by Lorie Lewis Ham
If you have seen the movie, which is based on a true story, you know the general premise of this show though the stage version is a little different. “The musical follows the story that the movie follows, however, the movie has many different locations, and places the familiar songs in different places in [the] script,” said Mark Norwood, Director of the show, and River City Artistic Director.
Mark shared a synopsis of the story for those who have not seen the movie. “[A] spirited Novice Nun gets sent to Captain Von Trapp to be Governess of his seven children. In the course of her tenure there, she teaches the kids to sing and, much to her alarm, falls in love with The Captain. All of this is set on the eve of the Nazi invasion of Austria. Captain Von Trapp receives his commission to become a Naval Officer of the Third Reich. Maria and the Captain marry and rather than join the Nazis, they escape over the Alps into Switzerland.”
This musical is filled with many songs that have become classics and are well known by most such as “My Favorite Things”, “Climb Every Mountain”, “Do-Re-Mi” and “The Sound of Music.” If you like this musical, you will love River City’s production of it. I personally enjoyed it more than the movie.
Maria, played by Heather Price, has an outstanding voice, and River City regular Jeff Lusk does a great job as Captain Von Trapp. Jamie Briceno, in only his second show at River City, played Rolf and has an incredible voice I look forward to hearing more from. Jamie has been in many shows with Good Company Players in Fresno. Other River City regulars include Erik Valencia, Stacie Hall, Marianne McFarlin and Sarah Wiebe. However, it is the little Von Trapp’s that steal the show as they are absolutely adorable, especially little Gretl, played by Elizabeth Applegate.
The cast is quite large, especially for such a small stage, but Mark pulls it off as usual. “It is a particular challenge to stage any show in the Opera House. There is no wing space, no fly space, no space period. I really enjoy designing ways to use the Opera House effectively and am very proud of this production.”
As an added bonus Reedley a cappella group, Vocal Experience, entertains the audience with several Christmas carols before the show.
If you are looking for a delightful show you can take the whole family to, Reedley’s River City Theatre Company’s production of The Sound of Music is an excellent choice, but you had better hurry. The remaining performances are December 15 through 22, at the Reedley Opera House at 1720 10th Street in Reedley. For reservations, call their box off at 638-6500.