Treat yourself to a joyous experience with ‘The Sound of Music’

 

Addie Morales leads the von Trapp children in "Do Re Mi" in The Sound of Music at Marriott Theater Lincolnshire (Photo courtesy of Liz Lauren and Marriott Theatre)
Addie Morales leads the von Trapp children in “Do Re Mi” in The Sound of Music at Marriott Theater Lincolnshire (Photo courtesy of Liz Lauren and Marriott Theatre)

4 Stars

Wow! “How (do) you hold a moonbeam in your hand?” It’s what I felt I learned walking out of Marriott Theatre Linconshire’s “The Sound of Music.”

It’s been a while since I have left a show thinking it was perfect. With so many factors to consider from vocals, acting and dance to script and music, some elements tend to outshine or are weaker than others.

But upon leaving opening night of Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire’s “The Sound of Music,” April 20, 2022, the word that came to mind was “perfect.”

Of course, given the show’s emotion-packed music by Richard Rogers and the on-point, memorable lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, the “Sounds” of music set the perfect tone.

Addie Morales, L, and Daniella Dalli in The Sound of Music at Marriott Theatre
Addie Morales, L, and Daniella Dalli in The Sound of Music at Marriott Theatre

Add to that there is the clever dialogue of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse who wrote the show’s book based on “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp,

But good as the basics are, there still are a production’s many elements. When going into a show that has been famously portrayed in movies and on soundtracks, audiences can be excused from recalling how in the 1965 movie, Julie Andrews portrayed Maria.

In her debut Marriott role, Addie Morales created her own version of Maria.

Morales who played Eva in Drury Lane’s “Evita” and Maria in “West Side Story” on stages across the country, was exactly what some of us would expect a young girl to look and act like who thinks she want to be a nun. But her star turns are when she joyously leads the van Trapp children in songs.

Which brings us to the seven children, each with their own personality.

They are amazing from Campbell Krausen as Lisel, Brody Tyner as Friedich, and Milia Liss as Louisa to Archer Geye as Kurt, Omi Lichtenstein as Brigitta, Olivia O’Sullivan as Marta and Reese Bella as Gretl. Mention must also be made of Emmet Smith, Lisel’s love interest. He is just right at the bicycle-riding telegram delivery boy, Rolf Gruber.

Daniella Dalli who has performed in national tours of “The Phantom of the Opera” and regional tours of “Les Miserables” has the vocal chops to get “bravo” and long applause in her Marriott debut as The Mother Abbess.

Erik Hellman and Addie Morales in The Sound of Music at Marriott Theatre
Erik Hellman and Addie Morales in The Sound of Music at Marriott Theatre

The rest of the cast are strong actors. Erik Hellman, a Steppenwolf and Court Theatre regular, makes his Marriott debut as Captain Georg  von Trapp and Heidi Kettenring, a familiar name to local audiences (23 Marriott shows) plus Goodman, Shakespeare and other Chicago stages, portrays Elsa Schrader who hopes to capture Captain von Trapp.

Rob Linley who has done national tours of “Phantom” is Max Detweiler, the show arranger who brings the van Trapp Singers to an important festival.

Insightfully directed by Nick Bowling with artistic lead Peter Marston Sullivan, set design by Collette Pollard, charming choreography by William Carlos Angula,  period costume design by Sally Dolembo, lighting design by Jesse Klug, and music led by Patti Garwood, the production team also worked its “perfect” magic.

There are so many memorable songs but the one audiences are humming after intermission and at the end of the show is The Mother Abbess and nuns” “Climb Every Mountain.”

DETAILS: “The Sound of Music” is at Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire now thru June 5, 2022. Run time: 2 1/2 hours. For tickets and more information visit The Sound of Music | Show (marriotttheatre.com)

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago

Jodie Jacobs

The World Goes Round thanks to outstanding Marriott cast

 

Broadway, regional and Marriott stars in Kander and Ebb revue at Marriott Theatre. L, Amanda Rose, Allison . Blackwell, Joseph Anthony Byrd, Meghan Murphy and Kevin Earley.(Photo courtesy of Marriott Theatre)
Broadway, regional and Marriott stars in Kander and Ebb revue at Marriott Theatre. L-R, Amanda Rose, Allison Blackwell, Joseph Anthony Byrd, Meghan Murphy and Kevin Earley.(Photo courtesy of Marriott Theatre)

4 Stars

 

“We’re back!”  The opening line, really a shout from the five performers of Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire’s “The World Goes Round: The Songs of Kander and Ebb,” was met with a roar and applause from the audience on opening night, Sept. 23,  2021  The show, a musical revue, was in previews since Sept. 15 and continues through Nov. 7, 2021.

What the audience saw as they took their seats was a stage that looked as if one of Kander and Ebb’s shows was “struck” as long as a year and a half ago and joined by props from past shows.

It was all brought back to life with superb solos, duets, trios and dance numbers by Broadway, regional and Marriott performers Amanda Rose, Allison E. Blackwell, Joseph Anthony Byrd, Meghan Murphy and Kevin Earley.

Blackwell started the show on a fine mezzo soprano note with a beautiful rendition of “And the World Goes ‘Round.”

The revue moved from strength to strength with a funny version of “Coffee in Cardboard Cup sung by the cast followed by “The Happy Time” by versatile baritone Earley who later did a fantastic “Kiss of the Spider Woman.”

Murphy, an  exuberant redhead, infused numbers such as “Colored Lights” and “Ring Them Bells” with the joyous fervor needed now. Byrd, an accomplished character-style singer who can easily  move from a funny “Sara Lee” to a not so funny “Mr. Cellophane,” excels in the show’s dance movements. He and  Rose did a long “Shoes Dance” number that  brought a collective audience “Wow.” Rose , an actor/singer performed a wickedly funny “Arthur in the Afternoon.”

My favorite number, watch for it, was a gorgeous blending of songs by a trio of Blackwell, Murphy and Earley.

Of course, since this was a Kander and Ebb revue, it included “And All That Jazz, “Money, Money” and “Cabaret” but the number some people were humming was the final number “New York, New York.”

Kudos have to go to director/choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge, orchestra conductor Patti Garwood, music director Ryan t. Nelson, Set designer Christopher Rhoton and the costume designer Sally Ratke.

DETAILS: “The World Goes Round: The songs of Kander and Ebb” is at Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire now through Nov. 7, 2021. Run time: 90 minutes (an approved abridged version).  Attendees must wear face coverings and present a vaccination card. For tickets and more information visit www.MarriottTheatre.com.

Jodie Jacobs

For more shows visit Theatre in Chicago