All About Richland

Refreshing And Modern Take On A Beloved Musical

16 Mar , 2022  

To 1812Blockhouse from Renaissance Performing Arts Association

The Sound of Music, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final and most beloved musical, will take the stage of the Renaissance Theatre for a concert performance with the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, March 19 at 8PM. 

Featuring a full cast of actor/singers, it will be conducted by Maestro Octavio Más-Arocas, with stage direction by Renaissance Artistic Director Michael Thomas, vocal direction by Lori Turner and choreography by Caroline Grace Williams. The production also features the talents of the Mansfield Symphony orchestra and chorus.

The Sound of Music is one of the greatest musicals ever written,” notes Más-Arocas. “But it is also so much more than that. It has created beautiful and powerful memories for many generations, while also eliciting important and often difficult conversations.” Set in Salzburg shortly before World War II, the story unfolds against the majestic backdrop of the Austrian Alps. But a darker force underscores the romance of former postulant Maria Rainer and the emotionally distant Captain Georg Von Trapp. Just as Maria brings life, laughter and music back into the Von Trapp household, the clouds of war are gathering over Europe. On March 12, 1938, German forces launched the “Anschluss”, as the Nazi regime annexed Austria to create a “greater Germany.” Von Trapp, an uncompromising anti-fascist, decides that he and his family must flee their home rather than submit to the invading forces.

Based  on the memoirs of Maria Rainier Von Trapp, it was semi-fictionalized for the musical adaptation.  Director Michael Thomas agrees with Más-Arocas and adds, “It’s a gorgeous score and a beautiful story, but the original stage production is often faulted for its saccharine sweetness and downplaying the seriousness of the political situation. We’ve attempted to restore the dark reality of their story, while maintaining all the joy, warmth and optimism that has made The Sound of Music so popular for over 60 years.”

The concert features Los Angeles-based actress/singer MaryAnn DiPietro as Maria Von Trapp. Originally from the Columbus area and a graduate of OSU, Ms DiPietro’s film and television performances include Face Off, and The Wrong Mommy with Vivica A. Fox. Theatre audiences have seen her in the national tour of Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Company, Jesus Christ Superstar and Footloose

Local favorites as well as performers from all over the state of Ohio complete the cast. Lori Turner will play the role of the Mother Abbess, with Chantel Ross, Leah Gesouras and Sue Amstutz as Sisters Sophia, Margarita and Berthe. Beau Roberts and former Miss Ohio, Caroline Grace Williams will play Max Detweiler and Baroness Schraeder. The Von Trapp children are portrayed by Ellie Nickoli (Liesl), Lizzie Huelskamp (Louisa), Zakari Ramos (Friedrich), Alyssa Racer (Brigitta), Dane Kuzmo (Kurt) and sisters Georgia and Winnifred Knowlton as Marta and Gretl. Ryan Shreve will play the formidable Captain Von Trapp, Noah Sgamebellone joins the cast as Rolfe and Bob Gardner portrays Herr Zeller. Members of the Mansfield Symphony Chorus complete the ensemble as members of the Nonberg Abbey Choir.

The unforgettable score includes Climb Every Mountain, My Favorite Things, The Lonely Goatherd, Do Re Mi, How Do you Solve a Problem Like Maria?, Something Good, I Have Confidence and the title song.

Thomas notes that working on The Sound of Music is like sitting down with an old friend. “For many, like myself, it has been a part of our lives since we were children.” Más-Arocas agrees. “It has a sense of beauty and excitement that makes it timeless. We are extremely excited to share this with you – to come together to experience something beautiful that can unite us all.“

Sound of Music in Concert with Mansfield Symphony happens this Saturday March 19 at 8:00 PM. For more information visit rentickets.org or call 419-522-2726 ext. 200.

Source, Photo: Renaissance Performing Arts Association

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