The Sound Of Music at WBT..this production is flawless.

Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 7:00 am By: Camille Kaiser Source: THE CUE

Westchester Broadway Theatre’s“The Sound of Music”

 

I have enjoyed this Rogers and Hammerstein classic numerous times throughout the years and have not seen any production better than this one. Under the expert direction and choreography of Jonathan Stahl, this production is flawless.

The Nuns of Nonnberg Abbey (Karen Murphy, Leisa Mather Allyson Kaye Daniel and Karen Kuykendall) open the show, quickly drawing us into the solemn serenity of convent life.   Karen Murphy portrays the Mother Abbess with great warmth and magnificent vocal range, which certainly does justice to the show's anthem number, "Climb Every Mountain". Mother Abbess advises Maria to spend some time outside the abbey in order to decide whether or not she is ready for the monastic life and sends her to be governess to the seven children of a widower, Navy Captain Georg von Trapp. Upon arrival at his villa she is instructed in the captain’s militaristic approach to raising children to which she openly disapproves and as soon as she is alone with the children, teaches them the basics of music (“Do Re Mi”). The seven young von Trapps, whose dancing and singing is a delight, are charmingly unpretentious. Molly Emerson’s (Liesl) “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” with Rolf (Cameron Bartell), is a standout.

Matthew Shepard’s Captain von Trapp is dashing and charismatic even when he must play the rigid disciplinarian. Aubrey Sinn is a most winning Maria and she sings as well as she looks!   His worldly maturity and her bubbly, bursting-with-song youth add up to irresistible romantic tension.  Maria rekindles the joy of life in seven sad little rich kids and their father and you know that father’s martinet exterior will crumble as will Maria’s plans to become a nun. 

Two supporting players who make major impressions are Michelle Dawson as the almost Baroness von Trapp, Elsa Schrader and Jamison Stern as the jolly "uncle" Max.   They add a
welcome breath of sophistication to their portrayals of the good Austrians.  Brice Rebold as Franz, the butler and Melinda Tanner as Frau Schmidt, the housekeeper, portray their roles with a perfect balance of propriety and compassion.

Steve Loftus’ scenic design and Andrew Gmoser’s lighting design allow the production to navigate between the dark abbey where Maria is a novice and the sun-drenched mansion of Baron von Trapp with the overriding presence of the purple mountains. The rose window in the stunning wedding scene was the perfect touch. Another contributor to the authentic feel of this production is Lauren Shaw.  Her costumes are right on the button.

 This is most definitely a family show which should not be missed.  The production continues through August 11, 2013.  For reservations, call (914)592-2222.