News Column

16 Going on 70

October 3, 2013


Oct. 03--HUDSON -- Dan Truhitte says 64 is his lucky number.

He's been performing for 64 years now, and 1964 was the year he landed a role in "The Sound of Music."

Truhitte is proof that age is just a number. He still performs, and he still has a connection to "The Sound of Music," one of the biggest money-making musicals of all-time. Truhitte starred in the film adaptation, which was released in 1965.

In the film, he is known for his performance as Rolf in the duet "Sixteen Going on Seventeen," The gazebo scene, in which lovers Rolf and Liesl perform the song was the last scene filmed, according to Truhitte. He also said that the actress who played Liesl in the duet was older than he was.

Truhitte will star in the role of Captain Von Trapp in the stage production of the musical at Hudson Dinner Theatre. The production opens Oct.10.

Truhitte grew up in the 1950s when musicals were in demand. He paid close attention to the likes of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. He began singing and dancing young, so that one day, he'd be a versatile actor.

Tired of the hustle and bustle of California and ready for a fresh start, Truhitte moved to North Carolina in the late 1980s. He said North Carolina has all the natural wonders California but is more affordable. He says the move is the smartest thing he ever did.

Today, Truhitte, 70, lives in Concord with his wife, TJ, and he has three sons and six grandkids.

"We're looking for our seventh, and then we'll do our own Sound of Music," Truhitte said.

Truhitte said acting in a stage production takes different preparation than a film production.

"In film, it's very forgiving," Truhitte said. "You can reshoot and do a different take. Your length of memorization is very short."

Truhitte says there's also some difference between the film and the stage production, which producers found too sweet. The film has a bit of a dark side, and Truhitte was instrumental in that.

"The first scene I had to do was find the family and blow the whistle," Truhitte said. "Rolf does not blow the whistle in the Broadway show."

Preparing for the role has been time-consuming. Truhitte said he's been driving about two hours a day back and forth from rehearsals, but he's thankful to be in Hickory.

"I'm glad I had the chance to spend some time here," Truhitte said.

Performances of "The Sound of Music will run Oct. 10, 11, 12, 17, 18 and 19, with dinner served at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. The theatre is located at 145 Cedar Valley Road.

Dinner will be fried chicken, country ham, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, stewed apples, biscuits, strawberry shortcake and tea and coffee. The caterer will be Dan'l Boone Inn.

To make a reservation, drop by the HUB Box Office, or call (828)726-8871 on weekdays.


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