Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The Sets Are Struck....Ahh!
The Wild Rose Community Orchestra on the set of "The Sound of Music". I'm second from the left. We broke with traditional black and white musician dress and opted to be part of the action, dressing in Austrian polka band garb.
Well, the sets are struck. The von Trapps escaped across the Alps yet again from the Nazi storm troopers. Quiet has returned to Nonnberg Abbey. Baron von Elberfeldt has returned to his Rumplestilskin-like castle. Franz has no doubt returned to the navy, but instead of the Imperial Navy of Austria, maybe an uberbot for the Third Reich.
The staging of this year's musical was a success. There were no weak voices or poorly performed music. Some of the audience so bought what was happening on stage they were brought to tears. The nuns choir actually sent shivers down my spine. Their voices filled the blacked-out auditorium, soaring in response to the Latin monochat of their Reverend Mother, who stood alone in a single spot of light in her gleaming white robes. They sang a capella, allowing me a moment to enjoy a musical portion of the performance.
Once again, I was given the opportunity to play in the pit orchestra, which I always find enchanting. My parents, who both saw the performance separately, believe they saw something akin to a performance of the next American Idol listening to the incredible singing voice of the young woman who played Maria.
The Captain, Maria, and the von Trapp children singing "Edleweiss" encouraged the audience to sing along with this well-known classic. Someone told me about two-thirds of the audience did so.
The music director and his wife (Tom and Mary Stepanek) who have, in tandem, taught choir and band at our high school for the past 35 years, and who directed the performance and played in our pit, are to be congratulated on another fine performance. For them, these musicals are a culmination of years of voice training with each of the young singers lucky enough to land a coveted lead role. Among the von Trapp children, evidence of future musical stars is already forth-coming.
The teachers (Paula Ausloos, Liz Dohr, and Sara Wilcox) did a fine job of directing the on-stage and behind the scenes action. (Just a political point of fact inserted here, this is what your community's teachers are up to in their "free time", take note, Governor Scott Walker. Nearly a quarter of the high school student body was involved in the staging of this musical, which is much more inclusive than any other extracurricular activity with the possible exception in our school, of the football team.)
I managed the "ghost-sewing" of curtains into play clothes for the von Trapp children (which in the play Maria does when new curtains for the alcove were ordered), and what seemed like a thousand other alterations, all without losing my mind.
So, my sojourn in the Austrian Alps is done. Last year, I visited "Oklahoma!" and before that the mythical village of "Brigadoon," (which I always feel could be interchangeable for Wild Rose). I am already anxious to learn where the community orchestra will be transported to next season! Be sure to get your tickets early. This year Friday and Saturday night's shows were nearly sold out.