When it comes to bringing Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” alive on stage, of course the surrounding cast is utterly essential, but most important of all, the show would need a vibrant “Maria” who absolutely exudes true spirit and fun. Drury Lane’s Production of “The Sound of Music” has not only put together a brilliant surrounding cast from top to bottom, but has also struck gold with leads Larry Adams as “Captain Von Trapp” and Jennifer Blood as “Maria Rainer”. Not only are the two vocally right for the roles; their chemistry together is nothing short of magical, adding a very believable element to this timeless story of love for family and country.
It’s not always easy to bring classics to the stage since we already have such a preconceived notion as to what we expect from certain characters or are often saddled to such a familiarity to a particular role that we don’t want to stray away too far from what we’ve come to know. However, in this case, Drury Lane Productions has succeeded and then some.
To no lack of vocal prowess, the jury still seems to be out on Blood after her opening number, “The Sound of Music”, as it is not yet clear where this “Maria” will take us. But it doesn’t take long to find out. During her next song, “I Have Confidence”, her talents really shine at the same time her personality beams throughout the house and it is apparent she has captured the entire crowd. Each of the seven children is immediately likeable and, like the rest of the cast, more than vocally efficient. Patti Cohenour adds a tasty punch as “The Mother Abbess” boasting her incredible vocal range while Peter Kevoian is entertaining as can be as “Max Detweiler”.
The set design is stunning as the audience is taken inside the Abbey then into different areas of the Von Trapp mansion and its courtyard. One highlight has the stage transformed into the very festival in which the performing Von Trapp Singers escape from Nazi occupied Austria. So detailed is the setting that Nazi soldiers walk up and down the isle on the look out for any foul play, placing audience members into the festival itself.
Many productions of “The Sound of Music” have come and gone and some have stood out more than others. This current production is one that stands at the top. A perfect holiday treat or a family night out, “The Sound of Music” at Drury Lane in Oakbrook is a memorable experience that you can enjoy over and over again.
“The Sound of Music” has been extended through January 8th, 2012. For more information visit www.DruryLaneOakbrook.com.