Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC Delights Edmonton

The musical is now playing at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre.

By: Mar. 11, 2024
Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC Delights Edmonton
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65 years after its Broadway debut, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music continues to captivate audiences across the globe. Inspired by Maria von Trapp’s 1949 autobiography, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, this heartwarming musical brims with beloved showtunes including My Favourite Things, Do Re Mi, and its soaring titular number, The Sound of Music. Now, musical theatre fans have the chance to fall in love again with this timeless story at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre.

Portraying a famous leading lady is no easy feat, but Priya Narine makes the chipper heroine Maria her own. Whether cloistered in the austere Nonnberg Abbey or strumming sunny guitar chords in the von Trapp mansion, Narine’s Maria exudes warmth and charm. The aspiring nun turned governess quickly wins over her seven new charges, and it is only a matter of time before the children’s navy captain father follows suit. Charlie Gallant stars as the stern Captain Georg von Trapp; like Narine, he makes the character his own. It is endearing to watch the captain’s stern resolve soften, particularly when he professes his love for Maria. 

Like Maria, the precocious von Trapp children light up the stage. Played by two alternating casts- named the Raindrops and Whiskers, respectively- the seven youngsters charm the audience with their singing and choreography. Christina Nguyen leads both casts as the big sister and hopeless romantic, Liesl. Like Narine, Nguyen is a triple threat. Her talent is on full display during Sixteen Going on Seventeen, Liesl’s whirlwind duet with the mischievous telegram delivery boy, Rolf, (Jesse Drwiega). 

It would be remiss not to mention other notable cast members. Kevin Klassen brings comedic relief as the von Trapps’ outspoken family friend, Max, and Kristi Hansen brings wry wit to the otherwise aloof Baroness Elsa Schraeder. But it is Lara Ciekiewicz who steals the show as the sage Mother Abbess. Her rendition of the formidable operatic showstopper, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, is sublime.  

Though the cast is world-class, the production’s staging sometimes falls short. There is nary a mountain in sight, nor even a visual hint at the story’s idyllic Austrian setting. Instead of frolicking through an alpine meadow, Maria makes her grand entrance from among the audience and scampers down to the bare stage. However, The Sound of Music is all about its iconic characters and timeless music; this production is sure to bring smiles to the faces of audience members of all ages. 

The Sound of Music plays at the Citadel’s Shoctor Theatre until March 31. 

Photo by Nanc Price for The Citadel Theatre’s production of The Sound of Music (2024), a co-production with Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, featuring Christina Nguyen, Pierce Briggs, Elizabeth Shakeshaft, Ben Hill, Elowyn Temme, Penelope Carew, Halle Leschert, and Priya Narine.


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