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Performing arts program does it again with The Sound of Music

Mikey Witkowski, A&E Editor
Originally published March 7, 2013

Evan Bunnage

The Von Trapp children join in a musical number with Maria Ranier, played by senior Natalia Roberts-Buceta.

When a school undertakes a production as storied and highly regarded as The Sound Of Music, expectations are bound to be high. Matching the standard that they have kept for previous productions, the performing arts program has put out a production of considerable quality.

Originally produced as a German film in 1956 that eventually inspired the broadway musical and subsequently the 1965 American film, The Sound Of Music focuses on the effects that  postulant Maria Ranier has on the members of the Von Trapp family, and how the family deals with the coming of the German “Anschluss.”

Even though the sudden transition into darkness might have jarred some of the audience members in the beginning of the March 2 showing of The Sound Of Music, the stage gently lit back up and things got rolling pretty quickly.

Beginning with the illumination of the stage,  senior Natalia Roberts-Buceta’s voice filled the room as a cutout of a mountain slowly descended onto the stage. The audience turned their heads in a wave as they noticed Roberts-Buceta walking down from near the upper-left of the house as Maria Ranier, taking long strides towards the stage.

Roberts-Buceta proved a capable Maria, giving strong performances in musical numbers and delivering lines passionately, with energetic performances of pieces like “Do-Re-Mi.”

Accenting the quality of the student’s performance was the set design. Rivaling the best of other school productions, the intricately crafted interiors of the Von Trapp villa and Nomburg Abbey featured openable doors and were quite large, often taking up a large part of the stage and giving more believability to the performance.

The actors who played the children of the Von Trapp family were constantly acting their respective ages, and behaving like true siblings would. Making small, whispered remarks to each other that elicited a giggle or smile, they also had appropriate moments of roughhousing in scenes with all of them interacting at once.

Performer Lisa Grim stole the show with her childish charm, wearing a big grin throughout her whole performance, and delivering her lines with the enthusiasm of a young child.

Johnson captured the character of Captain Von Trapp well, holding up a tight and militaristic posture throughout the play, as well as making liberal use of his signature whistle. Often speaking in an authoritative manner, he captured the persona of a out-of-action military man.

The more complicated scenes in the play went off with almost no hitches. The party scene featured a crowd of spectators/dancers, who seamlessly switched from dancing as a large crowd to mingling in the background as the main characters interacted.

Audience interaction even came into play as Max Detweiler, played by junior Miles Erickson, had the audience applaud and cheer as he named off winners in the Kaltzberg Festival, which followed a light-hearted performance by junior Karsten Newby, seniors Eric Hendricks and Sam Weller, and freshman Satchel Dunnell as a Men’s Quartet supported by junior Tara Svenoll on piano.

Offering a change of pace from the focus on story, the Men’s Quartet was an irreverent and goofy ode to drinking, and elicited a great deal of laughs from the audience.

Transitioning between scenes took a slightly longer amount of time than other productions due to the size of the constructions and some of the changes resulted in long pauses between scenes, with the first transition to the Von Trapp villa taking a particularly long amount of time.

Aside from the beginning of the first performance of “My Favorite Things,” which is often performed in a more reluctant tone than the one presented, the singer’s performances proved strong and unwavering.

The Sound of Music proved to be great choice for a spring musical, and despite negligible hiccups, received a great reaction from the audience and was performed with tightness and vigor.

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Performing arts program does it again with The Sound of Music