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‘Sound of Music’ at Allenberry Playhouse

July 22, 2012
By JACK FELIX - Sun-Gazette Correspondent , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

BOILING SPRINGS - Although the hills may not be, the Allenberry Playhouse is alive with "The Sound of Music."

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's classic family musical has matinee and evening performances Tuesday through Sunday now through Aug. 12 at the Allenberry Playhouse, 1559 Boiling Springs Road.

"The Sound of Music," set in Salzburg, Austria, before World War II, tells the familiar tale of a young postulant Maria, who leaves the convent to become a governness for the seven children of widowed Captain von Trapp. Endearing herself to the love-starved children by teaching them to sing, Maria also eventually captures the heart of the stern Navy Captain.

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“The Sound of Music” will be performed Tuesday through Sunday now through Aug. 12 at the Allenberry Playhouse, 1559 Boiling Springs Road.

Based upon Maria's memoirs "The Trapp Family "Singers," "The Sound of Music" is best known for the 1965 Oscar-winning "Best Film" and its annual showing on television. The stage version also is notable as Rodgers and Hammerstein's last musical collaboration.

The story and characters still work, as does the wonderful musical score. Allenberry's production never lets the potentially syrupy tale overshadow the romance and serious issues, which are developed with wit and humor.

Sandra Dinse directs with Kathryn Voelker as musical director, the sole instrumentalist on the piano. Elizabeth Angelozzi is the show's choreographer.

Allenberry 's artistic director, Roque Berlanga, turns to Actors' Equity Association for the leads. Amy Decker, last seen at Allenberry in 2012's season finale "I Do, I Do" radiates playing the young spirited postulant Maria. John Heinis, making his Allenberry stage debut, is the stalwart Captain Georg von Trapp who delivers a poignant "Edelweiss."

Megan Opalinski plays the down-to-earth Mother Abbess and with her rich voice sings the heartfelt "Climb Every Mountain" which closes Act I and is the show's finale.

Six of the Captain's children are community actors with three from one family. The oldest, Liesl ("Sixteen Going On Seventeen") is played by Gwen Mahan. At a recent performance, Liesl was spotted wearing earrings and one of her sisters sports eye-shadow. Captain von Trapp would not be amused.

Allenberry veteran Paris Bradstreet plays the housekeeper Frau Schmidt, with most of the laughs relegated to Ryan Roet playing the opportunist Max.

But in an otherwise top-notch acting and singing cast, Caitlin Evans unfortunately stands out; she doesn't look or act like the rich Baroness, making Elsa Schraeder neither a villainess nor a sympathetic character.

Many of the show's tunes are engrained in theatregoers' minds. Maria and the children give a lively rendition of "Do, Re, Mi."

But in an obvious change from the movie (where the youngsters sing "My Favorite Things" while in Maria's bed during a thunderstorm) the stage version has Maria and the Mother Abbess loudly singing "My Favorite Things," while the children sing "The Lonely Goatherd" in Maria's bed.

The good looking costuming includes the children's outfits made out of curtains. The only downside in Allenberry's production are the barebones sets.

With most scenes set in the Abbey and the Captain's mansion, the director has totally eliminated the Abbey as the setting both at the beginning and in the fateful finale when the Nazis close in on the Captain and his family. The small stage also likely accounts for the scarcity of furniture and trappings in the von Trapp home. The most eye-catching scene is in the chapel where the Captain and Maria are wed with the singing nuns and the children in attendance.

There is no denying that "The Sound of Music" is nicely constructed and wonderfully written. Somewhat lengthy, running two and a half hours plus intermission, Allenberry's production sings out as a deservedly revered old-fashioned musical, satisfying and thoroughly entertaining old and young alike.

For more information, call 717-258-3211 or visit www.allenberry.com.

 
 

 

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