Hanover High’s production of The Sound of Music kicked off Friday night with a sold-out audience and fantastic performance. After seeing Romeo and Juliet earlier this year I was well aware that Mr. Plummer was an effective directer as well as a drama teacher, but he really out did himself this time. The costumes were amazing and very true to the movie (can you say play-clothes made of curtains?!), and senior Mary McWilliams did an amazing job as the hair and make-up extraordinaire. The sets were also very well done and allowed for a quick transition from one scene to the next…not to mention a few musical numbers that took place on the stairs.
The production began in the abbey, where the nuns sang in their angelic voices as they gathered for prayers. Madison Fitzpatrick led as the Mother Abbess singing in her beautiful operatic soprano, and her reverend posse included Katie Scott as Sister Berthe, Hannah Kirby as Sister Margaretta, and Kayla Maslow as Sister Sophia. These ladies nailed their performance of the song Maria, and as one of my favorite scenes in the movie, I knew that I was in for a treat. Then we finally meet Maria, but let me tell you, it was definitely worth the wait. Hayley Ardizzoni was the center that this musical revolved around and she played her part like and absolute professional. Not only her vox-trained pipes but also her facial expressions and general aura contributed to making her the perfect person for this role. After her introductory solo The Sound of Music, Maria is told by the Mother Abbess that she is basically much to happy to live in the Abbey, and has even been caught singing in the gardens (oh, the horror). Instead, she will become the new governess for Captain von Trapp’s brood of seven children, a number she didn’t look too psyched about.
Despite being the cause for tears of many a governess, the von Trapp children were an immediate success from the second that they marched in when the audience broke into laughter. Maria sassily lets the Captain, played by senior Zach McAurthur, know that she, or the children for that matter, will not be summoned by a whistle, and once he has left she begins breaking the rules once again when it comes to singing. I suppose this is alright when you have a voice like Hayley’s, however, and soon she has the children in a rousing chorus of Do-Re-Mi. In the following scene on the infamous terrace, we learn a few important things: Macy Hohenleitner (who plays Liesl) would probably win best supporting role if we were at the Oscars, Brennan Taylor makes a mean Rolf and has the voice to match, and Ms. Bossong could quit her job at any time and become a successful choreographer. All is going well for the family, the children are getting over their fear if lightning storms with the help of sing-a longs in Maria’s bed, they are getting to play outside wearing curtains, when the Captain returns with his new lady, Elsa. Lindsey Glover became this role, with her slightly upturned nose and stick-straight posture, she played Elsa even better than I could have imagined. The kids like Elsa, but they like Maria more, although not as much as Captain von Trapp. Things get pretty heated when the two dance at a party, and the children’s perfect rendition of So long, Farewell has a double meaning as Maria boots it back to the Abbey to escape her feelings for the Captain.
Act two begins with Max, a friend of Georg von Trapp’s, trying to coax a Do-Re-Me out of the now depressed children. Max, played by senior Thomas O’Connor, was one of my favorite characters with his bravado personality, quick come-backs for everything, and even perfect German mustache. The kids are overjoyed when Maria comes back and they celebrate by (can you guess?) singing My Favorite Things. The situation gets even better when Elsa and Georg (who has a pretty amazing voice himself) sing Ordinary Couple, a song I had never heard before but really enjoyed, and realize they are not an ordinary couple because they are both so stinking rich. Elsa hands over her engagement ring which soon finds a new place on Maria’s finger. Sadly, their honeymoon comes to a disastrous end upon their arrival back home, when Nazis Mike Nimeskern and Stephen Pallotta demand Georg immediately report for duty at the army base. Thankfully, Max has entered the family in a singing festival, where they preform some of their greatest hits. Zach McArthur knocks Edelweiss out of the park, and the performance of So Long, Farewell is even better than the first time (it that’s even possible). After the festival, the family escapes to the Abbey and then on to Switzerland. The musical ends with Maddie Fitzpatrick working her magic with the the song Climb Every Mountain…she even hit The Note.
Just watching this production I could see how much time and effort had gone into it from all aspects of production. The efforts did not go to waste, for the rest of the audience shared my opinion and when the cast took their bows not a single person in the house was sitting. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the musicians who played perfectly the entire night. I can’t even imagine learning to play one song so well, let alone keep it up for hours! Congratulations to anyone involved with the play, you earned yourselves and A+ in my book.