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‘The Sound of Music’ hits all the right notes

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By Kirsten Laskey

When my sister and I were kids, we watched the movie, “The Sound of Music,” constantly. We loved it when Maria (Julie Andrews) sang about having confidence in herself and when the oldest Von Trapp daughter shares a dance and a kiss with her beau.

Apparently, we were not the only fans of this musical.

When the Monitor editorial staff found out that the Los Alamos Light Opera would perform the musical on the stage, a group of them, all men no less, broke out in an impressive rendition of “Do-Re-Mi.”

We all know someone who is a fan of this story and it wouldn’t surprise me if the LALO’s current production has everyone embracing this musical.

For those who might not be familiar with this show, Maria, a postulant, is sent to Capt. Von Trapp’s home to serve as governess to his seven children. What happens when she arrives includes romance, political drama and lots of great songs.

What is truly impressive about LALO’s production is the high quality singers who make up the cast.

No one sings a flat note or screams through the lyrics. In fact, they all sound ready for Broadway.

One of the more notable singers is Jess Cullinan as Mother Abbess.  Her performance of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” is really impressive. All the young actors who make up the Von Trapp children (Natasha Roberts, Matthew Connor Davenport, Monica Poston, Jonah Johnson, Emily Hopkins, Nora Cullinan and Lillian Petersen) are terrific. It’s hard to believe Maria had to teach them anything about singing.

The nuns at the abbey (Wendy Swanson, Carolyn Connor and Gwen Wiens) also prove they know a thing or two about music. Their rendition of “Maria,” is one of the best songs in the show.

Elisa Enriquez portrays a very sunny, happy-go-lucky Maria with a sparkling voice while John Cullinan’s perforamnce as Max showcases not only a great voice but also a skilled comedian.

If  the singing isn’t enough, the sets add another layer of quality to the production. I love how effectively the mountain landscape was created for when Maria sings “The Sound of Music” as well as the interior of the abbey with its barred fence and stain-glass windows.

The costumes are wonderful, too. Elsa (Claire Singleton) always looks gorgeous whether she is wearing a gold satin ball gown or a smart-looking suit. The kids’ play clothes, which Maria cleverly makes from old drapes, are really cute. It is also great to see Maria go from wearing a dull-colored dress that not even the poor wanted, to vibrant red and blue dresses.

To top everything off, the music was provided by a live orchestra, which expertly performed the gorgeous music of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Gretchen Amstutz is the conductor.

This fantastic production continues at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Duane Smith Auditorium. The tickets cost $12 for general admission and                                                                                        $10 for students and seniors. They can be purchased at CB Fox or at the door.