Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cabrillo Music Theatre is Alive with The Sound of Music

Shannon Warne, Tom Schmid and the Von Trapp children
Photo credit: Ed Krieger

One of the highlights of my trip to Salzburg a few years ago was seeing locations that had been used for the filming of The Sound of Music, along with a few that didn’t appear, like the church where Maria and Capt. Von Trapp were actually married. And, yes, I did fling my arms out on a hill and sing, “The hills are alive with the sound of music…” What true musical theatre lover could resist, especially one who grew up with the classics and still loves them today.

Happily, this family favorite is currently alive in Thousand Oaks as Cabrillo Music Theatre revives the stage musical The Sound of Music, directed by artistic director Lewis Wilkenfeld. The glossy, community-driven production seems right at home in a city that takes great pride in its “Broadway in your backyard” hometown theatre.

In the starring roles are Shannon Warne as the very spirited Maria and Tom Schmid, who portrays a much more subdued than usual, Capt. Von Trapp, though when the pair sings, separately or together, the Rodgers & Hammerstein magic shines. Michael G. Hawkins is the opportunistic Max Detweiler, infusing the role with a delicious playfulness that left me wanting more, and Kristina Van Horst proves that, no matter what you do, the littlest Von Trapp will always steal the show.

The ensemble of nuns, led by Marilyn Anderson as the Mother Abbess, also does heavenly justice to the gorgeous choral arrangements of “Preludium,” “Gadeamus Domino,” and “Confitemini Domino,” not often remembered because of the number of other popular songs from show. And hearing favorites like “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and the title song brought to full blush under the baton of musical director Darryl Archibald never gets old.

For all of its charm, it is still odd to hear songs long associated with beloved film scenes appear in different locations in the stage version, like hearing Maria sing “My Favorite Things” as a duet with the Mother Abbess at the Abbey instead of in the famous bedroom scene, which now contains “The Lonely Goatherd.” Sorry, no puppets in the stage musical. If you can set aside those expectations, however, you’ll find Cabrillo’s The Sound of Music to be every bit as entertaining as you would hope it to be.

The Sound of Music runs through July 31st. For tickets and more information go to

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Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
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