“The Sound of Music” is being staged at the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall at 7:30 p.m. today, Friday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 and at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. Popejoy Hall is in UNM’s Center for the Arts.
Tickets are available at www.unmtickets.com, at www.popejoypresents.com, at ticket offices in the UNM Bookstore and at Dreamstyle Arena (The Pit), by calling 925-5858 or at the UNM Center for the Arts box office.
Review by David Steinberg
“The Sound of Music” is a golden oldie, and the national touring company of the musical proved Thursday night on the Popejoy Hall stage that it shimmers today as it did when it opened on Broadway 60 years ago.
The score by Rogers and Hammerstein has plenty of songs that people still lovingly sing the tunes. Songs like “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “So Long Farewell” and, of course, the title song remain favorites.
Matching the beauty of the music is the potency of the multii-layered story.
Yes, it is a story of true love between a man (Capt. von Trapp) and an endearing young woman (Maria). And it is a story of the same woman and her love for the captain’s seven children for whom she is their governess, then later their stepmother.
It is also a story of Maria sharing her love of life with the children.
That love of life that pulls Maria out of the abbey where she’s a postulant and hopes to become a nun one day. But the Mother Abbess advises Maria that the abbey isn’t a refuge to escape to.
The production, which is at Popejoy through Sunday night, features the vocally well-matched duo of Jill-Christine Wiley as the engenue Maria and Mike McLean as the captain who gradually allows his military bearing to bend in the face of romance.
The seven von Trapp are a winning ensemble. Their singing, humor and insightful comments draw so much attention to them that it is can be difficult for audience members to refocus on the next lines from the adult characters. Talk about scene stealing.
Lauren Kidwell as the Mother Abbess displayed a powerful operatic voice in her solo of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” in the final scene of Act I.
Besides the stories of love, “The Sound of Music” also makes an emphatic political point.
The musical is set in Austria of 1938, the year Nazi Germany annexed the country. Increasingly Capt. von Trapp is surrounded by Austrian Nazis and Nazi sympathizers while he remains opposed to the German regime. The song “Edelweiss” the von Trapp family sings is a painful lament for the Austria that was.
He is forced to decide between fleeing his homeland with his family or returning to military duty with the now warmongering Germany. He chooses the former.
The political extremism in the musical echoes in today’s political climate in the United States.