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BWW Review: North Little Rock is alive with THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Argenta Community Theatre


Produced by ACT and Wildwood Park for the Arts

BWW Review: North Little Rock is alive with THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Argenta Community Theatre

Though there are not may hills in the Argenta District, North Little Rock was definitely filled with the SOUND OF MUSIC this weekend, as the cast brought the Von Trapp family story to life at the Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main St, North Little Rock. This is the first partnership with Wildwood Park for the Arts, and I hope there will be many more, because this show is so good. Seriously, I will try to verbalize how great everyone is, but honestly, you need to go see it for yourself.

Set in Austria at the beginning of Anschluss in 1938, Maria is sent from the Nonnberg Abbey to the Von Trapp home to take care of the widowed Captain von Trapp's seven children. She ends up falling in love with the children and their father, and when he is commissioned to take charge of a German ship, they all flee to Switzerland. Because of the death of Oscar Hammerstein, this musical was the last Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration.

This performance gets you from the very beginning. The orchestra and nuns open the show, and though I know it isn't necessarily about them, their singing is so good, that they alone are worth the ticket price. Their harmonies blend so beautifully, that it makes you feel like you are there with them at the Abbey. Satia Spencer was made for the Mother Abbess role. Her powerful vocals transcend you to their world of prayer and duty to God. BWW Review: North Little Rock is alive with THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Argenta Community Theatre

Maria (Claire Wilkinson Rhodes) enters the stage singing the title song and makes the best faces. You can tell from her expressions how she is feeling from sincerely wanting to be a better nun, being unsure if she can handle seven children, and falling in love with the captain. It is all communicated through her face.

The children are darling. Liesl (Elizabeth Dawson), Friedrich (Alex Harkins), Louisa (Lauren Lasseigne), Kurt (Braden Lisowe), Brigitta (Piper Wallace), Marta (Blythe Keating) and Gretl (Ivy Hinton) sing and dance right into your heart as they did with Maria.

BWW Review: North Little Rock is alive with THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Argenta Community Theatre Ben Barham commands respect as Captain Georg Von Trapp; Ben Grimes is charming as Max Detweiler in a self-serving sort of way; Kira Keating carries herself with class as Elsa Schraeder; and Rex Ester III is endearing as Rolf Gruber, who grows from being a love-struck teenager to being a member of the Third Reich (that part wasn't so endearing). Spoiler alert-unlike the movie, Rolf doesn't turn on the family in the Abbey as they try to escape. I like this detail much better than the movie. BWW Review: North Little Rock is alive with THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Argenta Community Theatre

Like I said at the beginning, the singing is amazing. I enjoyed the main characters, but the ensemble also blew me away. And as always, extra points go for having a live orchestra. The musicians made the show even more special to watch.

Visually, the costumes were great, especially when it came to the children. I loved the curtain outfits, as well as the red performance clothes. And they never cease to amaze me with what they do to the stage at the Argenta. They had a grand staircase that doubled for the home and Abbey as well as other walls and doors that were very functional and fluid during the scene changes. I have no idea how they are going to transport that over to Wildwood.

I do urge you to get your tickets as soon as possible. Shows are selling out quickly. This next week, Nov. 9-13, the show will be performed at the Argenta again, but the last week, Nov. 18-21, will be at Wildwood Park for the Arts, 20919 Denny Rd, Little Rock. You can buy your tickets at This facility does require you to show your Covid Vaccination card and wear a mask.

The Sound of Music

Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and Book by Howard Lindsey and Russel Crouse

Creative Team

Director: Vincent Insalaco

Music Director: Dr. Bevan Keating

Choreographer: Christen Pitts

Set Design: Bruce Rentz

Technical Director: Sara Cooke

Costume Designer: Shelly Hall

Lighting Designer: Dena Kimberling

Prop Master: Lauren Nicholas

Stage Manager: Zachary D. Rhodes

Sound Engineer: Nathan Abshire

Photography/Videography: Warren McCullough

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