Most of us have lost count of the times we’ve seen Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music.”
While some may have tired of the nun-turned-nanny saga, most fans wouldn’t think of missing an opportunity to revisit the Tony and Oscar-winning musical. Devotees even sat through NBC’s much maligned, live telecast version with its fake Alps.
The musical features a handsome widower/Austrian Navy Captain, an aspiring postulant with a vivacious spirit, a wise Mother Superior and her clan of nuns, a cynical best friend, a sophisticated divorcee, seven mischievous children, a Nazi-friendly housekeeper and butler, and a teenage boy who’s joined the Youth-for-Hitler movement. All the show lacks is a dog.
The latest North American touring production of “The Sound of Music” is playing Seattle’s Paramount Theatre September 6th-11th. Ted Chapin, President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization (Theater insiders consider him to be the nanny/guardian of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s cannon.), promises a fresh new version of the mega-musical–a rediscovery so to speak.
The new cast has a slew of regional theater credits. Jill-Christine Wiley plays the role of Maria Ranier. She joins the cast that includes Mike McLean as Captain Von Trapp, Jake Mills as Max Detweiler, Melissa McKamie as Elsa Schraeder, Chad P. Campbell as Rolf, and Keslie Ward as Liesl.
With Mary Martin (Broadway) and Julie Andrews (film) both owning the role, actors can be intimidated. But enthusiasm triumphs over trepidation. Many a star has risen from the ranks of national tours.
Matt Lenz helms this new touring company, based on the direction of the original national tour’s direction by Tony Award-winning director Jack O’Brien. Lenz has an extensive theatrical background, ranging from regional to Broadway productions.
Musicals sometimes lose the luster and diminish artistically the more frequently they tour. Producers cut costs, counting on the reputation and popularity of the show to sell tickets. According to Chapin, this is not the case with this new touring company.
Unless you are a hermit, you’re familiar with the score. Musical theater buffs know the tunes by heart: The title song, “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” “Climb Every Mountain,” “Edelweiss,” and “The Lonely Goatherd,” although yodeling can be a bit of a leap.
Somewhere in our vast world, “The Sound of Music” is always playing, be it high school, community theater, regional theater, or a Broadway revival. The hardest of hearts may not admit it, but they might have a secret crush on Maria. Or maybe the Captain or young Rolf. Or even one of the nuns.
Let’s face it. This feel-good, based-on-true-events musical still carries a timeless message: Joy, love, and music, at least on the stage, can win out over hate, bigotry, and tyranny.
“The Sound of Music” runs Sept 6th-11th at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre. Tickets are available online at STGPresents.org; Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000; or in person at The Paramount Theatre Box Office (Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm).
Jill-Christine Wiley as Maria
Mike McLean as Captain Von Trapp
Lauren Kidwell as the Mother Abbess
Jake Mills as Max Detweiler
Melissa McKamie as Elsa Schraeder
Chad P. Campbell as Rolf
Kelsie Ward as Liesl
Landon Brimacombe as Friedrich
Maya Karp as Louisa
Arick Brooks as Kurt
Katie Grgecic as Brigitta
Amaryllis C, Miller as Marta
Madeleine Guilbot as Gretl
Sarah Brackett as Ursula
Stephanie Gray as Frau Schmidt
Isaac Ryckeghem as Franz
Jeff Brooks as Admiral von Schreiber
Adam Ross Glickman as Herr Zeller
Danielle Lee James as Sister Berthe
Allison Macri as Sister Margaretta
Melissa Weyn as Sister Sophia
Randy Charleville as Baron Elberfeld
Ariana Valdes as Baroness Elberfeld
Ensemble: Mackenzie Dade. Caleb Adams, Colten Blair, Annie Sherman
Swing: Thanos Skouteris, Christina Tompkins
Directed by Matt Lenz, based on Jack O’Brien’s original direction.
Music and Lyrics by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse
Musical Supervision by Andy Einhorn
Choreography recreated by Jonathan Warren, based on Danny Mefford’s original choreography
Costume Design by Jane Greenwood
Set Design by Douglas Schmidt
Lighting Design by Natasha Katz
Sound Design by Shannon Slaton
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