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Bloomington Is Alive with 'The Sound of Music'

The Cardinal Stage Company's 4th Annual Holiday Family Show is Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music. WFIU's George Walker talked with Daniel Narducci who plays Captain von Trapp and Melissa Bohon who appears as Maria. Each had something special to say about the key changes in their characters.

"Actually, this is a return visit for me," said Narducci. "I came to Bloomington to the School of Music in 1987. During my time here I appeared in Kismet and got a real opportunity to stretch as a young man taking on the role of Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. Since then, I've been fashioning a career as an ‘American Baritone' with work in concerts, opera, musicals and straight theatre."

"When I take on a character, I try to find the theme the through connection to it, and I've been doing some reading in the original story. With Captain von Trapp it's a case of his sadness at the loss of his wife and his coping with the children by falling back to his military back ground. He organizes the children into what Maria calls his ‘marching machines.' It takes the freshness of Maria to turn him around to see that he can once again in a human and musical way relate to the children and to life."

This is Melissa Bohon's first visit to Bloomington, but her undergraduate school was not far away. "I went to the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. From there, it was on to New York. I was fortunate to get work quite quickly with roles as varied as Ado Annie in Oklahoma and Chava in Fiddler on the Roof. One of my favorites was getting to play Glinda, the Good Witch in the national tour of The Wiz."

"Like Daniel, I do find there's a growth and change in my character. When we first meet Maria, she's spent most of her life in the shelter of a convent. They do wonder if she isn't a bit too lively, that she doesn't sing a bit too much. But she's dedicated her life to god and to becoming a nun. When she falls in love, it frightens her. She's a grown woman going through all the tensions of a teen ager. It's interesting that she and the Captain's oldest daughter are going through some of the same emotions.

As she comes to understand these new emotions there are real changes. The Maria of act one and the Maria of act two are so different. It's the sort of role that every actor loves.

The Cardinal Stage Company's production of The Sound of Music plays December 22 of 2009 though January 3 of 2010 with stage direction by Randy White and choreography by Esther Widlanski.

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