The hills are alive with the sound of the Academy of The New Church's production of The Sound of Music!
This Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is a well-known classic that chronicles the life of Maria Rainer, a new postulate at Nonnberg Abbey in Austria, who is sent to the Captain von Trapp's home to take care of his seven children as their governess. Maria and the von Trapps experience many different adventures together ranging from romantic endeavors to heartbreaking escapes to touching moments.
The Academy of New Church's production of the Sound of Music emphasized parts of the musical that many do not notice, such as the more obvious characterization and energy of the von Trapp children. The ensembles, such as the children and the nuns of the Nonnberg Abbey sang well with impressive harmonies in songs such as "Do Re Mi" and "Hallelujah". In addition, the stage and tech crew worked to round out the performance with their quick set changes and great use of lighting.
Maria, played by Leanna Smith, is a young woman who is going on a journey of her own when she is thrust into the unfamiliar von Trapp family. Smith was a standout in the production, with her voice projecting above the rest of the cast, showcasing her talent. Kurt von Trapp, played by Liam Taylor, is one of the youngest von Trapp children that Maria must take care of. Taylor added a nice clarity to the sound of the show with his impressive falsetto during von Trapp family numbers.
Brigitta von Trapp, played by Avery Phillips, and Friedrich von Trapp, played by Landon Elder, punctuated otherwise small roles with their comedic interpretations of the roles. Phillips' well-placed quips, such as when she tells Maria that her dress is the ugliest she has ever seen, and Elder's cheeky aloofness brought a much-needed comic relief to the production. While generally staying in character, some in the cast slipped back into themselves throughout the production. However, the show as a whole was still enjoyable.
The stage crew, managed by Samantha Elsing and Jake Horigan, moved the diverse sets on and off the stage with speed and ease, while also using creative ways to make set changes, such as when Maria sang "I Have Confidence" as she ran through the audience. The StageCraft class at the Academy of the New Church constructed the von Trapp family house, and the set gave a nice surrounding to the actors. Also, the lighting, facilitated by Kaia Merrel and Courtney Qu, vamped up the experience of different scenes, such as the lightning flashes during "Lonely Goatherd".