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`Sound' not like real life

Musical: Baltimore's Agathe von Trapp reflects upon the story of her family as the `Sound of Music' revival opens at the Lyric Opera House.

September 20, 1999|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC

As the subject matter would suggest, Schalchlin's music runs the gamut from gospel to pop. The lyrics range from Gideon's tribute to his parents, "The Preacher and the Nurse," to "Friendly Fire," which includes the sardonic lyric, "Sometimes it feels like my medication is killing me with friendly fire." One of two numbers that move out of the show's naturalistic format, "Friendly Fire," cleverly directed by Long, features the cast parading in military garb.

"The Last Session" is based on Schalchlin's own struggle with AIDS, and the California-based songwriter will step into the largely autobiographical lead role at AXIS on Oct. 9, with his partner, Brochu, playing the recording engineer (though Schalchlin has occasionally appeared in the show before, this is a first for Brochu). Already genuinely affecting, AXIS' fine production should gain even further depth with its creators on stage.

Show times at AXIS, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 17. Tickets are $10-$14, except the evening of Oct. 9, which is $30, to benefit AXIS. At 2 p.m. Oct. 9, Schalchlin will give a one-man show to benefit Youth Guardian Services, an Internet organization for gay youth; tickets are also $30. Call 410-243-5237.

`Snow' takes top honors

Gordon Porterfield's "Snow," directed by Lance Lewman, took top honors as both best play and best production at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival's annual awards ceremony last week. "Snow" was selected by a panel of seven judges drawn from various branches of local theater. The event, held at F. Scott Black's Dinner Theatre in Towson, was attended by an audience of 100.

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