. With her sisters and classmates she formed a band (Drivin' Hennes) to play at church picnics. In addition to her singing and acting prowess, she has a black belt in tae kwon do.
Nicole Scimeca (Gretl): Nicole likes playing dress up and singing show tunes. She first appeared onstage when she was only 2 in The Music Man. She's been in regional community theater productions of Beauty & the Beast, Bye Bye Birdie, and most recently Oliver!
Photo top row: Betsy Farrar (credit Claire Buffie), Brady Tutton (credit Sherry Bell Photography). Middle: Julia Schweizer (credit Lance Tilford Photography), Michael Harp (credit Lance Tilford Photography), Isabelle Roberts (credit Popio Stumpf Photography). Bottom: KyLee Hennes (credit Ross Zentner Photography), Nicole Scimeca (credit Zoe McKenzie Photography).