“The Sound of Music” (music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse) has been enchanting audiences since making its 1959 Broadway debut. In the past 63 years, it has spawned multiple revivals; television adaptations in both the United States and Great Britain; a hit movie starring Julie Andrews; and numerous campy sing-alongs—all while bolstering tourism in the Austrian city of Salzburg. Sing the line “the hills are alive” and someone will finish “with the sound of music.”
The 15-piece pit orchestra gives this small-town theatre the sound and excitement of a big city production…a great production of a theatre classic.
Everyone loves the story of a plucky young woman who leaves the convent, marries her widowed employer, and escapes from the Nazis with her new husband and his seven children—on foot and through the Alps—all while belting out some of Broadway’s most endearing songs. The plot has everything—romance, adventure, suspense, danger—and an outstanding musical score and lyrics. Oh, and it is based on a true story—a memoir written by the real Maria von Trapp.
Under the direction of Stephen Pugh, The Newtowne Players’ production of this popular musical will delight fans. Sarah Gravelle shines as Maria, the singing governess who brings music back to the strict and somber von Trapp household. Liam Coan, Abby Lovelace, Jacob Culp, Lila Meisinger, Fiona Meisinger, and Gracie Culp/Mia Mildenstein are delightful in their roles as the von Trapp children. Ellyanna Tyson delivers a standout performance as Leisl, the oldest of the von Trapp siblings. She is paired with the equally talented William Compton who plays Rolf, the smitten, telegram delivery boy.
The ensemble cast consists of both veteran and debuting performers in supporting roles. Chad Mildenstein portrays pretentious festival organizer Max Detweiler with charm. Mikey Hardwick, as grouchy Sister Bertha, has beautiful comedic timing. Shelby Miller is lovely as Baroness Schrader, the wealthy love interest of Captain von Trapp.
The real star of this show, however, is the music. Award-winning tenor David W. Cook stars as Captain von Trapp and soprano Leigh Ann Hinton plays the convent’s Mother Abbess. Both deliver outstanding vocal performances. The 15-piece pit orchestra gives this small-town theatre the sound and excitement of a big city production. The talents of Music Director Pateley Bongiorni and choreographers Rachael and Steve Howell are evident throughout this show.
Costume Designer Oggy Ogbourne, with the assistance of Joanne Fuesel, Brittainy North, and Jennifer Taubert, is to be commended. From habits to dirndls to play clothes made from curtains, the large cast is beautifully clothed in the attire one would expect to find in 1939 Austria.
For all the pageantry, The Newtowne Players’ production of “The Sound of Music,” there are no surprises. If you can’t get enough of a story and music you already love, buy your tickets online and head down to Southern Maryland for a great production of a theatre classic.
Running time: Approximately three hours with one 15-minute intermission.
“The Sound of Music“ runs through March 5, 2023, presented by The Newtowne Players at Three Notch Theatre, 21744 S. Coral Drive, Lexington Park, MD 20653. Showtimes: Thursdays-Saturdays, 8:00 pm; Sundays, 3:30 pm. For more information and tickets, visit here or call 301-737-5447. Masks are optional.