The Lake Country Players to present 'The Sound of Music'
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Lake Country Players are set to present their production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music.
Based on Maria von Trapp's 1949 memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, The Sound of Music tells the story of young postulant Maria Rainer, who becomes the governess to the seven children of Captain Georg von Trapp. After bringing love and music into the von Trapp's lives, she and the captain marry. Soon after their marriage ceremony, however, the family must find a way to flee their homeland after it was overtaken by the Nazis.
Contrary to popular belief, the stage musical preceded the well-known film version starring Julie Andrews, featuring differences that may take fans of the movie slightly aback.
"There [are] some songs that are a little bit different," said Matthew Kelly, who plays the role of Captain von Trapp in the Lake Country Players' production. "You get a little more political statements...and thinking about what life was like in 1930s Austria...It promises to give something to people who have loved the film for years but have never seen it performed live."
The role of Captain von Trapp was originated by Theodore Bikel in the 1959 original Broadway production, and is most notably known to be played by Christopher Plummer in the 1965 film version. Kelly admits stepping into the shoes of a character once played by two acting legends was a bit daunting.
"I'll admit, it was really challenging," he said. "To play Captain von Trapp, I really wanted to think about how somebody in his position -- having lost his wife, kind of lost his way, unsure of how to raise his children and going back to all he knows which is a military style of life -- [finds] how music can help ease some of the pain he had felt. He's also dealing with the struggle of the impending Nazi invasion to take over Austria...and it definitely has some heavy parts to it. So I did the best I could to thrust myself into the role and think, 'How would I feel as a father if I was in his shoes?'"
As for the role of fatherhood in this production, Kelly experiences quite a bit of it. The roles of the von Trap children were double cast to perform in two shows each, making a grand total of 14 children featured in the cast."
"The children are phenomenal," Kelly said. "We just only had way too many talented children to only limit them to one [cast]. So, we added a second cast, and we added a fourth show. They have made rehearsal so much fun; they bring a lot of energy and excitement; and for a lot of kids, this is the first time they've done something this big."
The Sound of Music will play at the Watkins Glen High School auditorium from Friday to Sunday. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Tickets can be purchased at the door, with sales beginning 45 minutes before show time.