Saturday, 7 December 2013

Ingersoll alive with The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein 11
Directed by Lilyane Moyer
Produced by Ian Moyer
December 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15
Approximate running time: 3 hours (with one interval)
Tickets: or box office 519-485-3070 (All performances SOLD OUT)
The most telling bit of information offered by the producer the moment your humble scribe walked through the crowded lobby of ITOPA was that all performances of The Sound of Music were sold-out and my seat was a late add-on.
So what exactly does that say?
sound of music itopa familyWell, three vitally important points: folks of any age still love the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic; irrespective of the usual and oft times unwarranted sniping from jaded critics, it still retains that sense of timelessness; and audiences from this neck of the woods and possibly beyond are certain ITOPA will do a bang up job.
Right on all counts, particularly the last, because the consistently reliable company put its collective heart and soul into the sprawling three hour production, delighting the overflow crowd, ultimately proving once again that amateur theatre can be a hugely entertaining experience for all from toddlers to seniors.
The credit for the successful mounting of such a major theatrical work has to be divided in equal measures, beginning with the already proven talents of director Lilyane Moyer and producer Ian Moyer. The pair has assembled a supremely energetic, eager-to-please cast, both with respect to their musical abilities (there are limitations, of course) and general stage presence.
Even though it runs a full three hours, the pacing is spot-on, with few, if any real moments when the production drags or wavers. Music director Gord Hardcastle, aided by fellow keyboardist Neila Lawson, Aidan Wasse on electric bass and percussionist Keegan Marshall, handles the sometimes challenging score with ease and even a little bit of inspiration along the way.
What comes to the mind near the onset, the moment Sister Maria steps up to the proverbial plate to tackle the title number, is whether the performer in question can rise to the challenge of succeeding with such an iconic role, made famous initially by Mary Martin on stage and later on film by the irresistibly bubbly Julie Andrews.
sound of music itopa char and meganWith a strong, pure and appealing voice, possessing an impressive set of vocal chords, Charleanne Hardcastle proves from the first note that she is more than up for the task. While there were admittedly a few moments of opening night jitters, she maintained her composure throughout, striking all the right notes with compassion and ultimately walking off stage as a triumphant Maria.
She was in very good company. Megan Moorhouse as Mother Abbess delivers a poignant rendering of the show-stopping Climb Every Mountain with authority and feeling. Mike Clancy needs to improve his projection for his voice to reach the back rows but he is still effective as the idealistic Captain Georg von Trapp, a man caught between the worlds of love, national pride and family honour.
The seven young actors taking on the roles of the seven von Trapp children are delightful, with the perky little and remarkably poised Ava Williamson pleasing the audience with several scene-stealing moments as the youngest family member Gretl. David Butcher is a hugely entertaining Max Detweiler, while Susan McKone sinks her teeth into the juicy role of Elsa Schraeder.
So do we really need to explain just what The Sound of Music is all about? Well, unless you have inhabited another solar system for the past several decades, the answer is a resounding no. While not really a yuletide favorite, staging it at this time of year is a stroke of both luck and genius.
ITOPA is a top-notch company with the theatrical credentials to prove it and The Sound of Musicis a winner. Don’t believe it – then just try getting a ticket. Or just ask those who rose to their feet for a well-deserved standing ovation opening night.
Hats off to all, the actors, gifted scene artist Danielle Davelaar, talented stage manager Kelly Gagen and the technical crew that handled and in most cases overcame those dreaded opening night jitters with skill and real professionalism.
Maybe the Ingersoll crew should have ventured across the border to offer a little much-needed advice to American Idol alumni Carrie Underwood and company prior to going on air live. Some pointers might have saved the TV effort from being such a lacklustre underwhelming event.
Dish stars-4  / 5

This review was originally published on line at Donald`s Dish.

No comments:

Post a Comment