Friday, December 6, 2013

MMT's 'Sound of Music' Is Superb

Maddie ran into her best friend Grace at "Sound of Music" tonight.
Maddie and Pamps
Mill Mountain Theatre's "The Sound of Music," its newest production, is a delightful example that the theater is fully back and quite possibly a better experience than it was for a long time before closing for nearly two years recently.

It plays through Dec. 22.

This mixture of professional actors and local amateurs works almost to perfection. I think this play is what those who brought MMT back from the dead had in mind for good theater that does not require the troupe to spend itself into the ground. There are great efficiencies with this piece, but none that interferes with the on-stage entertainment value of the work.

The children of the Von Trapp Family are all local and all talented. The few equity actors are worth whatever they're being paid because their singing, dancing and acting are superb. Ginger Poole's direction is nearly flawless.

I was especially taken by four of the female singers, all operetic and all quite good, especially lead Sarah Stevens, a Harrisonburg native and equity veteran, who was a marvelous Maria. April Wood, as Moher Abess, sang "Climb Every Mountain" twice and tears wet the front of my sweater each time. Carlyn Connolly (as Elsa Schraeder) and Anna Kimmell (as Liesl) each sang delightful solos. Anna is director of education at MMT these days.

Al Bundonis, as Captain Von Trapp, was solid in a part that demands little more than that, but the entire production was far better than I expected. Delightful. Thoroughly entertaining and my grandgirl, Madeline, whose bedtime is usually around 9 was wide awake when the play ended at 10:30. She was thrilled as I. Go see "The Sound of Music." It's a good one.

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