Pickerington High School Central will be alive with "The Sound of Music" this weekend when the school's theater department performs the popular musical.

Pickerington High School Central will be alive with "The Sound of Music" this weekend when the school's theater department performs the popular musical.

On Thursday, March 24, the high school theater department will begin a four-night run of "The Sound of Music" at the Performing Arts Center.

The shows will recreate scenes from the 1959 musical by Richard Rogers, complete with performances of well-known songs such "The Sound of Music," "Edelweiss," "My Favorite Things," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and "Do-Re-Mi."

It also will include a special reunion on at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 24, when Pickerington graduates who performed in the district's 1984, 1994 and 2004 productions of "The Sound of Music" will be invited to recount memories and catch up at a reception in the PHS Central Commons.

"It's funny because we have done 'The Sound of Music' three other times (1984, 1994 and 2004)," said director Shannon Cook. "So everyone's asking why we're doing it two years early.

"The truth is, we have some great talent this year and 'The Sound of Music' showcases lots of talent. There are many lead and featured parts, which helps me showcase talent and build new talent."

Cook said this year's production will feature a 70-student cast. Another 25 make up the shows' crew. Additionally, there will be a 35-member orchestra.

Show times are 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, and Friday, March 23.

On Saturday, March 24, there will be performances at 2 and 8 p.m., and the finale will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 25.

Tickets for each show are $10 for adults and $7 for students. They can be reserved by emailing Cook at Shannon_cook@plsd.us, or by calling (614) 833-3043.

Tickets also will be available at the door prior to each performance.

"As usual, it's a great cast," Cook said. "Kristin Lawler, who plays Maria, is a senior. When the curtain came up at rehearsal yesterday and she sang 'The Sound of Music,' it gave me chills. She is an amazing singer and will be majoring in vocal performance in college.

"David Drummond, who plays Captain von Trapp, does a great job. He is a junior and is no stranger to the stage. He has had lead parts in shows since he was a freshman.

"Emily Sharrett who plays Brigitta von Trapp, played the youngest girl, Gretl, in the 2004 cast," she said. "She is now a senior planning to attend Miami University in the fall."

Cook said the show was so popular during tryouts that she had to get creative to find enough parts to go around and include as much student talent as she could.

"The 'kids' are great," she said. "We have double-cast the three youngest family members in an attempt to feature more kids. They will alternate performances. We had over 120 kids try out for these six places in the cast. As you can imagine, they are all very talented."

Cook and the cast also are looking forward to reconnecting and sharing experiences with past "The Sound of Music" performers, including her former theater director, Margaret Lawson, who led the theater departments at Pickerington High School and PHS North until her retirement following the 2010-11 school year.

In addition to a reunion reception, prior cast members will be invited to the front of the auditorium on Saturday night to sing "Edelweiss" with this year's cast.

"I was in the 1994 cast and directed the show in 2004," Cook said. "I thought it would be a good way to celebrate three decades of Pickerington theater.

"Also, Margaret Lawson, who was the director at PHS since 1980, retired from PHS North last year. She will be at the reunion and I think it's a great way to honor her. She was my director and has inspired so many students."