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Skylight’s Warm Production of a Familiar Classic

Nov. 20, 2012
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The Sound of Music is most remembered for its 1965 movie adaptation with golden-voiced Julie Andrews as Maria. However, the original 1959 stage production with the equally compelling Mary Martin had established a more authentic, more intimate version of the famous work—one that left few viewers dry-eyed.

As Maria in the Skylight Music Theatre’s new production, Elizabeth Telford cannot quite match her formidable predecessors, nor is she expected to, but she brings a fresh warmth and cataclysmic energy to the production that is all her own. When she bounces onto the stage as if she were Annie Oakley, the audience cannot help but wonder how she will react with the formidable Captain von Trapp, somewhat woodenly played but well sung by Steve Koehler. The contrast works surprisingly well, due largely to Telford’s guileless charm. The seven kids are all terrific, particularly Erin Stapleton as teenage Liesl. Cynthia Marty as the Mother Abbess climbs that familiar mountain well in her famous solo. It‘s refreshing to see Skylight regular Bill Theisen as the portly Max Detweiller. The poignant final scenes introduce the last of the many great songs, “Edelweiss,” the Captain’s heartrending farewell to his homeland sung with solo guitar accompaniment.

Thanks to the beautifully modest production by the Skylight, we are again reminded that this is one of the greatest and most affecting musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein, with a poignancy that sometimes eluded the finely vocalized performance by Julie Andrews who, at times, seemed engulfed in the garrulous Technicolor track shots of the Austrian Alps.

Skylight will be performing The Sound of Music through Dec. 31 at the Cabot Theatre. Tickets may be purchased online at www.skylightmusictheatre.org or by phone at 414-291-7800.


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