The Sound of Music

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s durably charming musical “The Sound of Music” opened last night at the IU Auditorium. The show continues with performances tonight and Thursday. Tuesday night’s audience included a fair number of children as families took advantage of the early seven-thirty curtain. The final bows were over by ten.

Once again the postulant Maria finds her true vocation through music, first as an understanding and loving governess, and then as the wife of Austrian patriot Captain von Trapp. Lindsay Northern was a perky Maria. Jim Ballard was the Captain who falls in love, first with Maria’s music, then with her animation of his children, and finally with Maria herself. Northern and Ballard were especially graceful as they demonstrated a dance for one of the von Trapp children.

“The Sound of Music” is justly loved for its wonderful tunes. Even today in the IU School of Music there are many students who learned their first sol fege from “Doe, a Deer, etc.” The yodeling chorus of “The Lonely Goatherd” simply sticks in one’s head. The truth of the teen divide around “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” plays out every spring. “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” is a regular feature as an audition or recital piece. And finally, the Captain’s tribute, sad farewell and moment of defiance as he sings “Edelweiss” is always there to draw more than a few tears.

By the way, it’s an interesting thing that Rodgers and Hammerstein actually use a separate musical language from that of the nuns and the family for those who council collaboration with the Nazi’s take over of Austria. Andrea Scott and Tom Zainea played Elsa and Max. Their songs “How Can Love Survive” and “No Way to Stop It,” are snappy, but empty pieces that are outside the rest of the show’s feel.

“The Sound of Music” at the Auditorium is a homecoming to Indiana University for Music Director Nathan Thomas and Karen Hein who played Captain von Trapp’s sympathetic housekeeper, Frau Schmidt.

. I sampled the show from the upper balcony and the seventh row on the floor. In the balcony, you can see some of the choreography and lighting effects best. On the floor there is immediacy and the expressions of the individual actors. Modern sound technology is a wonderful thing. Wherever you sit, you’ll hear every word and note. There are still tickets in all areas for “The Sound of Music” at the IU Auditorium tonight and Thursday night at the family friendly hour of seven-thirty

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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