Broadway Across Canada productions are about the only thing that will force me from the comforts of my quiet country life into the chaos and lights of downtown Vancouver. Rodgers & Hammersteins The Sound of Music was the latest show to do so.
We all know the story of Maria, the young woman who dreams of becoming a nun but can’t quite fit in. She ends up taking a position as a governess in the house of Captain Von Trapp, a retired Navy commander who runs his home more like a ship than a home. He lives his life distant from his seven children in order to protect himself, but his heart is soon softened by the voices and songs that Maria brings back into his life.
The live Rodgers & Hammerstein’s version of The Sound of Music definitely differs from the beloved film, with well-known songs being sung out of order and many scenes being skipped entirely. But condensing such an epic movie into just over two hours is no easy feat and they do it well!
The kids still run scared into Maria’s room during a thunderstorm and young Liesl is still witnessed pining away for her first love Rolf. The set manages to convincingly switch from abbey to home and more without feeling choppy or disorganized. And the final scene will still give you shivers as the Von Trappe family ascend the mountains on their way across the Austrian/Swiss borders.
You’re treated to all the most of the popular tunes, such as “My Favourite Things”, “Edelweiss”, “Climb Every Mountain”, and “Do Re Me”. You’ll also hear some songs you likely haven’t before, like “No Way to Stop it” and “How Can Love Survive”. This was nice, as it helped separate the obvious comparisons and remind you that you were in a theatre and not in your living room at home.
Cast highlights included Jill-Christine Wiley as Maria and Melissa Mckamie as Baroness Shraeder. Both had strong vocals and serious acting chops, making me completely believe in the character they were portraying.
The kids, though, completely steal the show (and your heart) whenever on stage. From the adorable Arick Brooks as Kurt, to the tiniest performer, Madeline Guilbo, as Gretal, each young performer had me smiling throughout. I can only imagine how proud their parents are to see them on stage each evening singing their little hearts out!
The Sound of Music is a classic story that I hope continues to be told through the coming generations. It teaches of love and sacrifice, family and conviction. And it teaches us that we must always do what is right, even when it’s hard.
If you’re looking for a family friendly Broadway show that’s an affordable night out, be sure to check for available tickets and other show times for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. It will be on stage at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver until September 17th