The wonderful von Trapp children, Maria and Captain Georg, perfectly portrayed by a great cast. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Music, performances first rate in ‘The Sound Of Music’

Multi-talented cast leaves a great impression, including all the kids

An ensemble of excellent voices and charming performances anchor another hit for the Chemainus Theatre Festival in its first production of 2019, The Sound of Music.

This classic tale of nun-to-be Maria taking on the role of governess for widowed Captain von Trapp’s seven difficult children, falling in love with them and him, and escaping from the Nazis in Austria on the eve of the Second World War, shines on the Chemainus stage and it’s all about the wonderful, tone-perfect performances — and I’m not just talking about the music.

This show, which is only on stage until April 6 could have easily been the theatre’s big summer musical, but instead we get this gem to kick off the new season.

The musical performances are first class, with all of your favourites sung to perfection, from ‘The Hills Are Alive’ to ‘16 Going on 17’. ‘Climb Every Mountain’, performed by Stephanie Roth as the Mother Abbess is a showstopper. Actually, the nuns in general are a highlight and a surprising source of comedy.

Julia Ullrich as Maria is perfection. Her voice is excellent, but beyond that she embodies the journey Maria goes through from absent-minded nun to falling in love. Ullrich has a great rapport with the children playing her von Trapp charges, which is absolutely key to the success of the show, and great romantic chemistry with Ian Farthing as Captain Georg von Trapp (one kiss even got some vocal response from the opening night audience).

I didn’t know what to expect from the seven children (Hannah Patrice, Jonas Brittain, Anna Hill, Brin Slydell, Jillian Telfer, Julianna Toft and Kaia Russell and Megan Williams who share the role of Gretl) in the cast. But this group was amazing, wonderful at defining their characters from one another through performing the challenging music and choreography. Patrice as the eldest, Liesl, deserves special mention for her portrayal of a young woman caught between family and romance, childhood and adulthood. She’s also got a beautiful voice which she used to great effect in her duet with Erik Gow as suitor Rolf Gruber.

Henry Beasley as Max Detweiler was funny and charming, also playing the trumpet to great effect. Cate Richardson was both Sister Berthe and Elsa Schrader, the wealthy widow who hopes to marry Captain von Trapp. She had just the right amount of charm and steel, and played a mean violin as well.

This is one multi-talented cast that will blow you away. And if you’ve been given pause about heading to the show because you remember that the film version was long, fear not. There is no place where the show drags. Under the direction of Mark DuMez and musical direction of Melissa Morris The Sound of Music moves quickly, one iconic song seeming to lead into another, while the plot continues apace. You will not be looking at your watch. And I guarantee you’ll be humming as you leave the theatre.

Just Posted

ABBA hits grace Mamma Mia! for a joyous occasion

Plenty of buzz heading into musical production at the Chemainus Theatre

Public meeting being held on future of old Crofton Elementary School site

Cowichan Valley School District will hear proposals at information session May 30

Chemainus Secondary’s Bannister burns up the track for 100 and 200 metre wins

Competitors way behind in both junior girls races at the Island high school championships

North Cowichan council denies rezoning bid for cannabis outlet in Chemainus

Site on Chemainus Road deemed too close to spaces frequented by youth

Father’s anguish remains three years after son’s murder in Chemainus

Derek Descoteau remembered as a young man with such a great future ahead

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Most Read