Almost 50 years after the famed movie, “The Sound of Music,” Hudson is not only honoring the film but also welcoming back one of the original cast members.
Bringing the show to reality started in April when Hudson Dinner Theatre Director Keith Smith met “Sound of Music” cast member Dan Truhitte at a restaurant in Concord where the star resides. After their meeting the two men began emailing and calling about ideas for the show. Smith said he didn't know what kind of role Truhitte would play, but he wanted to try and include him somehow. Now, some months later Truhitte is gearing up to play Captain Georg von Trapp years after playing Rolf Gruber.
Truhitte started as a dancer at a very young age studying tap, gymnastics and ballet. Truhitte also took voice lessons. At the age of 17 he was awarded a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse. Truhitte said at that time he was known as a triple-threat. Truhitte's beginning with the classic started when he first auditioned, reading the crypt scene from the end of the movie. He then asked if he could sing and began singing the classic song, “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” At the age of 20 he was the last role cast in the movie. He said he remembers sitting right behind Julie Andrews, who played Maria, while watching film from the previous day. Truhitte admitted to not really paying attention because he was trying to figure out what he was going to say to her.
“We knew we had something special,” Truhitte said. “We had the makings of success.”
Years later Truhitte and the dinner theatre cast still have something special. With a cast of 50, Truhitte said he is just as excited to do the play in Hudson as he was to play Rolf in the movie. He said as he plays the role its all about developing a character that is bigger than life but at the same time believable. Truhitte praised the dinner theatre building and the true dinner theatre experience. He said he believes it will be a production like guests have never seen before.
“They will be talking about it long after the show,” Truhitte said.
Others excited for the show include the first time actor and Rolf character, Jimmy Kurts. Like Truhitte's famed role, Kurts was cast last for the Hudson production. Kurts said acting is something he has wanted to get into and plans to continue his career. While preparing for his first role
he said he has spent two to three nights with the cast. He also said he was grateful to work with Truhitte. The training was set to continue for Kurts including voice lessons from Truhitte. Kurts also said he looked forward to playing a somewhat bad guy because that is not him in real life.
“Not everyone get a movie star as a mentor,” Kurts said.
Seasoned Maria actress Julie McGrath said she was also looking forward to working closely with Truhitte and couldn't believe his generosity. McGrath has also turned the show into a family affair, with three of her kids playing von Trapp children. McGrath said as a child she dreamed of playing Gretl and now her seven year-old is playing the part. She said she believes the show is one with a great wholesome message and believes it also stays with viewers.
“It is wonderful to hear the music around the house,” McGrath said.
“The Sound of Music” is scheduled for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19 at the Hudson Uptown Building (HUB) 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson, NC 28638. The dinner will be catered by Dan’l Boone Inn with fried chicken, country ham, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, stewed apples, biscuits, strawberry shortcake, tea and coffee. The dinner is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the show are $30 for the dinner and show, $15 for adult show only and $10 for students, K-12, show only. To make reservations call 828-728-8271. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.