From August 6-28 at Clackamas Community College, the musical follows the true story of the von Trapp Family Singers.
Almost everyone knows at least one song from “The Sound of Music,” but the public is invited to refresh their memories when Clackamas Repertory Theater performs “The Sound of Music” August 6-28 at the Osterman Theater on campus. of Clackamas. Community College in Oregon City.
The musical is directed by CRT Deputy General Manager Jayne Stevens and features top-notch performances from Equity actors Merideth Kaye Clark as Maria Rainer and Leif Norby as Captain Georg von Trapp.
“When we thought of the show, these two were perfect for the roles,” said CRT co-founder and artistic director David Smith-English.
He added, “Having these two in the cast sets the tone for the show.”
Cyndy Smith-English, co-founder and executive director of CRT, noted that she and her husband chose “The Sound of Music” to honor Jim and Janice Osterman, music lovers who have generously supported CRT for over 18 years. year. Sadly, Janice Osterman passed away, so now the musical will honor her memory.
Jim Osterman sponsors the entire season of CRT. His love of musicals was inspired by his mother, who was a music teacher, and his late wife, who starred in many musicals when the couple were high school students in Milwaukie.
“The Sound of Music” is the final collaboration between Broadway legends Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The show is based on the true story of the von Trapp family singers and tells the inspiring story of their escape from the Nazi invasion of Austria.
Often called the most beloved musical of all time, “The Sound of Music” includes the standards “Edelweiss”, “My Favorite Things”, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”, “Do-Re-Me” and “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”. “
Director Stevens said she researched the time period of the series until she “got a sense of the world the characters operated in”.
She wondered how to keep the show classic, but at the same time relevant.
“We added several nods to the film with the direction and the costumes, as well as more guitar playing for Maria’s character to make it feel like our own,” Stevens said.
Keeping a large cast engaged through long rehearsals was a challenge, Stevens said, but added she was lucky to have “such a hardworking and dedicated cast eager to do musical theater again.”
She added, “There are very few times in your life when you manage to create something that combines so many individual inputs.”
There are 24 people in the production, including seven children who “come in with such enthusiasm for the job and learn very quickly,” Stevens said.
She added that it helped that Clark’s two daughters were in the cast, so she has the advantage of having a relative to help her.
“It’s such a privilege to be able to help develop a young person’s understanding of theatre, I feel lucky that this is my job,” Stevens said.
Her favorite moment in the production is when Maria teaches the children to sing in “Do Rei Mi”.
“The joy she brings to their lives is very touching and I can relate, given that I can introduce young artists to professional musical theater as a director,” Stevens added.
Playing Maria is a “dream role” for Clark, who noted that she credits the role of Gretl in “The Sound of Music” when she was 7 as what got her started in acting.
Because the musical is based on the true story of the von Trapp family, Clark said she researched their lives and read Maria von Trapp’s autobiography to prepare for the role.
What Clark loves most about her character is her connection to nature, noting that Maria “grew up with mountains in her backyard and living in Oregon, I can relate to nature – it’s a lot like to Mary”.
Her favorite moment in the production is the title track, but she also noted that when working with the kids in the cast, she sees such joy in their eyes.
“I can share that joy; it’s transcendent,” Clark said.
His two daughters, Ever Rose Thorsell and Arden Thorsell, play the children of von Trapp Marta
and Gretl, respectively.
“I love them, I love theater and I love being on stage with them; it combines my joys in life,” Clark said.
Although this is Norby’s first time tackling the role of von Trapp, he starred as the butler in “The Sound of Music” in a community theater production when he was in high school in Montana.
He said that in preparing for a role, he found the answers he needed in the script. “In the Sound of Music”, he discovered that von Trapp had “a rough exterior, but inside is a teddy bear”.
At first, von Trapp treated his seven children “in a militant way, but he just lost his wife and he had to go back to what he knew, which was the army,” Norby said. .
“But when he meets Maria, he falls in love and embarks on a wonderful journey. He comes out of his shell and reconnects with his children.”
There are so many “endearing moments” on the show, but Norby said one of his favorites is when Clark sings the title track.
Another memorable moment came when he entered the building for a rehearsal and heard the children sing a cover of this song.
“I realized how much I’ve missed the musical after the two and a half years we’ve just been through. It was a magical moment,” he said.
This is the second time Clark and Norby have worked together on the CRT stage; the first was when they starred in “Kiss Me Kate” in 2013.
“This is my first time directing the two of them; they have great chemistry on stage and audiences will appreciate how each of these actors makes the iconic characters their own,” Stevens said.
Working with Norby “is the best; I always know he’ll be honest on stage and I trust him. He’s a generous actor,” Clark said.
“Working with him is really like playing, it doesn’t feel like work.”
Working with Clark makes her job easier, Norby said, adding, “He’s such a pro, an incredible talent and a wonderful person.”
People should see CRT’s production of “The Sound of Music” because it’s special, Stevens said, “it will combine classic elements of the iconic show with new takes, making it relevant to the world. today,” she said.
“The cast brings an understanding of the current global political climate with the Russian occupation of Ukraine and the attack on women’s rights and how telling this story now is very relevant,” Stevens added.
“It’s the perfect show for the time in the world; people will remember the importance of family and hope and they’ll hear happy songs,” Clark said.
“People will be so happy to see a musical again,” Norby said.
He added, “I hope audiences will just remember why live theater is such an important art form.”
The hills are alive!
What: The Clackamas Repertory Theater presents “The Sound of Music”
When: August 6-28; performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with matinees at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Where: The Osterman Theater on the campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City.
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at clackamasrep.org or by calling 503-594-6047.
You rely on us to stay informed and we rely on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.