‘Sound’ soars on stage in Moffat County
November 20, 2010
If you go
What: Moffat County High School Theatre Department’s production of “The Sound of Music”
When: 2 and 7 p.m. today
Where: Moffat County High School auditorium, 900 Finley Lane
— Admission is $5 per person
Kat Thompson said playing Maria Rainer in the "The Sound of Music" is a daunting task.
Beyond singing the highs and lows, hitting the marks and remembering the lines, she's also filling some big shoes.
The character Maria was made iconic by Julie Andrews nearly 50 years ago in the film version — a movie that won five Oscars and the hearts of millions worldwide.
"It's really fun because everybody knows who the character is," Thompson said. "But, it's also really hard because you're being compared to Julie Andrews.
"But, somebody told me last night, 'Julie Andrews, Schmulie Andrews. You did great.'"
"The Sound of Music" is in the midst of its three-night run at the Moffat County High School auditorium.
More than 80 actors, musicians, techs and faculty members are involved in the large-scale production, which includes a full orchestra, wireless sound, lavish costumes, intricate lighting and moveable sets.
The final performances will take place at 2 and 7 p.m. today. The cost is $5 per person.
Director Heather Dahlberg said she's proud of her performers.
"I'm thrilled," she said. "Thrilled beyond belief."
"The Sound of Music" takes place in 1930s Austria. A buttoned-down widower, Captain Von Trapp, hires free-spirited Maria to serve as nanny to his seven children. Conflicts between the two arise almost immediately, but the pair eventually succumb to their attraction.
The musical, written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, opened on Broadway in 1959. Later, the play was adapted for film by screenwriter Ernest Lehman.
Dahlberg said her production is a hybrid of the play and film.
"I've done a lot of modifications on the show," Dalberg said. "The original script, to me, is a little sophomoric. I did a lot of fusion between the movie and the script, because the movie was written so well.
"And also, people are more familiar with the movie than they are with the musical. The musical is substantially different, so I wanted to bring a little familiarity to the audience, knowing that they know the movie."
Actress Dakota Lee, who plays Sister Agatha, said the director has allowed the show to evolve into something unique, yet familiar.
"Ms. Dahlberg's influence has allowed us to make it our own," Lee said. "It is a classic, but it's our version of a classic.
"We make it right, we make it perfect, to the best of our ability, but we make it our own."
Actress Kellie Looper, who plays one of the Von Trapp children, said Dahlberg's flexibility has been a necessary component for creation.
"You have to find a way to fit into your character," she said.
Cast members said audiences have responded well.
Actor Cody Rogers, who plays the butler, said the audience for the opening performance included many MCHS students.
"Everybody just enjoyed it," Rogers said. "Even the students of Moffat County High School were getting into it and having fun.
"And that usually doesn't happen."
Dahlberg said the students' positive response to the play is significant.
"When you're an actor and you have your own peers telling you how good the show was — to the point of distraction — it's that much more fulfilling," she said. "You know parents and adults are going to love it, but hearing it from your peers is something special."
Tammy Rogers, who volunteered to sell tickets, said sales were "huge" for opening night.
"There were at least 400 people here, maybe more," she said.
However, band director John Bolton predicted the show's high production values have made the play too good for its own good.
"We are not going to break even," he said. "We have stepped up the quality of the costuming. We purchased some much-needed technical equipment.
"But, we'll still have seed money for the next production."
Aside from financial concerns, Bolton said the musical has been a success.
"I give most of the credit for the continuity of this project to Ms. Dahlberg," he said. "It's been very well organized. She understands the show front to back. It's been awesome."
Craig resident Andy Chotvacs said he enjoyed the show.
"I liked the little munchkins," he said of the show's grade-school performers.
Audience member Cody Draper also had praise for the show.
"I like it," he said. "It's better than the movie."