BWW Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC National Tour at Durham Performing Arts Center
Based on the memoir by Maria von Trapp titled The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, The Sound of Music tells the true story of Maria Rainer, a young, free-spirited postulant in Salzburg, Austria who is given the job as governess to the seven children of the widowed Captain von Trapp just before World War II.
The original Broadway production opened on November 16th, 1959, where it went on to win 5 Tony Awards (including Best Musical in a tie with Fiorello!, even beating the original production of Gypsy) and a run of 1,443 performances after closing on June 15th, 1963. It also marked the final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein as lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II died of stomach cancer on August 23rd, 1960. The legacy of The Sound of Music has lived on through countless incarnations, including the 1965 Academy Award-Winning film adaptation (which is still the most successful movie musical of all time) and the successful 2013 live televised production on NBC.
Newcomer Kerstin Anderson offers up a very compelling performance in the coveted role of Maria. What she brings to the role is a sense of charm, naivety, and youth. Ben Davis gives such a commanding performance as the retired Austrian naval Captain Georg von Trapp. Daniella Dalli is also very caring as the strong and authoritative Mother Abbess. Each of the von Trapp children also standout here. Paige Silvester as the oldest child, Liesl; Jeremy Michael Lanuti as the tough exterior Friedrich; Maria Suzanne Knasel as the rebellious Louisa; Quinn Erickson as the gentle and mischievous Kurt; Svea Elizabeth Johnson as the smart Brigitta; Mackenzie Currie as the sweet and gentle Marta; and Audrey Bennett as the youngest child, Gretl.
Another one of 'My Favorite Things' about this production is the very creative staging by three-time Tony-winning director Jack O'Brien. There is some elegant lighting designed by five-time Tony winner Natasha Katz; some amazing scenery designed by two-time Tony nominee Douglas W. Schmidt; and some very authentic costumes designed by 2014 Lifetime Achievement Tony Award recipient Jane Greenwood.
With the luxury of some amazing vocals from beginning to end, The Sound of Music still holds up very well as it has for the past 56 years! It's impossible to not have a heart for this production! This national touring production is currently playing at Durham Performing Arts Center through December 6th.
For more information regarding the tour, please visit: http://thesoundofmusicontour.com/