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Drury Lane's The Sound of Music a family show - on many levels

At least eight local families had two or more members participating, either on stage or behind the scenes
(Left to right) Charlie Bender, Mia Hickey, Rachel Jackson, Nate Snell and Rachel Kennedy; (front row) Avery Arruda, Carleigh Helik and Erin Close on stage at The Loft..

For many, The Sound of Music is a holiday movie-watching tradition, beloved by multiple generations. But Drury Lane’s fall production of the iconic show, which ran until Nov. 26 at “The Loft” at the corner of Drury Lane and New St., was a family musical in more ways than one.

That’s because, in that show, there were at least two people from eight different families participating together either on or backstage.

Mother Abbess (Lucy McGhee) is married to one of the men in the ensemble (Brant McGhee). Sister Berthe’s husband helped with the sound (Carrie and Rob Mines). Sister Margaretta and Liesl, played by Anne Kennedy and Rachel Kennedy, are mother and daughter. And Barb Osborne, the show’s stage manager, got to see her husband, Dave, on stage every night as Captain von Trapp.

Team Rodgers and Team Hammerstein, the two casts who played the von Trapp children, also had lots of family connections, from parents and grandparents volunteering down in the theatre’s green room to parents in the cast watching from the wings, to real-life siblings sharing the stage.

Dave Osborne as Captain von Trapp and Erin Clost as Maria, in this fall's production of The Sound of Music. Heather Pierorazio photo

Eli Gougeon, who played Friedrich in the Rodgers cast, is actually the real-life brother of Hailey Gougeon, who played Marta in the same cast. Calleis Pollack, who played Gretl in the Rodgers cast, is the daughter of Dave Pollack, who is in the ensemble.

Michelle Bender, who played a number of roles in the production, was sharing the stage for the first time with her son Charlie, who played Kurt in the Hammerstein cast. For her, it was a lifelong dream come true.

“Even before I had children, it was a dream of mine that we would one day be in a show together,” she explains. “I’m so proud of Charlie, and it’s been incredible to have this experience together.”

Charlie was just as happy to be on stage with his mom. “I’ve seen my mom in shows before, and she’s really good,” he says. “It was great to be in a show together – I had a lot of fun.”

For Barb and Dave Osborne, working on a show together isn’t new; they’ve done six shows at Drury Lane and say community theatre is an important part of their lives.

“I know how talented Dave is, so I love watching him work,” says Barb. “We get to see each other in our elements – and it’s a great way to be creative together.”

After a sold-out run, Drury Lane’s production of The Sound of Music has now wrapped up – but there’s lots more going on at The Loft! To find out about upcoming shows in the season – including Aladdin, this year’s Christmas pantomime – go to the Drury Lane website.

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Sara Laux

About the Author: Sara Laux

Sara Laux is the manager of communications for the Faculty of Humanities at McMaster University, and an active freelance writer, actor and musician.
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