If you’re like me, being a local, you’ve seen “The Sound of Music” more than once. Well, this year's is different, so you'll want to see it again. Director Kevin McKee has made some new and refreshing choices in this rendition of the musical, including using a song from the original score that I’d never heard before.
The classic story of Maria, the young wannabe nun, who becomes a governess for an Austrian navy captain’s seven children, has some lovely new twists and the pace of the show clips along. Both the captain (Kent Salter) and Maria (Liz Oyama) were well played in new ways, the captain appearing much more human from the start and Maria played as an exuberant, imperfect-but-trying-her-best young woman rather than a kind of Disney princess. And I especially enjoyed the sassier Liesl (Madeline Winters) in “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” Other standout performances are Max (Matthew Pippin) and Elsa (Erin Eloise). Pippin really shows Max’s struggle to play both sides of the fence when it comes to his loyalty to Austria and his need for self preservation in the face of Nazi invasion. In Elsa, Eloise gives us an ice queen that you can delight in…you like her even though she’s a real conniver. This is clearly seen in the song, “No Way to Stop It,” sung by Max and Elsa in an attempt to persuade the captain that it’s better to watch out for yourself than hold to your ideals.
Everyone in the cast did a wonderful job from the smallest roles to the largest. The nuns are a delight as are the Von Trapp children. The tension definitely builds as you move toward the end of the play and the Nazis begin to show up and the raving voice of Hitler is heard during a scene change.
Overall, a very well done show. You will definitely get your money’s worth!