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BWW Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

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The classics can go a long way at Christmas.

BWW Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

The classics can go a long way at Christmas. Although the story doesn't really mention Christmas, there is something about classic musicals that still some captures the essence of festivity. In Candlelight Dinner Playhouse's latest production of The Sound of Music, the hills are anything but quiet.

Under the direction of Steve Wilson, the cast and crew of The Sound of Music have put together are rather thoughtful, detailed production for their audiences. The creative elements of the show are all really strong. If anything, I would say that Music Director can tighten up just a bit with the nuns on their choral moment at the top of Act II, but otherwise everyone sounded quite lovely, from those onstage to those in the pit orchestra. Choreography by Carrie Colton was great in form, though at times I wished it was more "playfully" and less "structurally" ballet, especially the way it is highlighted in the iconic scene between Ralph and Liesl as they sing "16 Going on 17." Costume Design by Tiffany Adams was a creative highlight with some really nice, memorable costuming moments, even among the ensemble members. Scenic Design by Kent Homchick and Scenic Artistry by Joel Adam Chavez is a sight for sore eyes. It truly fills the space and the run crew does a great job of guiding the large pieces in and out of scenes, as if it too was choreographed.

The cast as a whole is just as strong as the creative elements, though not without those who really stand out. Among them is Susanna Bellenski as Liesl. Bellenski has a complementary set of singing, acting, and dancing skills that work so well together in this role as the oldest, love sprung, Von Trapp child. As her love-interest-turned-Nazi-youth, Ralph, Ethan Walker is solid in the role, taking advtange of the opportunity to let his vocal and dance skills shine.

As Max Detweiller, Hugh Butterfield is great in this supporting role, offering a real sense of support to the other characters and the show itself. Butterfield makes Max Detweiller more integral to the storytelling of the piece. In the role of Elsa Schroeder, Heather McClain portrays Schroeder with what I feel are the wrong motivations. In the end, when Captain Von Trapp, for all intents and purposes, chooses Maria, McClain plays Elsa as a woman scorned. She leaves them on stage with a sense of bitterness and jealousy. Elsa Schroeder is a rich, powerful woman. There needs to therefore be a sense of keeping her cards close to her chest and never letting the poker face drop. She would never leave any situation feeling as if she had lost, even if she had. As Mother Abbess, Jalyn Courtenay Web once again shows why she is a staple among the CDT family, ably performing in her role as Head of the Abbey.

As Captain Von Trapp, Scott Hurst is perhaps my favorite among the named players. I could feel his sense of connection he created with each of his cast mates, not only his primary scene partner in Maria. And that voice? Two words: Like. Butter. Emery Hines as Maria steers the show nicely in her role of captain of the show and nanny to the Von Trapp children. Hines is headstrong in the role, though at times I think she can go even further with that idea of who Maria is throughout the production.

The Sound of Music is one of those love-hate musicals. As a thespian myself, it is a show that I dread watching, either on stage or even the movie. But then after I do, I can help but love what I watched. The Sound of Music plays at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse through January 30, 2022. For tickets, visit https://ci.ovationtix.com/35439/production/1034224?


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