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Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Durham Performing Arts Center

Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Durham Performing Arts Center

There is something incredibly nostalgic about THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and the current SOUND OF MUSIC tour does not disappoint. The musical, based on the book, The Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp, is inspired by the true story of the Von Trapp family who fled the Nazi regime in Austria to begin a new life in the United States.

In this production, Jill-Christine Wiley steps into the big shoes of Maria, originally played on the stage by Mary Martin and immortalized by Julie Andrews in the film. Wiley radiates optimism, hope, and innocence, which makes her completely believable as the governess to the Von Trapp children. In fact, Wiley is at her best when she is playing opposite the children, particularly during Do-Re-Mi and The Lonely Goatherd musical numbers.

Here the Von Trapp family is led by Mike McLean who plays Georg von Trapp. While McLean's captivating portrayal of the Captain is more vulnerable than movie fans might be used to, his rendition of Edelweiss is heartfelt and flawless.

The ensemble playing the Nuns of the Nonmberg Abbey are pitch perfect in their performance of the traditional hymns, including the Preludium, which opens the show. But it is Lauren Kidwell's Mother Abbess who brings down the house with her performance of Climb Every Mountain.

While the stage version of the musical does not follow the movie exactly, and the choreography at times seems contrived and clumsy, fans of the story will delight in Douglas W. Schmidt's sets, Tony Award-winner Jane Greenwood's costumes, and of course, in Rodgers and Hammerstein's music. In fact, at DPAC Friday night, you could hear the hum of the audience under the iconic songs, which seem to connect us all to each other in some way.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC plays at DPAC April 21-April 22. For more information visit:

Photo Credit: Lauren Kidwell as the Mother Abbess. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

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