The Sound of Music Opens at Fair Park Music Hall

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NOVEMBER 3-22, 2015

AT THE MUSIC HALL AT FAIR PARK

 

I didn’t really know what to expect before going to see the new production of The Sound of Music on the DSM Stage.   The movie version remains one of my very favorite musicals/movies of all time.  I love everything about it, the music, the romance, the scenery, and the true story of the von Trapp Family.   So I was a little nervous about seeing this new stage production.  How could the producers and director dare to remake such an iconic classic and expect devoted TSOM fans to approve of it?  Sometimes you just don’t mess with perfection right?  Well, not only were they successful in producing a wonderful stage version of the musical but I loved it from start to end.

 

The new production of The Sound of Music features the music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and is directed by three time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien. It’s fun, fresh and gives more depth to the characters that we know and love.  What a great opportunity to introduce this wonderful musical to a whole new generation of theater goers!

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The production is full of extraordinary talent.  The lead of Maria Rainer is  Kerstin Anderson.  Ms. Anderson is a sophomore at Pace University and won the role over hundreds who auditioned.  She’s a very talented jewel who nailed the role on many levels.  And although it may be hard to imagine anyone except Julie Andrews in the role she does a great job and makes the role her own.  Ben Davis as Captain von Trapp gives a solid performance as a nicer, gentler version of the Captain.  Oh he’s still stern and strict in the beginning but softens quickly under Maria’s spell.  One of the real show stoppers in this product is the extremely talented Ashley Brown as Mother Abbess.  She has a voice that you can’t believe exists it’s so strong and beautiful.  Which brings me to the heart and soul of this musical and that are the Von Trapp children.  They are some of most incredibly talented young actors you will ever have the privilege to watch perform.  All seven of them are very well cast from the tiny Gretl to the very talented 16 year old (going on 17) Liesl played by Paige Silvester.  They are a total delight to watch.

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Loved the sets.  Designer Douglas W. Schmidt’s sets are really quite beautiful and contribute tremendously to the overall effect of the musical.  From the beautifully painted Alpine mountain backdrops to the lacy walls of the family mansion and the dark atmosphere of the convent, they are creative and burst with color.

There are a few things in the musical that are different from the original.  The production has added a couple of songs and left out a few scenes that the original had but don’t fret.  I actually didn’t miss them and had a hard time remembering what they were until later.  Our favorite songs are still a mainstay of the musical such as the title song of course “The Sound of Music”, My Favorite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi”, “So Long, Farewell”, and my personal favorite “Edelweiss”.    (Personal note:  Thank you to my grade school music teacher Mrs. Kraft for teaching us to sing these show tunes and many others in music class.  It instilled in me a love for musical theater that lasts to this day.) sound of music photos.jpg2

In the song “Maria” there is a verse in which one of the nuns asks the question about Maria  “How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”.  I believe that’s what they’ve achieved with this new production, they’ve caught a moonbeam in their hands.   Go see it and it will make you fall in love with the musical all over again, I promise.

Fun Facts:

  • 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the film version. One of the most successful movie musicals in history.
  • It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.
  • The original Broadway production, starring Mary Martin, opened on November 16, 1959.  It won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, out of nine nominations. The original London production opened at the Palace Theatre on May 18, 1961.
  • When it came to the movie, Julie Andrews wasn’t the first choice for Maria.  The Producers wanted Grace Kelly or Doris Day to replace her because Andrews wasn’t a big star yet (Mary Poppins hadn’t come out yet).  Doris Day ruled herself out as “too American”.
  • The Sound of Music (1965) was an exceptionally successful film in the mid-1960s – at the time of its release, it surpassed Gone With the Wind (1939) as the number one box office hit of all time.
  • The Sound of Music was the last musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Oscar Hammerstein died of cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.
  • The von Trapps did escape Austria as the Nazis came to power, but they didn’t flee over the Alps, they got on a train to Italy and then traveled to America, where they had a concert tour scheduled. The day after they left, Hitler ordered the Austrian borders shut.
  • When the von Trapps came to America they settled in Stowe, Vermont. They opened the Trapp Family Lodge, which is operational to this day.

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Single tickets for THE SOUND OF MUSIC, from $25 – $106 (pricing subject to change), are now on sale online at DallasSummerMusicals.org, by phone at 1.800.514.ETIX (3849) and at The Box Office, 5959 Royal Lane, Suite 542 in Dallas, TX.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount, priority seating, and many more benefits. Please call 214.426.GROUP (4768) or email Groups@DallasSummerMusicals.org.

Dallas Summer Musicals’ highly anticipated 2015-2016 Season will continue with ELF The Broadway Musical, December 8-20, 2015; THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, February 2-14, 2016; DSM’s production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID, March 11-27, 2016; WICKED, April 20 – May 22, 2016; RAGTIME, May 24 – June 5, 2016; BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, June 14-26, 2016; and closing the season will be 42ND STREET, June 28 – July 10, 2016.

Comments

  1. Larry Pemble says:

    Great review, RPM! Enjoyed reading it and TSOM is still one of my favorite movies.

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