Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Directed by Alison Newhouse & Anthony Swadling
Queanbeyan Players to 3 July
Reviewed by Len Power 24 June 2022
First presented in 2021 under Covid restricted conditions that limited audience numbers, ‘The Sound Of Music’ by Queanbeyan Players is back for an encore season. More people will be able to see this previously acclaimed production including this reviewer who missed out on it last time.
Based on the 1949 memoir of Maria von Trapp, ‘The Story of the Trapp Family Singers’, the original Broadway production opened in 1959. It tells the basically true story of Maria, a postulant from a nunnery who becomes a governess to seven children of a prominent Austrian family. She marries the father and the family flees Austria at the start of World War II. They became the internationally-known Trapp Family Singers.
A hit at the time, the musical’s reputation was further enhanced by the extraordinary popularity of the 1965 film of the show that starred Julie Andrews.
Queanbeyan Players’ lavish encore production has managed to retain virtually the entire cast from 2021. Leading the company in the role of Maria, Lydia Milosavljevic, is superb, giving her own take on the character that really works. She also sings the role beautifully as well.
The large cast of principals all perform their roles very well. There is particularly fine work from Michael Jordan as Captain von Trapp, Terry Johnson as Max Detweiler, Kay Liddiard as Liesl, the eldest child and Demi Smith, as Baroness Elsa Schraeder. Louise Gaspari as the Mother Abbess stops the show with her fine singing of ‘Climb Ev'ry Mountain’ and the actresses playing the nuns all give their roles distinct characters, singing the opening and wedding sequences especially well.
|Michael Jordan (Captain von Trapp) and Lydia Milosavljevic (Maria) with the children|
All seven performers who play the children give winning and natural performances. They are believable as brothers and sisters and have wisely avoided any precociousness. Their songs are delightful.
The set design by Thompson Quan Wing was excellent. The painted mountain background and the interior of the Captain’s lavish home were especially attractive features and it all moved easily during the scene changes.
Jacob Aquilina (lighting) and James McPherson (sound) of Eclipse Lighting and Sound did fine work adding atmosphere to the whole production.
Musical director, Jenna Hinton, and her orchestra gave a colourful and controlled performance of the score. There was also excellent work by choreographer, Jodi Hammond, and costume designers, Janette Humphrey and Janetta McRae.
The directors, Alison Newhouse and Anthony Swadling, have produced a very strong and entertaining production that works in all aspects. This popular show should be seen by everyone who loves musical theatre.
Photo supplied by the company
Photo supplied by the company
Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at https://justpowerwriting.blogspot.com/.