Sarasota Fla. (February 20, 2020) – Growing up, Maria Wirries wanted to see the world.
She left Sarasota to enroll in the Musical Theatre program at Penn State University and immediately after graduation embarked on a national tour as part of the cast of the Tony Award-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Next month, Wirries will take a brief break from her tour to return to her hometown and perform with the Sarasota Orchestra in a special concert titled, “My Favorite Things.” The 22-year-old promises to deliver a performance that will showcase her new appreciation for Sarasota as her favorite music and arts town.
Wirries, 22, will join Principal Pops Conductor Andrew Lane as he leads the Sarasota Orchestra in a musical revue featuring Wirries and voices of the Center Stage Singers March 6-7. Wirries collaborated with Lane to come up with songs that were mutual favorites and will surely resonate with audiences. The “My Favorite Things” song list includes showstoppers from The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia!, Les Misérables, and more.
“I’m a complete sucker for traditional musical theater songs,” Wirries said from Canada where Dear Evan Hansen is playing. “I jumped at them immediately.”
Wirries is 17 months into a 2-year contract with Dear Evan Hansen where she serves as an understudy in two roles: Zoe Murphy, the title character’s love interest, and his school friend, Alana Beck. The play won six Tony Awards in 2017 and to date, Wirries has participated in 560 shows in 38 cities.
Wirries explores the arts scene wherever the production takes her and counts Portland and Nashville as among her favorites. But nothing, she has learned, compares to Sarasota.
“I didn’t realize that not every city is as fortunate to be surrounded by generous people who love and support the arts as Sarasota,” Wirries said. “Growing up, I was surrounded by it. We have the arts, along with the beach and good weather. We are so lucky.”
Wirries, spent her childhood performing in the Sarasota area and considers the Sarasota Orchestra as an important part of her upbringing. She trained as a singer, actor, dancer, musician, composer, and a rated competitive figure skater. She has performed with the Sarasota Orchestra in their Masterworks and Pops Concert Series, the Sarasota Orchestra Jazz Ensemble, at the Players Theater, and at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
More than 20 of Wirrie’s family members have tickets to the upcoming performance. She’ll be surrounded by her favorite people in her favorite arts city doing her most favorite thing.
The last song of the concert is also one of her favorites. Which one is it?
“I suggested it,” she said, with delight in her voice. “But it’s a surprise. You’ll just have to go to the concert and see.”
My Favorite Things will be held March 6 and 7 at Van Wezel. Tickets are still available.
When: Friday, March 6, 2020, 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 7, 2020, 2:30 pm
Saturday, March 7, 2020, 8:00 pm
Where: Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
777 N Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34236
Tickets from $37. Please call the box office at (941) 953-3434, or visit www.SarasotaOrchestra.org to purchase tickets.
Images: Additional high-resolution photography is available on the Sarasota Orchestra media page http://www.sarasotaorchestra.org/download
About Sarasota Orchestra
For 70 years, the Sarasota Orchestra has been engaging music lovers from around the region, and visitors from around the world. The Orchestra performs more than 125 classical, Pops, education and community engagement concerts each year, and thrives as the oldest continuing orchestra in the state of Florida. Youth programs provide concert experiences for about 10,000 students per year, and includes an extensive youth orchestra program of seven ensembles and about 350 students. The Sarasota Music Festival is a world-renowned performance and teaching festival that attracts young musicians and faculty from across the globe each June.