The Sound Of Music Hits A High Note at WBT

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 7:00 am By: Michall Jeffers Source: Woman Around Town
“Never work with children or animals” apply to this production? -

Director/Choreographer Jonathan Stahl replied, “ I had the challenge of creating a production that I felt was true to the essence of the movie everyone knows so well, and give life to the musical (which came BEFORE the movie) which has many subtle and wonderful differences. I love the cast of this production, so employing actors who really understood the piece was the first start. A set concept was the second way to keep it fresh. In our production you never see the inside of the Von Trapp estate. With the beautiful backdrop of the mountains hovering throughout the piece, you are constantly reminded of the glory of the mountains they conquer by the end of the show. And the theatre stage is a thrust theatre, so this also makes for a more open use of the space. Finally, I encouraged the actors to be true to the journey their character is on. With this focus, I hope the piece feels iconic but fresh.”
I asked Jonathan what it was like working with the tight rehearsal schedule of only 10 days, and he told me, “I am very used to the quick rehearsal process… but being used to it does not make it easier. It is always a challenge to budget time wisely and make the best use of the actors time/energy. However, the fast pace can also be invigorating. I think being reminded of how beautiful this story is, and how it was an important movie in my childhood… being taken back to that time of my life… was one of the most enjoyable parts. “We had many fun laughing moments, but what takes the cake in my mind was on one of the preview performances. The Nazi soldier who runs behind our big red curtain at the end of the concert to find the Von Trapps “gone,” could not find the break in the red curtains. He tried at least four times before he could get through them. It is a tense moment in the show, and this particular actor is quite good at creating that tension, and once he couldn’t get through, all bets were off. The show did not suffer, but I fell down  in my seat laughing."
“I have done many shows with kids and usually find it a wonderful experience. Maybe that is because I don’t try to `work’ with them. I try to find a sense of play and responsibility with them to help create a show. Their reactions and dedication have always kept me going. “With Sound of Music you can’t find a better musical to find love, truth, faith and hope. And humans ALWAYS need to be reminded of these things.”

I was enchanted by Aubrey Sinn. It’s a joy to see a Maria who’s actually young enough to be plausible; and Aubrey is so beautiful, who could resist falling for her? Add to this a lovely voice, and this production couldn’t have a better leading lady. Her love of the play is obvious as she voices her opinion,
“I think SOM is so iconic because it’s a beautiful, inspiring story that has received