Musical: The Sound of Music
Venue: Grand Opera House, York
Review by: Julia Pattison
Jo Theaker led the York Stage Musicals’ cast as Maria in the much loved musical The Sound Of Music, winning us all over with an unashamedly overdose of feelgood.
In the safe hands of Director/ Producer Nik Briggs, Musical Director Adam Tomlinson and Choreographer Jessica Hardcastle, this production was full of your favourite things, from superb harmonies from the Nuns in Nonnberg Abbey in Preludium, to the aaah factor from the very talented Team Do Re Mi Fa on the night I attended, playing the Von Trapp children.
The bar was set very high, not only with the standard of acting, singing and dancing, but with atmospheric lighting, magnificently designed by Chief LX at Grand Opera House York, Magnus Leslie, making the very most of the simple, spacious set with three pillars on each side of the stage, and a series of steps. Scene changes were most effective with the minimum of fuss; many congratulations to those often unsung heroes backstage.
Jo sang confidently and tunefully, and exuded the sort of cheerfulness we’ve come to expect from the character of Maria Rainer. Her musical numbers with the children, such as Do-Re-Me and The Lonely Goatherd were an absolute joy to experience.
Callum O’Connell was most convincing in his role of Austrian Naval Captain Von Trapp, as was Carly Morton playing prospective bride to be, Elsa Schraeder; she was the picture of wealth and sophistication, and looked absolutely stunning in her gorgeous red evening dress at the ball held in the Von Trapp Villa. Alex Papachristou nearly stole the show with his portrayal of unscrupulous impresario Max Detweiler, and Rowan Kitchen’s outstanding rendition of Climb Ev’ry Mountain made it quite clear why she’d been cast in the role of Mother Abbess.
Professional, pacey and practically perfect in every way, you’ll come away smiling after seeing this delightful production.