The Sound of Music is filled with beautiful songs with catchy tunes, adorable children and heart-warming love stories…
Those ‘lyrics’ also serve as a checklist of things in The Sound of Music, which makes it a favorite musical for many around the world. There have been countless productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, including the classic film, but the version at the Schuster Center through February 18 is among the best ever.
There is much to love about this show, most of which the spectacular cast is responsible for. Everyone (hopefully) is familiar with The Sound of Music but the cast presents it in a fresh, captivating way. Not only the hills, but the flatlands, and all bodies of water are brought to life by the voice of Jill-Christine Wiley as Maria. From the very beginning of her rendition of the title song, it’s apparent that she’s gifted. It takes real talent to make yodeling endearing, and Wiley does just that. Every note she sings through the entire show is audibly divine.
Of course, even I might appear to be vocally talented IF I was backed up by the von Trapp children because they are just that good. The Jackson Five had ‘ABC’ but it pales (no pun on Michael Jackson’s skin tone intended) in comparison to the von Trapp Seven’s rendition of ‘Do-Re-Mi.’ Not even the flu is as contagious as the song’s they sing. It’s nearly impossible to leave the theatre without at least humming ‘Do-Re-Mi’ or ‘So Long, Farewell.’ I couldn’t even wait until it was time to leave, my wife had to elbow me for whistling along to ‘So Long, Farewell,’ during the show. The children not only sing, they are preciously cute too, and the tiny Gretl (Sophia Massa) gets ‘Awww’s’ from the audience from every movement she makes.
The von Trapp’s are led by the whistle-blowing, Captain George von Trapp (Mike McLean), whose voice goes with Maria’s (Wiley) like…tea goes with jam and bread. The duo pairs nicely together in a number of ways, including as dance partners. McLean’s vocal talents really blossom from his moving performance of ‘Edelweiss.’
If you haven’t already noticed, the show is filled with great musical performances and I’ve yet to even mention; Mother Abbess (Lauren Kidwell) bringing down the house with ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain.’ Her voice reaches all the way to the heavens with a most spirited vocal offering that’s sure to stir up some emotion. Kidwell has the voice of an angel, or at least of a high ranking nun.
The Sound of Music ranks among the best shows I’ve seen at the Schuster Center and is sure to become a favorite of all who attend.
Mike Woody is a life long resident of Dayton, and has a passion for writing, which is good because he doesn't excel at much of anything else, except eating.