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Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at The Red Curtain Theatre Delights Audiences in Central Arkansas

Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at The Red Curtain Theatre Delights Audiences in Central Arkansas

Presented at Staples Auditorium at Hendrix College.

Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at The Red Curtain Theatre Delights Audiences in Central Arkansas Finishing out the summer with a classic, the Red Curtain Theatre brought the community together for THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Music and Lyrics by Rodgers and Hammerstein, which was so popular that they presented it at the Staples Auditorium at Hendrix College August 5-14. The talent in Conway and the surrounding areas are so great, that I love it when they spotlight what Central Arkansas has to offer. This particular production had local stage veterans, but also featured talent that does not normally do theatrical work.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the story of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, here is a brief synopsis: A Nun-in-training is sent to a household to take care of seven children. While there, she teaches them how to sing, falls in love with their father, and they all escape from the Nazis by climbing the Alps into Switzerland. There is, of course, more to it than that,Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at The Red Curtain Theatre Delights Audiences in Central Arkansas especially since it lasted almost three hours, but that is the gist of it. I will point out as we go along that there are a few differences from the movie than from the musical.

Not enough great words can be said about the magic that Director Jeffrey Ward, Choreograper Christina Munoz Madsen and Music Director Kent Britton helped achieve on the stage. The singing in this show was fabulous. There are a lot of catchy songs that stayed with me for days after seeing the performance. The Nuns of Nonnberg Abbey opened up the show singing beautifully arranged choral music to set the tone. The blending of their voices was powerful and divine. It was hard to concentrate on anything else when they were together bringing their music. And, of course, their most notable signature song "Maria," which featured the ultra-talented Mother Abbess (Ellen Wiles), Sister Berthe (Amy Wittenburg), Sister Sophia (Breanna Bucko-Koscenski), and Sister Margaretta (Dana Kordsmeier) was enjoyable and had me, somewhat quietly, singing along.

Maria (Annie Harris) and the Von Trapp kids-Liesl (Ansley Sherman), Friedrich (Miles Watkins), Louisa (Farrah Sherman), Kurt (Kai Burling), Brigetta (Briar Eberhard), Marta (Reagan Madsen), and Gretl (Isla Forrester)-danced and sang into the collective audience's hearts. They were all precious during their numerous group numbers, but I loved "So Long, Farewell" and "The Lonely Goatherd." I was super impressed with Isla Forrester, who had so many lines and is only seven years old. I expect big things from that little actress in the years to come. Also, I enjoyed the pairing of Liesl and Rolf (Ansley Sherman and Darius Harrison). Their duet "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" was very charming. Sherman's gracefulness paired with Harrison's support was elegant yet sensitive to the hopefulness of Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at The Red Curtain Theatre Delights Audiences in Central Arkansas young love. I will interject here to say that in the movie, Rolf turns on the family hiding in the Abbey, but in the musical when Rolf discovers the family, he tells his superiors that they are not where he found them. I like the sympathetic Rolf.

Comic relief Max Detweiller (Scot Polk) and socialite Elsa Schraeder (Kayla White) had great duo chemistry. They served well to break up the seriousness in the play. I did like the reasoning of Captain Von Trapp and Elsa's breakup better in the musical, which was instead of Elsa giving in toReview: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at The Red Curtain Theatre Delights Audiences in Central Arkansas Maria's attraction for the captain, they broke up over political reasons. That made a lot more sense to me honestly.

Of course, the pairing of Maria and Captain Von Trapp (Perry Morriss) can't be overlooked. It was great to see the transformation from Harris' innocent Maria and Morriss' very serious Von Trapp to a very loving, caring couple. I was surprised to read that this was Morriss' first role in a play. Coming from a rock band background, Morriss really stepped it up and rolled with the veteran actors on stage. He did an excellent job, and now I'm ready to see his performance at the local watering holes.

This show was such a hit, that Red Curtain added in a Sing-A-Long session. I didn't make it to that, but I heard it was a lot of fun, and they can't wait for the next one.

Coming up, there are two different workshops for kids: WINNIE THE POOH and JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. This company is now so sought after that the slots fill up fast and there is a waiting list. Also, to add to their popularity, they have different types of dance/singing/acting lessons and ensembles that you can join. Check out their website at redcurtaintheatre.com for more information.

Thank you to Sarah Wittenburg for the usReview: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at The Red Curtain Theatre Delights Audiences in Central Arkansas e of the beautiful photos.

Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at The Red Curtain Theatre Delights Audiences in Central Arkansas




From This Author - Theresa Bertram

Prior to becoming a writer for Broadway World, Theresa Bertram has had an extensive career in the media/entertainment business. Born in Las Vegas, Nevada to a professional poker-playing mother, The... (read more about this author)


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