While he’s a Rodgers & Hammerstein pro by now, Ben Davis (Captain von Trapp) thinks the show is lucky to have newcomer Kerstin Anderson playing Maria, the young nun-in-training dispatched to care for the von Trapp children.
Anderson won the role while a sophomore at Pace University in New York. The Broadway in Atlanta staging is her first professional job.
“She is such a fresh and kind of unadulterated version of Maria,” Davis says. “There’s no filter. She just turned 21! I think it’s vital in the show because it changes the entire dynamic between her and the kids.”
Mary Martin was a “youthful” 46 when she originated the role in 1959. For this production, director Jack O’Brien “went looking for someone with star-making magic.” Says O’Brien: Anderson walked through the audition door, “opened her mouth, sang and the tears welled up in my eyes.”
— Julie Bookman