BWW Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC Will Warm Your Heart!
This holiday season, the Arts Club in Vancouver is playing THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Starring Synthia Yusuf as Maria and Jonathan Winsby as Captain von Trapp, this production is the perfect show for the family to see this winter! The show plays from November 7th, 2019 to January 5th, 2020 and will definitely warm your heart!
With music and lyrics by Rodgers & Hammerstein and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, THE SOUND OF MUSIC combines a great story with very catchy songs that you probably grew up singing along to. From "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," to "So Long, Farewell," if you've never heard of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, you've probably heard one of these songs somewhere. The familiarity of these songs made this production a lot of fun to watch and will definitely give you the urge to sing along!
Directed by Arts Club's Ashlie Corcoran, choreographed by Shelley Stewart Hunt, with costumes & sets designed by Drew Facey, this production was very well put together. Overall, the production did not have the most breathtaking, detailed, or intricate sets; however, the staging did suffice as a good secondary element to the acting from the cast. The 7 Von-Trapp children's dance numbers were well choreographed by Hunt. I enjoyed how the choreography made use of the large space on the stage and allowed the actors to show their personality within the numbers as well. Georgia Acken as Brigitta, Jolene Bernardino as Liesl, Quinlin Koebel-Pearce as Fredrich, Xandrie Umandal as Kurt, Jamie MacLean as Louisa, Fontaine Molyneaux-Behgooy as Marta, and Naomi Tan as Gretl were the definite stars of each group number.
There were a lot of moments in the show that I felt were rushed or lacked depth, which left me feeling like there was a lack of connection between some of the characters. The number "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" was the main scene/ only number where we got a glimpse into Liesel and Rolf's romance. As this was primarily the only time we got too see them connect with one another, I couldn't feel as a much emotion as I could have with their relationship near the end of the show. The same went for the progression of Maria and the Captain's romantic connection. Although, I liked both Synthia Yusuf (Maria) and Jonathan Winsby's (Captain) performances, I think that there could have been some more soft moments between them to make their love proclamation for one another more believable. I know that there's only so much content you can put into a 2 hour and 45 minute show, but perhaps Winsby could have softened his hard persona in the show at times to show the Captain's romantic side a bit more.
What really made THE SOUND OF MUSIC the fun-loving show was the relationship between Maria (Synthia Yusuf) and the Von-Trapp children. The first scene Yusuf has with the children had to be my favorite of the show. Yusuf was so genuine with her character when she first met them on stage and I really appreciated that about her performance. Every smile, dance, and vocal banter she had with them was fun for her (you could see it on her face)! Although I mentioned the lack of passion I felt between some of the one-on-one relationships, I really felt the love amongst the children and Yusuf. They had a lot of chemistry and it really solidified my opinion of Yusuf playing the role of Maria. After watching Yusuf in the show, she really won me over with her version of Maria. Furthermore, another outstanding performance in the show was Annie Ramos as The Mother Abbess. I was very impressed with her voice and poise in the show. Her gentle and wise nature combined with her soulful voice lit up the stage every moment she came forth to sing.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC was an overall entertaining show to watch. If anything, you must go see it because of the kids in this production. They sing and perform so well, all 7 of them were the highlight of the show for me. Definitely, make your way to the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage this winter to catch the magic of this production before January 5th!
THE SOUND OF MUSIC is currently playing at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage in Vancouver until January 5th, 2020. Tickets start at $39 and are available at https://secure.artsclub.com/events/detail/the-sound-of-music or by calling the box office at 604-687-1644.
Photo Credit: Emily Cooper, 2019