Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse
Directed & Choreographed by Rachel Rockwell
Music Direction by Roberta Duchak
At Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace
Beautiful, wholesome and faithful production of the beloved family musical The Sound of Music is the first ‘must-see’ of the holiday season.
Rachel Rockwell and the creative staff at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook have a lavish set (designed by Kevin Depinet), colorful costumes (by Therese Ham) and expert musical arrangements (by Roberta Duchak) that all contribute to a wonderful, moving and sweet production of one of the most beloved Broadway musicals ever penned for the stage.
This is a superb production in many ways. First, it is a faithful remount of the original 1959 production that stared Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. Second, the production values are superb and lastly, the cast is filled with “A” list players including Larry Adams as Captain von Trapp and Jennifer Blood as Maria. The likes of John Reeger, Paula Scrofano, Peter Kevoian, McKinley Carter, Catherine Lord, David Girolmo and Craig Spidle offer splendid supporting roles. The children: Julia Baker as Gretl, Arielle Dayan as Brigitta, Laura Nelson as Louisa, Zachary Keller as Fredrich,Emily Leahy as Marta, Ben Parkhill as Kurt and Kate Huff as Liesel were terrific as the loved-starved children of the strict naval commander father.
This fictional account of the von Trapp family is set in 1930’s Austria just before the start of World War II that finds Maria as a free-spirited young women struggling with her vocation as a nun. The Mother Abbess (the golden voiced Patti Cohenour) decides to test Maria’s vocation by sending her back into the world as a governess for seven children at the von Trapp estate.
Maria teaches the kids to sing (the toe-tapping “Do-Re-Me”) and wins their hearts with her unconditional loving spirit and energy. Maria also falls for the Captain (Larry Adams). The family is forced to flee the Nazi’s before the Captain is forced to join the German navy. The Sound of Music is a charming, heartwarming musical treat containing some of the best know show tunes and filled with enough goodness and purity to entertain all ages.
With classic tunes like the hauntingly beautiful “The Sound of Music” and “Edelweis” and the moving anthem “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” together with charming songs like “My Favorite Things,” “The Lonely Goat” and “So Long, Farewell,” The Sound of Music has become one of the most recognizable and loved scores ever. Lead by the girlishly charming and vocally sweet Jennifer Blood,who infuses Maria with pure love, Maria easily wins the hearts of the children, the Captain and the audience. Jennifer Blood is wholesome and winning as Maria. Larry Adams is fine as the tough, loved-starved widower. Adams gives the Captain a powerful stage presence. But the seven children were so polished, charming and skilled that they make us quickly love them.
This is a major production of a classic show that begs to be seen. It is faithful to the original complete with two songs cut from the 1965 film. Rediscover the fabulous score and witty lyrics by the great Rodgers & Hammerstein team to witness a truly heartwarming show that restores your faith in humanity. This is a flawless production. Rachel Rockwell once again shows her directing chops.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2011
At Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, IL, call 630-530-0111, www.drurylaneoakbrook.com, tickets $35 -$46, Wednesdays at 1:30 pm, Thursdays at 1:30 pm & 8 pm, Fridays at 8:30 pm, Saturdays at 5 & 8:30 pm, Sundays at 2 & 6 pm, running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes with intermission, through January 8, 2012.