Fine arts production, “The Sound of Music,” blew me away


Krista Fleming

Senior Kyler Beck and junior Sophia Wheeler sing “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” during a rehearsal on Jan. 17. The fine arts department will perform the schoolwide musical the weekends of Jan. 19 and Jan. 26 in the auditorium.

Growing up, no road trip or visit to my grandparents house was complete without watching the movie adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Sound of Music.” So when I found out the schoolwide musical would be the stage version, I was wary. 

All that worry quickly faded away, as this production could pass for a traveling, professional show. 

The iconic show follows the life of the most irresponsible nun in the Nonnberg Abbey, Maria, during World War II as she becomes governess for a decorated war veteran’s children and teaches them the power of music. As the story goes on, Maria and Captain Von Trapp fall in love, but must flee Austria after Germany invades.

When I walked into the show, I couldn’t imagine the role of Maria being played by anyone other than the legendary Julie Andrews, but senior Emma Foughty brings so much energy to the iconic role that the movie slipped my mind. The line deliveries are different from what I’m used to, yet feel natural. Not only that, but the entire main cast is amazing. The romance between Liesl (junior Sophia Wheeler) and Rolf (senior Kyler Beck) is phenomenal, along with the acting of all the Von Trapp children and their father (senior Nick Ballas).

Compared to last year’s over-the-top production of “Legally Blonde,” the technical parts of the show are underwhelming. The light is natural and follows the characters, though — at least on dress rehearsal night — some parts left characters in the dark. The costumes are well done, but not elaborate to make some of the other lackluster technical aspects feel like nothing was missing. With such traditional, simple technical aspects of the rest of the show, it felt almost incomplete. That’s not to say the technical parts of the show weren’t on point, I just wish there were more of them. 

One of the best parts of the show is the way it captures the audience in its setting. A stark contrast to the big, constantly changing set of last year, this one provides levels and a natural look that helps blend into the background. Through the combined efforts of a video screen and props — which are excellent as well — I was never lost as to where the scene was taking place. 

My biggest qualm is the sound of the pit. While the music itself is lovely and nostalgic, on the evening I attended, there were many lines that I couldn’t hear over the music. The acting pulled it together most of the time with gestures and facial expressions, though, so the story wasn’t completely lost. When I could hear it, the singing was amazing — capturing the emotions of each character and bringing the story to new levels. 

While this musical may not have the flair “Legally Blonde” brought, its originality and excellent performances far surpass a normal high school production and is well worth the admissions fee.