Jill-Christine Wiley, Sound of Music

Jill-Christine Wiley as Maria Rainer and the von Trapp children. 

Matthew Murphy

"The Sound of Music" is one musical that never gets old, if it's done right. Opening night at The Lied Center for Performing Arts confirmed that.

From breathtaking backdrops and seamless scenery changes to smart costuming and warm vocals, it was a performance to treasure.

The live orchestra set the mood with its sweet serenades and bold ballroom music. Special effects, like the thunder and lightning in the storm scene, were a very convincing and natural provocation for the children’s fearful charades.

Scenery changes were seamless and a special effect of their own, with sliding columns gliding in from stage left and right to form the abbey walls and actors moving between them without a notice. Projected images, like a stain-glassed window in The Mother Abbess’ office and the inside of cathedral where the wedding nuptials take place complimented the physical sets.

Strong vocals were put on display by Jill-Christine Wiley (Maria) and Lauren Kidwell (The Mother Abbess) as well as the children, especially Landon Brimacombe (Friedrich) and Keslie Ward (Liesl). Sophia Massa evoked a warm audience response more than once with her adorable portrayal of Gretl.

Familiar songs like Raindrops on Roses (Wiley), Climb Every Mountain (Kidwell) and Edelweiss (Mike McClean) were fresh, and each actor made the lyrics their own.

Favorite scenes lived up to their reputation, such as the bedroom storm scene with Maria and the children, the ball scene with Captain von Trapp and Maria dancing and in Act 2 where the von Trapp family performs for the last time together.

At the end of the day, this musical proved its timelessness and ability to transport the audience into the lives of the von Trapps, thanks to an all-around effort by the cast, musicians and stage crew.

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