‘The Sound of Music’ resounds at BLT

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2011

CAPTAIN VON TRAPP demonstrates his military methods of child-rearing to newly arrived governess Maria. From the left, are Caylin Walsingham (Louisa), Perry Bridges (Fredrich), Jennifer Barineau (Maria), Stephanie Mills (Liesl), Brooke Phillips, (Gretl), Patrick Carrin, (Capt. von Trapp), Quest Brown (Kurt), Ellie Bridges (Marta) and Mattie Winburn (Brigitta).

Who doesn’t love “The Sound of Music,” the ever popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical production that tells the story of the von Trapp family!

Who doesn’t thrill to the songs that have become standards in the American songbook: “The Sound of Music,” “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and “Do Re Mi,” to name a few.

Who doesn’t want to cheer for the governess Maria, who comes as a postulant from the Abbey to tutor and care for the seven von Trapp children of widower, Capt. Georg von Trapp.

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Who doesn’t feel the love and compassion, music and joy she brings to the rigid, somber home, the children, and ultimately to the captain himself, as she wins his love against rival, wealthy and sophisticated Elsa Schraeder, so obviously unsuited to the role of wife and mother.

Who doesn’t feel a pang of sympathy for the young, ill-fated lovers Liesl and Rolf?

And who doesn’t feel the anger and anxiety brought about by the presence of the Nazi regime in Austria, as the von Trapp family is forced to flee their homeland and head to Switzerland and freedom.

This stage musical, taken from a book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse, based on the memoirs of Maria von Trapp, titled The Story of The Trapp Family Singers, has been beloved by all since it first appeared on Broadway in November 1959, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. But, it really became the well-known classic with the 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

Bainbridge Little Theatre has selected “The Sound of Music” as its spring production and director Thaddeus Nifong has chosen a stellar cast led by Jennifer Barineau from Tallahassee, Fla., in the role of Maria and Patrick Carrin, also of Tallahassee, as Capt. Georg von Trapp.

The children are: 16 year-old Liesl (Stephanie Mills), Louisa (Caylin Walsingham), Kurt (Quest Brown), Brigitta (Mattie Winburn), Marta (Ellie Bridges), Fredrich (Perry Bridges) and Gretl (Brooke Phillips).

Supporting roles are played by Cheryl Carvajal as the Mother Abbess, Debbie Sloan as Sister Berthe, Martha Mobley as Sister Margaretta, Marie Stapleton as Sister Sophia. Austin Rowe plays Rolf Gruber, the love interest of Liesl. Ida Cooksey assumes the role of Frau Schmidt, the housekeeper, and Andrew Cooksey is Franz, the butler. Pam Barnes appears as Elsa Schraeder, Stephanie Mayfield is Ursula, Max Detweiler is portrayed by Stephen Mayfield, Herr Zeller by Eli Poche, Baroness Elberfeld by Marjorie Mayfield and Scott Dunn is Admiral von Schreiber. The nun ensemble is composed of Becky Bardin, Marjorie Mayfield, Stephanie Mayfield, Jill Overman, Heather Phillips, Abbey Smith and Diana Whitaker. The soldiers are Alexander Jacobik and Joshua Lynn.

Choreographer is Susan Livingston-Higdon of Tallahassee, who has often brought her talents to the BLT musical stage.

Who doesn’t leave the theater humming, whistling or singing the familiar strains and words, “The hills are alive with the sound of music,” echoing in their minds.

“The Sound of Music” is definitely one of “My Favorite Things,” and if not already one of yours, it will be after you see the BLT production.

Performance dates are the weekend of April 29-30, and May 1, and May 6, 7 and 8, with evening performances beginning at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30. For ticket and reservation information, call (229) 246-8345, or email: bainbridgelittletheatre@gmail.com.