`The Sound of Music' to fill playhouse

Musical: 2nd Star troupe's production of a classic will open Nov. 2 in Bowie.

Preview

Arundel Live

October 25, 2001|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The folks at 2nd Star Productions are in the final week of rehearsal of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, opening Nov. 2 at Bowie Playhouse in White Marsh Park in Bowie.

Taking time out from a recent rehearsal, Second Star director Jane Wingard said she is thrilled with the cast.

"The level of excellence is so high that everyone in the show is my favorite," she said. "In view of the events of Sept. 11, this show, with its emphasis on personal courage and cherishing freedom, is especially appropriate."

Another reason the show is timely, Wingard said, is that next year will mark the 100th anniversary of Richard Rodgers' birth.

"His daughter Mary recently wrote to us saying how pleased her father would be to have our company do The Sound of Music in celebration," Wingard said.

Based on Maria von Trapp's autobiography, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, the musical is set in 1938 Salzburg and tells the story of a free-spirited nun who is hired by Capt. George von Trapp to care for his seven children. The captain's engagement to a wealthy socialite is eventually forgotten as he and Maria fall in love and marry - almost happily ever after until the Nazis invade Austria.

The Sound of Music, which opened on Broadway in November 1959 with Mary Martin as Maria and Theodore Bikel as the captain, had the second-longest run of any musical of the 1950s. The 1965 film version starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer quickly became a classic. The first scene, with Andrews on a mountaintop singing "The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music," is thought to rank among the greatest scenes ever filmed.

The word classic was never a more apt description of a score than for this one, which includes the songs "Climb Every Mountain," "Maria," "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," "So Long, Farewell," "You are Sixteen" and "Edelweiss." Anyone who has ever visited Austria knows that "Edelweiss" is heard everywhere and has nearly reached national anthem status.

2nd Star's version will feature Barbara Ella Zeller, who might become memorable in her own right as Maria. Fine singer and audience favorite Doug Dawson will play Captain von Trapp. Jonathan Glickman, who was excellent as John Adams in last season's 1776, will play Max.

Talented singer-actress Sheri Kuznicki will play Elsa, and longtime favorite Al Chopey will play Von Schreider. Lovely young Kathleen Scott will play eldest daughter Liesl. In addition to a large supporting cast, 14 youngsters have been selected to take turns playing the seven Von Trapp children.

As always with musicals at Bowie, we can look forward to hearing a live orchestra in the pit, this one under the direction of Chuck Hastings. Choreography is by Karen Hastings. Lynne Wilson is creating the sets.

Performances run from Nov. 2 through Dec. 1, at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. on Sundays, with additional matinees on Nov. 17 and Dec. 1 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 for seniors and students. Season subscriptions are available for $39 general admission and $30 for students and seniors.

Bowie Playhouse is on Route 3 between U.S. 450 and U.S. 50. Reservations are recommended; call 410-757-5700 or 301-858-7245. For information online visit www. 2ndstarproductions.com.

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