For three nights, CdS TheatreWorks performed The Sound of Music on the James C. Love Stage. From the beautiful singing to the grand and intricate sets to the live orchestra, this production was wonderful. Even though this show was two-and-a-half hours long, the talent of the cast and crew made every second entertaining
The story, set in 1938 Austria, followed Maria, a young woman who desires to be a nun yet cannot contain her sense of adventure. Because of her unintentional misbehavior, Mother Superior sends Maria away for several months, where she is to serve as a governess to the seven Von Trapp kids. From here, the story picks up, as Maria teaches the kids about the joy of singing, relaxes the stern Captain Von Trapp (he eventually sings too) and even gets married! In the end, the family is forced to flee Austria in order for patriotic Captain Von Trapp to escape serving Nazi Germany—a very sad ending following a rather joyous and carefree second act.
From the moment the music began, it was clear this show was going to be good. The “Preludium” was a gorgeous open to the show. The Nuns sounded absolutely angelic and they instantly created the mood of the Nonnberg Abbey. In fact, the first four numbers of the show, “Preludium,” “Sound of Music,” “Maria” and “My Favorite Things,” really kicked off the show in the right direction. This beginning set the standard for the singing in the show, which was fantastic.
The set of the abbey was also super detailed; it was truly impressive, especially since this was a high school production. The talent of the tech theater students and the crew was obvious, considering the set, props, costumes and lighting. The costumes, for example, were specifically created or assembled for this show, such as the various matching outfits for Von Trapp children. That attention to detail did not go unnoticed. Altogether, the technical elements successfully captured the look of this show.
While the whole cast did an excellent job, a few actors in particular stood out. It may be obvious, but senior Hunter Schineller, who played Maria, was outstanding. She has a beautiful voice, but it was her acting that made her performance great. Schineller was believable and had great chemistry with all the actors with whom she shared the stage. One of Schineller’s best scenes was when she and junior Camryn Haughton, who played Mother Superior, sang “My Favorite Things.” Both of these actresses are talented individually, so it was a treat to have them perform together. Schineller and senior Sam Joseph, who played Captain Von Trapp, also sounded amazing together, since Joseph has wonderful a voice, as well.
All of the Von Trapp children did well, and they sounded great together. Sophomore Katie Sanders did a particularly good job as Brigitta. Although she played young, it wasn’t overly childish, which made her performance both strong and believable.
Junior Adam Snyder, who played Max, also did a great job. Even though he didn’t have a super large role, in every scene he was in, he brought an infectious energy to the stage. Often, he gave his scenes some humor and lightness that relieved the audience from the more serious notes of the show.
All of the actors brought a professionality to the performance. On Saturday night, the mics were going in and out, but the actors were unphased by the minor technical difficulties (which, as an audience member, were easily overlooked) and adapted their singing to compensate.
In terms of the professionalism in this show, one of the most impressive elements was that was comprised of students to create a great production. They never missed a cue and sounded amazing. Most of all, it was nice seeing multiple performing arts join together to create a great production.
Overall, the singing, set and lighting design, costumes and orchestra created an extremely enjoyable production of The Sound of Music. There is great talent at Corona, and it will be exciting to see what all of these students do next.