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The Sound of Music

Front Row, Left to right: Margaret Pilkinton (Louisa), Katherine Manley (Maria Rainer), Lucy Crile (Gretl), Kaylee Rooks (Marta); Back Row, Left to right: Cooper Causey (Kurt), Grant Bradow (Freidrich), Grace Pouliot (Brigitta)
Front Row, L to R: Margaret Pilkinton (Louisa),
Katherine Manley (Maria Rainer), Lucy Crile (Gretl),
Kaylee Rooks (Marta);
Back Row, L to R: Cooper Causey (Kurt),
Grant Bradow (Freidrich), Grace Pouliot (Brigitta)
Photo: Mark Kiryluk
We think nothing of seeing Carmen or The Marriage of Figaro or Madame Butterfly every few seasons, but when it comes to American musicals, we hear a lot of scoffing when The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, and Camelot are revived; and yet, the musical is America's opera.

Troy Cook as Captain Georg von Trapp and Katherine Manley as Maria Rainer
Troy Cook as Captain von Trapp
and Katherine Manley
as Maria Rainer
Photo: Mark Kiryluk
There is a reason that The Sound of Music has been done more times than anyone can count: it is a well-told story packed with memorable songs and requires a cast filled with great leads and supporting actors/singers, as well as solid performances from young adults and children. And that is exactly what we get in Central City Opera's current production now running at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Lucy Schaufer as Elsa Schraeder, Troy Cook as Captain Georg von Trapp, and Robert Orth as Max Detweiler
Lucy Schaufer as Elsa Schraeder,
Troy Cook as Captain von Trapp,
and Robert Orth as Max Detweiler
Photo: Mark Kiryluk



The role of Maria can be daunting, measuring up to Mary Martin (the original Broadway cast) and Julie Andrews (the film), but Katherine Manley makes it look easy, singing up a storm and winning over Captain Georg von Trapp (Troy Cook) and his seven charming children, Leisl (Julie Tabash), Friedrich (Grand Bradow), Louisa (Margaret Pilkington), Brigitta (Grace Pouliot), Kurt (Cooper Causey), Marta (Kaylee Rooks), and Gretl (Lucy Crile).

Maria Zifchak as the Mother Abbess and Katherine Manley as maria Rainer
Maria Zifchak as the Mother Abbess
and Katherine Manley as Maria Rainer
Photo: Mark Kiryluk
Cook is a rich baritone and fine actor as well, making his pairing with Manley a lovely match-up. Robert Orth is a crack-up as Max Detweiler, the irrepressible impressario. Lucy Schaufer does marvelous work as Elsa Schraeder, the Captain's first love interest, finding a sublime means to bow out gracefully when the Captain falls in love with Maria.

Michael Kuhn as Franz and Julie Tabash as Liesl von Trapp
Ian O'Brien as Rolf
and Julie Tabash as Liesl von Trapp
Photo: Mark Kiryluk
Maria Zifchak, as the warm-hearted and wise Mother Abbess, wows us with "Climb Every Mountain," and gets wonderful comedic back up from Tatiana Ogan (Sister Berthe), Leah Bobbey (Sister Margaretta) and Samantha Gossard (Sister Sophia). Tabash (Leisl) and Ian O'Brien (Rolf) make sweet young lovers and do wonders with "Sixteen Going On Seventeen."

Director Ken Cazan once again puts together a top-notch package: the scenery and props, along with the costumes designed by Catherine Zuber and Amanda Seymour, are delightful!

Maestro Craig Kier and the festival orchestra provide a lush rendition of this classic score.

Central City Opera's production of The Sound of Music, music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse, suggested by "The Trapp Family Singers," by Maria Augusta Trapp, runs through August 10th. For tickets: 303-292-6700 or centralcityopera.org.

Bob Bows

 

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