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An Interview with Ashley Blanchet

By Flisadam Pointer

originally published: 12/04/2022

An Interview with Ashley Blanchet

(MILLBURN, NJ) -- Paper Mill Playhouse is presenting The Sound of Music now through Sunday, January 1, 2023. Celebrate the holidays with the heart-soaring melodies of The Sound of Music, including such beloved gems as “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss,” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.”  Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final musical conjures an Austria replete with rolling hills, singing nuns, and a tender love story, set in the shadow of World War II.

Flisadam Pointer interviewed Ashley Blanchet who plays Maria Rainer in the production.

The production features Ashley Blanchet (Paper Mill’s Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Broadway’s Waitress) as Maria Rainer, Graham Rowat (Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, Sunset Boulevard) as Captain Georg von Trapp, Cáitlín Burke (The Sound of Music national tour) as Mother Abbess, Emily Borromeo (Broadway’s School of Rock, The Prom first national tour) as Elsa Schraeder, Gavin Lee (Paper Mill’s Beauty and the Beast, Broadway’s SpongeBob SquarePants) as Max Detweiler, Analise Scarpaci (Broadway’s Mrs. Doubtfire, Matilda) as Liesl von Trapp, Andrew Alstat as Rolf Gruber (Grease at Cape Playhouse, The Sound of Music at the Muny), Stacia Fernandez (Paper Mill’s Beauty and the Beast, Broadway’s Mamma Mia!) as Frau Schmidt, Christopher Gurr (Paper Mill’s The Sting, Broadway’s Kinky Boots) as Herr Zeller, Paul Slade Smith (Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, My Fair Lady) as Franz, and Mark Banik (Beautiful first national tour) as Admiral von Schreiber.

The von Trapp children will be played by Coleman Simmons (age 14, from West Orange, NJ) as Friedrich, Jacey Sink (age 12, from Summit, NJ) as Louisa, Cody Braverman (age 10, from Short Hills, NJ) as Kurt, Tara Rajan (age 9, from Sands Point, NY) as Brigitta, Austin Elle Fisher (age 9, from Tinton Falls, NJ) as Marta, Charlotte Sydney Harrington (age 7, from Shelton, CT) as Gretl, and standbys Charlotte Ewing (age 11, from Chatham, NJ) and Ethan Joseph (age 12, from Somerset, NJ).

The ensemble cast features Griffin Binnicker, Dean Cestari, Brittany Conigatti, Nick Davis, Vincent DiPeri, Madeleine Doherty, Eric Michael Gillett, Gina Hanzlik, Katie Horner, Mary Illes, Meredith Lustig, Kate Mazza, Christine Price, Chandler Reeves, Emily Royer, Kayleen Seidl, Ariana Valdes, and Kai B. White.

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Directed by Paper Mill’s Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee, The Sound of Music features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Kenny Ingram (Paper Mill’s Songs for a New WorldA Jolly Holiday and Dreamgirls) returns to choreograph, alongside Meg Zervoulis (Broadway’s Funny Girl and 2020 West Side Story revival) as music director and conductor.

PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is a nationally renowned not-for-profit theater under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Michael Stotts (Managing Director). A beloved New Jersey arts institution since 1938, Paper Mill creates and produces groundbreaking new musicals and reimagined classics.

Flisadam Pointer is a New Jersey-based multimedia journalist. With a background in live entertainment, Flisadam's passion is showcasing performances across disciplines. As the editor-in-chief of ENVERT she focuses on highlighting the independent entertainment community. Click here for her complete bio.



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