BWW Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Robinson Performance Hall
Since opening on Broadway in 1959, The Sound of Music is a classic of American Musical theatre. Thru it's Tony awards and Academy award winning productions, it has never failed to enchant audiences and the tour production that opened in the Robinson Performance Hall in Little Rock was just as wonderful. The iconic story based on the real Von Trapp family's lives and their eventual escape from the Nazi's is as moving today as ever. The large audience Friday night was an indication that this musical and all of it's memorable songs is still as popular as ever. The show with music by Rogers and Hammerstein with a book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse has aged very nicely and was a delight to experience.
Maria played by Jill-Christine Wiley, takes a job as governess to a large family while she decides whether to become a nun. Her performance was full of the energy and innocence. Coupled with a beautiful voice, she was the perfect Maria. Mike McLean playing Captain Georg von Trapp, was wonderfully stiff and rigid in the beginning, as the character of course. Mr. McLean's commanding presence along with his powerful singing was a true delight. All the children were so charming, that it was easy to see how Maria fell in love with them so quickly.
Special notice must be given to Lauren Kidwell playing the Mother Abbess who brought the crowd to a roar after her singing of Climb Ev'ry Mountain at the end of Act One. Kate Turner playing Elsa Schraedor and Jake Mills as Max Detweiler brought a polish and charm to the show every time they were onstage. Overall, the singing was spectacular from every member of the cast. When you are part a show with so many standards, it's not always easy to live up to the versions most of the audiences has known there whole life. Make no mistake, these performers were up to the task and delivered without fail.
The set with some beautiful drops and wonderful lighting allowed the audience to be transported to the lovely Austrian countryside. The costumes were bright and lovely and gave the entire production a romantic feel for a time long ago. The many members of the ensemble deserve special notice for the multiple roles they played. It's always great to see these multi-talented performers who do so much work in bringing a show to life show the way they did.
This was the final show of this season in Little Rock and it was the perfect ending. This fresh and timeless show is just as amazing as it has ever been. If it's coming to a town near you, grab the family, get some tickets and experience the joy and power of The Sound Of Music.