The air was electric with anticipation as friends, family and community members settled in for Upstage’s summer production of The Sound of Music. Throughout the evening, you could hear and feel the urge to sing every single song as the first notes began to play. Such is the power of The Sound of Music in our collective consciousness. Literally every song is recognizable and people seem to know all the words, consciously or not. From the nuns singing How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, which is particularly cute when the Mother Superior looks to be about 10 years old, to the ubiquitous Sound of Music and every song in between, it truly is one of the most beloved musicals of all time.
Artistic director Adrian Cohen says even he didn’t know how it would be to have kids playing both children and adults side by side but he needn’t have worried because it worked and was charming with some of the older kids taking on the adult roles. But even when it was a younger child, as with Lola Kim playing Mother Abbess, it was pretty cute seeing her in her nun outfit giving motherly advice to Maria.
The leads are double cast and it was actually pretty seamless when it came to the Von Trapp children, many of whom looked like twins! Shireen Estolano-Sridharan brought a lovely charm and innocence to the role of Maria, while Ava Page had a slightly more mature take in the romantic scenes later in the show, both having lovely voices. The two Captain Von Trapps were also well suited to each Maria with Jaren Sin doing a nice job with the military, by the book early scenes and Sam Deetjen bringing the needed emotion to the touching Edelweiss.
The Von Trapp children were darling and the crowd ate up the famous So Long, Farewell number. The Von Trapp Children were played by Colin Campbell, Frances Cassell, Gwyn Daley, Aubrey Deetjen, Ava Dunville, Griffin Farmarco, Carolyn Quinones, Zoe Rusch, Miles Tabot, Aniera Ramppari, Annika Tamparri, Diego Williams, Emma Jay Johnson and Sasha Levie.
Another crowd pleaser is the Lonely Goatherd number that includes just about the entire ensemble, some of whom are dressed as marionettes. The comedic standout of the night was Corwin Daley as loveable Uncle Max. By the time the audience has walked down memory lane with such classic numbers as the Von Trapps in their playclothes made from curtains singing Do Re Mi, frightened by lightening and huddled together in Maria’s room singing My Favorite Things, to the epic Climb Every Mountain, their evening had been chock full of American musical theatre at its best. The good vibes continued outside as the crowd could be heard humming the tunes as they awaited the young thespians at the stage door.
Upstage ends their summer shows with one final weekend of The Sound of Music with three performances presented by the Session 3 Cast. Friday August 5 at 7:30pm, Saturday August 6 at 3:30pm and 6:30pm. Running time is approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.
Upstage will soon be enrolling for Fall classes at www.upstageschools.com which will include a Junior Program (ages 5-9) – Seussical Jr. a Senior program (ages 9-15) – Musical Review and a Saturday acting class with Patrick Hallahan beginning in October.