“The Sound of Music” Soars to the Mountaintops
by Noah Liedtke
Northside College Prep hosted its annual spring musical from Feb. 15 through Feb. 18. Compared to other years, this year’s show, “The Sound of Music,” by Rodgers and Hammerstein, should be much more well known. The musical precedes the 1965 film, and it is based on the book “The Von Trapp Family Singers.” When asked how “The Sound of Music” compares to past Northside productions, Donovan Holt, Adv. 907, who plays Captain Von Trapp, states, “The Sound of Music, for me, is different than the other productions that I've been in because it's more well known. I would tell my friends and their parents who I played and they would go crazy. Along with that, they set the bar so high as to me being exactly like Christopher Plummer (the movie Georg). Comparing myself to him to was a little intimidating, but I put my heart and soul into this character as if it were natural and I have my own interpretation of the character and I believe it paid off.”
Friday and Saturday’s evening shows shows were sold out, and even the 3:00 p.m. Sunday matinee was nearly at capacity. This alone shows the hype for this musical hitting Northside’s stage. The production was directed by Ms. Nythia Martinez, Fine Arts department, and she was assisted by stage managers Connor Gartner, Adv. 810, and Aiyana Buchanan, Adv. 006. Both the Stage Crew Colloquium and the students actually in Stage Crew helped put together the wonderful sets for the show, and were lead by Mr. Michael Lill, Fine Arts department, who also directed the Pit Orchestra.
As the audience walked into the theater, after walking past the cast and stage crew lists next to the door, they were greeted by a well-lit stage featuring a set of mountains with a church steeple in front of it. About ten minutes after the show was scheduled to start, the nun ensemble, lead by Mother Abbess (Molly McQuillan, Adv. 901), Sister Margaretta (Kathy Bian, Adv. 809), Sister Berthe (Ari Kelo, Adv 808), and Molly Furlong (Adv. 906) took the stage, opening the musical with the song “Preludium.” The scenery then changes to the mountains, with the main character Maria Rainer (Sarah Fitzmaurice, Adv. 805) singing the iconic “The Sound of Music.” The scene then come back to the Nonnberg Abbey, where the nun ensemble and Maria perform “Maria,” and Mother Abbess and Maria then sing the iconic duet “My Favorite Things.” The news is then broken that Maria will be spending the summer as the governess to the seven children of the widower Georg Von Trapp, an Austro-Hungarian Navy submarine captain.
When Maria arrives at the Von Trapp household, Captain Von Trapp (Holt) explains to her how his militaristic household is run. As soon as he leaves, Maria teaches the seven Von Trapp Children the basics of music in the song “Do-Re-Mi.” Later that night, the oldest Von Trapp child, Liesl Von Trapp (Christa Ciesil, Adv. 905) has a secret rendezvous with the messenger Rolf Gruber (Mario Cook, Adv. 904), and they perform the duet “Sixteen Going On Seventeen,” and end the night with a kiss. As Liesl attempts to sneak back in, Maria catches her, but agrees to keep her secret. The night ends with Maria comforting the seven children during a thunderstorm, with the song “The Lonely Goatherd.”
Captain Von Trapp arrives back at his house with Baroness Elsa Schraeder (Abigail Kim, Adv. 807) and Max Detweiler (Seth Nicholoff, Adv. 910), and while Elsa worries about the upcoming marriage, Max performs “How Can Love Survive.” Although Captain Von Trapp is initially angry about the children singing, after seeing Elsa enjoy it, he apologizes to Maria, and asks her to stay.
As the Captain hosts a party to introduce his fiancee, Brigitta Von Trapp (Tessa Martinez, Adv. 003) tells Maria that she believes that her father is actually in love with her. Upon hearing this, Maria slips out of the household, intending to return to the abbey, but not before Max requests the Von Trapp children to perform at the Kaltzberg Festival after hearing them sing “So Long, Farewell.”
Back at the Abbey, Maria and Mother Abbess have a heart-to-heart talk, and in the song “Climb Every Mountain,” they sort out Maria’s feelings and she returns to the Von Trapp household. This scene closed out the first act of the show, which was followed by a 15 minute intermission.
The second act, the shorter of the two, begins with Max attempting to teach the children to sing, being unsuccessful at it due to their sadness caused by Maria leaving. When Maria returns, she decides to stay only until the Von Trapp’s can find another governess. Max and Elsa then argue with the Captain about the imminent Nazi invasion in the song “No Way to Stop It,” and when the Captain refuses to compromise with them, Elsa breaks off the engagement. The Captain and Maria later confess their love to each other in “An Ordinary Couple.” During their honeymoon, Max prepares the children to sing at the festival, but the Von Trapp couple returns home early, and refuses to let their kids sing because Austria “no longer exists.”
Maria and Liesl later discuss love, and Maria predicts that Liesl will soon be married in “Sixteen Going on Seventeen Reprise.” Rolf, now a committed Nazi, enters with a telegram inviting the Captain to join the German army. He refuses, and devises a plan to secretly flee the country. At the festival, the Von Trapps perform, and then begin their escape. Even though they win, they do not appear to collect their award, and they avoid the Nazis by hiding in the Abbey. Once they leave, the Von Trapps are able to flee over the Alps into safety, which is the finale.
After a total of two hours, “The Sound of Music” closed it curtains. Overall, the show was one of Northside’s best, not only due to the amazing performances by the actors, but also the hard work of the stage managers, stage crew, pit orchestra, art crew, and, of course, the teachers involved in the production. After seeing Friday night’s premiere, Dorsa Zeinali, Adv. 903, said that “The actors were amazing, and it was the best high school musical I've been to. The set was also very well made.”
Although academics often gets the most attention at Northside, the students should not forget about the arts, and how hard students work to put on a good show. According to Fitzmaurice, “We start rehearsals about three months ahead of the show and start by just learning some of the music and basic staging. As we move closer to the show, the whole cast comes together and we begin to run whole scenes and eventually put those together. Everyone is always so encouraging and is there to come alongside you when you are having a bad day. I was honored to play my dream role of Maria this year and this show was just such a fun time to be a part of. Everyone was just so incredible and I am so happy that I was able to play a part in it all.”