APA Is Alive With ‘The Sound of Music’

by Melissa De La Vega

The Academy of Performing Arts is alive with “The Sound of Music!”

I cannot think of a better way to spend an evening in June on Cape Cod than in an iconic theater, watching an iconic Rogers and Hammerstein musical. Everything from the cast, the set, the costumes and all of those songs that we all know by heart were utterly enchanting. The beloved show opened last Thursday with some of “Our Favorite Things”: the songs, the music, Maria, the Captain, the nuns, the children, admirals, barons and baronesses.

Both cherished in film and on stage, “The Sound of Music” is a story based on the 1949 memoir by Maria von Trapp, “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers,” and takes place in Austria at the dawn of World War II. This was Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein’s last musical created together. It originally debuted on stage in 1959, winning five Tony Awards, including best musical and best leading actress for Mary Martin. The film, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, followed in 1965 and won countless Academy Awards and Golden Globes, making it one of the most treasured family films in history.

The story follows Maria, a young woman who takes a job as governess for the von Trapp family as she contemplates her life’s plan to become a nun in an Austrian Abby. In the process, she falls in love with the seven young children (and eventually their father, Captain von Trapp). Maria introduces the whole family to the love of singing and music before having to flee the country as it comes under Nazi rule.

The gang at the Academy Playhouse knocked it out of the park with this production, casting over 40 incredibly talented local actors in the show, directed by Sue Lindholm with musical direction by Chris Morris and props and costumes by Jennifer Kangas, Judy Hamer and Sam Roderick.

Jennifer Almeida plays Maria and delivers an inspiring rendition of “The Sound of Music” to start the show off. Almeida also serves as the children’s vocal coach, which is impressive considering there are 10 actors playing the roles of the seven von Trapp children: Rachel Walman (Liesl), Lucas Almeida (Fredrich), Clara Nunes and Caroline Gerety (sharing the role of Louisa), Toby Goers (Kurt), Coraline Goers and Gabi Castro (sharing the role of Brigitta), Naomi Betts and Sybil Kremer (sharing the role of Marta) and the infectiously adorable Sylvie Weimer and Mallory Roderick (sharing the role of little Gretl). The children performed many of the most memorable songs of the show, making us all want to jump up and sing along with “Do-Re-Mi,” The Lonely Goatherd,” “So Long, Farewell,” and “Edelweiss.”

Playing Captain von Trapp is accomplished Academy veteran Randy Doyle, who encapsulates all of the fear and love this character embodies. The three main nuns, played by Kathy Wimberly, Louise Betts and Jennifer Kangas, did a marvelous job singing “Gadeamus Domino” and “Confitemini Domino” and were accompanied by a large cast of actors in the choir of nuns: Fiona Betts, Chiara Castro, Keren Castro, Raye Doyle, Emma Engelsen, Suzanne Fecteau, and Hazel Yingling among others.

One of the most spellbinding performances of the night came at the end of Act I as Kimberly Matthews, who played Mother Abbess, sings the breathtaking “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Other cast members included Katie Beatty, Terrence Brady, Mickey Olson, Fred Carpenter, Tim Burroughs, Julie Randall, Mark Roderick, Todd Cashdollar and Link Neil.

The talent and all of the work that went into making this production of “The Sound of Music” so special is a true gift to the community. It was really tough to say auf wiedersehen at the end of the show, which ran close to three hours including one intermission. Don’t let the dog bite or the bee sting, buy your tickets to “The Sound of Music” today to kick off your summer of theater fun on Cape Cod!


“The Sound of Music”

At the Academy of Performing Arts, Main Street, Orleans

Through June 16

Information and reservations: 508-255-1963, academyplayhouse.org