Saturday, December 6, 2014

The "Ville" Is Alive With The "Sound Of Music"

It was "clothes from curtains" up for the opening performance of "Sound of Music" at the James F. Dean Theatre on December 5th--the enduring musical inspired by the music and lyrics of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The message from the melodious sound was loud and distinct--don't miss the remaining performances.

"Sound of Music" is a book written by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse turned into a musical loosely based on Marie Von Trapp's autobiography "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers." The original Broadway production starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel opened on November 16, 1959. Probably, the most remembered of the adaptations was the film released in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

Veteran director Monica Shows and musical director David McLaughlin pinned down a worthy cloud of singers and performers. From the collection of ladies portraying the symphonic nuns to the group of youngsters portraying the children of the Von Trapp family, they pooled together a successful partnership of talent. The youngsters ranging in age from 6-17 were a joy to watch and at times provided the "Ah" factor.

Set design was detailed elegantly with smooth transitions between changing scenes, which was creatively supported by the use of a blank curtain. The costumes were numerous and colorful thanks to Patti Kelly and team. Daniel Lungs choreographed dance scenes were executed well.

How did Monica and David solve the problem called Maria?--Sarah Farra. With excelling versatility and colorful body language, Sarah showered the stage with Champagne enthusiasm from the moment she descended the theater stairs. As the free-spirited, free-singing governess, her excelling moments were her interactions with the cast of Von Trapp children beginning with "Do-Re-Mi." Suitably paired with Sarah as the strict, military father was Keith Timmons(Captain Von Trapp). Keith graced the stage with the necessary determined and polished deportment reflected in his character, but puts you at ease with his soothing, baritone voice.

Olivia Juretich was a standout as the 16 year old love-struck Leisl. Her collaboration with Chase Street(Rolf) in "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" was a play highlight—both demonstrating controlled vocals and dance moves. Matt Sims(Max Detweiler) opportunistic ways and quirky sophistication provided some laughs. Cynthia McLaughlin as the understanding and authoritative Mother Abbess blew the top off the Austrian Alps with her operatic vocals. Congratulations to the whole cast and crew.

After returning home from the after party, I am not embarrassed to admit I caught myself singing some of the lyrics from play favorites like "Maria," "Do-Re-Me," and "My Favorite Things" to name a few. It’s just that kind of play and that kind of music. It is old-fashioned. It leaves you with a warm feeling. It leaves you with the idea light and virtue can still triumph in an otherwise dark and cruel world. "Sound of Music" is a play that grows on you like Edelweiss on the Alps and the Flowertown Players in Summerville.

Von Trapp Children - Group 1
Friederich, age 14-Trevor Bierd
Louisa, age 13-Riley Hatch
Kurt, age 11-Taran Gabriel
Brigitte, age 9-Lilly Smith
Marta, age 7-Caitlyn Campbell
Gretyl, age 6-Alana Armenti

Von Trapp Children- Group 2
Friederich, age 14-Andrew Hebert
Louisa, age 13-Rayleigh Deaton
Kurt, age 11-John Luke Taylor
Brigitte, age 9-Julia Maguire
Marta, age 7-Alanna Campbell
Gretyl, age 6-Lexia Woods

Purchase tickets at Flowertown Players.

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