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'The Sound of Music'

Classic musical is a feast for the eyes and ears

Posted: July 27, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: July 27, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Maria (second from right, played by Jill Kocalis Scott) and the von Trapp children sing in "The Sound of Music."

 

Those of us who have been around awhile consider “The Sound of Music” a classic and know it intimately. But we forget that the next generation might not be so familiar with the story and the important message it provides: that of standing up for what you believe is right.

Well, whether you are a seasoned SOM veteran, desiring to open up your children’s eyes, or merely want to enjoy a sweet story with some wonderful music, your opportunity awaits at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, where the Santa Clarita Regional Theatre group is presenting the play through Aug. 12.

Patti Finley and TimBen Boydston are co-directing the show, and Finley felt it was not only entertaining, but educational, as well. “This is a special show, with message that’s very relevant, considering what is going on in the world,” Finley said. “It’s about the importance of family, the importance of country, about tolerance and standing up for what you know is right.”

And she noted that we can’t all stand by and be Max Detweilers, in reference to that character’s willingness to “go with the flow” regarding the Nazi occupation of Austria.

But, of course, “Sound of Music” is more than a message, it is sweet healing for the soul and wonderful escapism, as you are carried along by the classic music and songs.

“This is the most operatic of the Rodgers and Hammerstein shows,” Finley said. And with the live orchestra and some powerful voices and harmony, all of that comes out. From the beautifully hypnotic opening scene, with the nuns of Nonnberg Abbey filing in with song, to the inspiring finale, you are pleasantly swept away.

The sets on this big stage are elegantly basic, primarily made up of backdrops to create each scene. And these backdrops are impressive in their artistry, especially the mountain scenic, which had me thinking, “I want to go there.”

Though most of us know it well, the brief story is this: When a novice nun, Maria, proves too high-spirited for the religious life, she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of widowed naval Captain von Trapp. Her growing rapport with the youngsters, coupled with her generosity of spirit, gradually captures the heart of the stern captain, and they marry. Upon returning from their honeymoon, they discover that Austria has been invaded by the Nazis, who demand the captain’s immediate service in their navy. The family plans, and carries out, a daring escape over the mountains, slipping away from a music festival as the Nazis hunt them.

The 30-plus characters in this production of “The Sound of Music” are generally well-cast and their costumes impressive. There are several notable voices, as well, including Jill Kocalis Scott, who plays Maria. She presents Maria’s hopeful, youthful energy perfectly and brings her songs to life.

I was also impressed with the voice of Colin Roberts as Rolf, which was sweet and powerful. And the house was obviously impressed with the commanding singing of Virginia Stewart as the Mother Abbess.

All of this translates to a wonderful family experience at the PAC, and I’d recommend you enjoy it while you can.

“The Sound of Music” will have performances on Saturdays at 8 p.m. on July 28 and Aug. 4 and 11; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. will be held on July 29 and Aug. 5 and 12. Ticket prices range from $12 to $29, depending on seat location and junior or senior discounts. Group rates are also available. The SCRT is offering free tickets to the unemployed and their families, with proof of unemployment, and depending on availability.

Tickets are now on sale at the SCRT/Canyon Theatre Guild box office, 661-799-2702. The box office is located in the CTG lobby at 24242 Main Street, Newhall, but all performances will be at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Valencia, CA 91355.

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