"Few musicals are more beloved—and get less respect—than The Sound of Music, in which Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein turned the tale of how the Trapp Family Singers escaped from the Nazis into a child-friendly love story. Highbrows are understandably wont to dismiss The Sound of Music as vapid and saccharine, yet it was hugely successful on stage and screen and continues to be revived with fair frequency, though I suspect that most people now know it through Robert Wise's 1965 film version rather than from a staged production. It happens that I'd never seen the show performed live, so I drove up to Maine last week to take a look at the Ogunquit Playhouse's new production, and found it altogether charming. Sweet it most definitely is, but never cloyingly so, in large part because Gary John La Rosa's staging (unlike the over-opulent film) is modest and straightforward in both scale and tone."
“The audience at the preview I saw appeared to consist mainly of little girls and their mothers, all of whom quite clearly had great fun. So did I.”
OUT & ABOUT: The Sound of Music Resounds at Ogunquit
"The Fourth of July is behind us and Maine's long-awaited summer has truly arrived. The same goes for our state's summer arts and entertainment; the calendar is chock-full of wonderful offerings. My top pick is The Sound of Music, the renowned Broadway musical that opened last week at Ogunquit Playhouse."
"It's long been one of my personal favorite shows, and I've seen it many times. In my experience, the best-ever regional professional (Equity contract) production opened last week at Ogunquit Playhouse."
"The top name among the actors is Rex Smith, a veteran who boasts a mile-long list of credentials including major roles on Broadway. I liked his performance very much. He projects a quiet reserve and a strong will of the widowed Navy captain. The star of the show is Gail Bennett, portraying Maria, the central character. Bennett boasts a wonderful voice and a strong and appealing stage presence. She's ably supported by Meg Bussert, whose 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain' is simply spine-tingling."
The Sound of Music Enchants
"Perhaps the young lady leaving the Ogunquit Playhouse this week said it best: "What a great show!"
She was referring to the opening night production of The Sound of Music, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that has been pleasing audiences of all ages since 1959."
"Gail Bennett plays Maria and she is a superb. Maria is a free spirit and the Mother Abbess, beautifully portrayed by Meg Bussert, who knocks the socks of the audience at the close of the first act..."
"Although Rex Smith as the Captain doesn't get to shine, as it were, until the second act, this all-round talented entertainer handles his part with ease and his rendition of 'Edelweiss' had the audience enthralled."
"There are many memorable tunes in the show, all done well because there's not a bad voice in the cast. Director Gary John La Rosa has worked his charges beautifully..."
"The whole family will enjoy this show, even your mother-in-law."
Sound of Music Comes Alive Like the Hills
"Certainly, with its Alpine backdrops, The Sound of Music at Ogunquit presents a visual oasis. But, more importantly, with its highly-spirited cast of talented performers, this latest take on the trials of the von Trapp family comes alive like the hills and makes for a fine time at the theater. Of course, all along the way in this two-and-one-half hour production, the audience is treated to a wonderful array of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs backed by a fine offstage band."
"We get the memorable 'Do-Re-Mi' from Maria and the kids. It comes complete, as do many of the tunes, with some seamless choreography by Gary John La Rosa who also directed the show."
"It is not necessary to hike steep trails to get to the theater and so there's really no good excuse for not revisiting this well-done classic."
The Sound of Music Resounding Success at the Playhouse
"For its second offering of the 2010 season, Ogunquit Playhouse scores a resounding success with a fully professional (Equity contract) production of this Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece of American musical theatre."
"Ogunquit's cast, directed by Gary John La Rosa, boasts exceptional depth..."
"...the show's title song is simply spine-tingling..."
"...the song-and-dance duet – the celebrated 'Sixteen Going on Seventeen' is a high point of the show."
A Classy Classic
"For those of us who know The Sound of Music from the movie only, you're in for a treat..."
"...the applause and cheers continued long after the entr'acte curtain closed."
"It is no small task to tackle a show that comes with so many memories as The Sound of Music does for so many of us, whether we loved the movie, hold treasured recollections of past productions or even portrayed children in the cast of our youth – but the Ogunquit Playhouse does just that, creating a production that is all its own.."
There’s Much To Applaud In This Sound of Music
“…the first night excellence of the production.”
“…everything went right at Saturday night’s performance at the Hiland Theatre.”
“Musical Theatre Southwest ended its 2002 season on a high note with its production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein chestnut The Sound of Music.”
“Credit for all this good work must be laid at the feet of the director, Gary John La Rosa. What aided the production’s success was that it broke through the invisible barrier between the stage and audience, meaning La Rosa had the actors use the aisles to full advantage in several scenes.”
“…‘how sweet it is,’ which is precisely what comes to mind in thinking about The Sound of Music, now playing at the Hiland."
“…well choreographed by director Gary John La Rosa. It’s wonderful entertainment, beautifully staged, that you shouldn’t miss.”