The Sound of Music Review – The Alps Still Echo

Maria (Diane Phelan) and all the little von Trapp children in THE SOUND OF MUSIC - Photo by Jason Niedle
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Inspired by the true story of the von Trapp family based on Maria von Trapp’s memoir, “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers,” THE SOUND OF MUSIC has wowed audiences and critics alike since it was first introduced on Broadway in 1959. With music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II (book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse) and originally starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, the musical won five Tony awards, including best musical, and was adapted into an award-winning film in 1961 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

Jenna Lea Rosen, Weston Bagley, Ashley Gallo, Oliver Stewart, Alma Marian, Erin Choi, Kayla Anjali, and Diane Phelan – Photo by Jason Niedle

This romantic and unforgettable musical takes place on the eve of the Austrian Anschluss, a time of controversial allegiances and impending war. When the lively novitiate Maria (Diane Phelan) – with clear-cut plans to become a nun – is sent to tutor widower Baron von Trapp’s seven children, fireworks are sure to ensue. For Captain von Trapp (Christopher Carl) has orchestrated his household into an even more precise environment than his very well ordered ships. Every denizen of the home has his very own, personal signal from von Trapp’s ship whistle – and they had better hop to it when called. Maria’s entry into this well-organized household is sure to make waves. As the captain contemplates marriage to the wealthy widow Elsa Schraeder (Joanne Javien), his children (Jenna Lea Rosen, Weston Bagley, Ashley Gallo, Oliver Stewart, Alma Marian, Erin Yoonsuh Choi, and Kayla Anjali) begin to spread their wings under the tutelage of their fiery, quirky nanny. And Austria slowly begins to come under the sway of the German Reich.

Diane Phelan, Christopher Carl as Baron von Trapp and the von Trapp children, and Joanne Javien – Photo by Jason Niedle

Skillfully directed by Glenn Casale with musical direction by Dennis Castellano, THE SOUND OF MUSIC sweeps into La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts like a cyclone of unforgettable music amid a heart-warming tale of a family on the cusp of war. Rodgers and Hammerstein have created music which will never grow old – and THE SOUND OF MUSIC is a lush, lyrical treasure. The production crew outdoes itself with magnificent scenic design by Adam Koch, glorious costumes by Deborah Roberts, and stunning hair/wig/makeup design by Kaitlin Yagen. Lighting (Jared A. Sayez) and sound (Josh Bessom) carry the story from the limitless mountain peaks of Austria to the palatial von Trapp estate and the elegant and awe-inspiring altar of Nonnberg Abbey, host to Maria’s nuptials.

Kevin Symons and Jenna Lea Rosen – Photo by Jason Niedle

But above all, the cast of THE SOUND OF MUSIC bring the story to life with their magnificent voices. Kudos to Christopher Carl (Baron von Trapp), Diane Phelan (Maria), and Suzanna Guzman (Mother Abbess), who certainly know how to turn a tune and raise goosebumps. And, of course, let’s not forget Arthur L. Ross’ cleverly choreographed numbers for the von Trapp kids. After all, who can resist little Gretl? You’ll have a hard time not joining in the tuneful songs and tapping your toes in time to the beat. If you’re a Rodgers and Hammerstein fan (and who isn’t?), THE SOUND OF MUSIC is a very special treat.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC runs through May 15, 2022, with performances at 7:30 on Thursdays, at 8 p.m. on Fridays, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Sundays. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is located at 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada, CA 90638. Tickets range from $14 to $79 ($15 student tickets are available). For information and reservations, call 562-944-9801 or 714-994-6310 or go online.


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