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DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

MARBLE FALLS — When Marble Falls High School choir director Bryce Gage turned to a group of youth to help fill out the cast of “The Sound of Music,” it didn’t take a whole lot of prompting to get the kids ready for the upcoming production.

“Many of them already knew the songs,” Gage said. “This is such a popular musical that a lot of the younger kids and our high school students grew up with it.”

The Marble Falls High School Choir and Musical Theatre Department is producing “The Sound of Music” on Jan. 24 and Jan. 26-28 at the high school auditorium, 2101 Mustang Drive. All show times are 7 p.m. with the exception of the Jan. 27 show, which is 2 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults.

While most of the roles, including the leads of Maria and Capt. Georg von Trapp, are filled by members of the high school choir program, several younger actors will share the stage with them.

One of the beauties of producing such a popular musical is how familiar the entire cast is with the storyline and even the songs.

The musical, written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, first hit the stage in 1959, but it probably didn’t become part of the American culture until 1965, when the movie, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, hit the silver screen. That production makes regular TV appearances, giving new generations an opportunity to experience the story.

For those unfamiliar with the story, the musical tells the tale of the von Trapp family and their governess, Maria. The story is set in Austria during the period just before World War II.

Gage said he selected the musical for several reasons, including the popularity of the story and its music.

“‘The Sound of Music’ is a classic and a great crowd pleaser,” he said. “And it’s one I haven’t produced before or been in.”

While the high school students and their younger studies are familiar with the musical, they’ve still had to put in plenty of hard work preparing for the opening. There is plenty of choreography and songs to get just right.

In past Marble Falls High School choir productions, there was typically a large chorus part, but that’s not the case with “The Sound of Music,” Gage said.

“The show is really carried by individual songs,” he said. “But I think that’s one of the things that makes this particular musical so special.”

Along with the performances, the department has constructed elaborate sets for the musical. Marble Falls Middle School theatre arts teacher Jon Clark spearheaded that effort, Gage said.

The musical features an orchestra complete with a string section from Austin.

“This has the potential to be our best production,” Gage said.

While tickets are available at the door, Gage recommended people call the choir office at (830) 798-3664 and make reservations.

daniel@thepicayune.com