SOUND OF MUSIC FOREVER YOUNG. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Last and Greatest Hit Climbs Mountain at WBT: Timeless Songs You Love All Over Again!

Published: Friday, June 28, 2013 7:00 am By: John Bailey Source: WPCNR
on  Do-Re-Mi. Maria transforms the regimented children of Captain Von Trapp, and teaches them to sing. (Von Trapp summons his children  with a naval ship whistle that’s how domineering he is).

When Maria  is first introduced to the dashing Captain Von Trapp and the uplifting attraction between the three: Maria, von Trapp and the children clicks on stage!  The singing children capture you in the nonsensical “So Long Farewell” at the close of the ball in Act One. (Surprised how songs you know keep cropping up?).

The oldest of the children Leisel is brought heart-rendingly to life by Molly Emersonwhose love for a young man engulfed in the Nazi occupation of 1938 cannot be. Ms. Emerson’s emotionally true reactions – the dramatic confrontation in Act Two in the Abbey Garden with Rolf (Cameron Bartell) is a dramatic highlight – are played flawlessly.

I am assuming everyone knows the story of The Sound of Music. I saw this with my journalism colleague, Brenda Starr who in her career of reporting for The Flash, had never seen either the musical or the movie of this musical. Ms. Starr is very demanding in her entertainment. Well, she felt the production was  “Well  done. Maria was great sang beautifully and sweet and innocent and the kids were all fun.” This is high praise from the no-nonsense redhead.

The musical is based on the story of Maria Von Trapp who published her autobiographical book, The Story of the Von Trapp Family Singers  in 1949. It is the true account of how she and von Trapp fled German-occupied Austria in 1938, escaping with nothing, eventually settling in Vermont, making a new life for themselves, and toured the world as The von Trapp Family Singers.

Mary Martin, the actress bought the rights for a stage version, commissioned a script and Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote new songs.  It became a  Broadway hit that plays today with all the heart, inspiration and magic it had 54 years ago.

So you’re getting the idea here that WBT has in its reverent respect for the great musicals of yesterday and beyond yesterday has brought this classic back? I hope so.
Karen Murphy, playing The Abbess will send chills up your spine and replace your lost courage with her glorious over-the-top house-pleasing Climb Every Mountain.  Ms. Murphy exhorts Maria – who of course has fallen in love with Captain Von Trapp – and has left to return to the abbey in shame — to go back to the family because her love for von Trapp is a higher calling – as love always is. Murphy steals the show with her two belt-it-out-of-the-park Climb Every Mountain performances. 

Matthew Shepard is a game Captain von Trapp to the iconnette   Maria, Aubrey Sinn. I would have liked to