Who says Broadway is the only place you can hear The Sound of Music? The 1959 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical may be running at the Martin Beck Theatre with Rebecca Luker, but Oregonians have a few more days to get their own dose of Maria and the Captain at Portland's Musical Theatre Company. The company's production opened Apr. 24 and ends its scheduled run May 17, finishing the current season (the company starts its next line-up in October).
The Sound of Music tells of a singing would-be nun who transforms the lives of an Austrian widower submarine captain and his seven children through the power of goodness and song. She abandons the convent life to become the captain's wife -- just as the Nazi anschluss makes him a prime target for drafting into the German navy. Can they save their principles, their family and the new-found ability as a singing group?
The answer is played out to the tune of R&H standards include "Do Re Mi," "My Favorite Things," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "Edelweiss" and the title song.
At Musical Theatre Company, Marie is played by Debbie Hunter, Von Trapp by Richard Taylor-Kenney. Other cast-members include Pilar Millhollen, David Larsen, Ron Daum, Barbara Irvin and six local children. Designing the Portland Sound of Music are Sandra Kaufman (costumes), Carey Wong (sets) and Don Crossley (lighting). Bill Dobson directs; Joe Bennett choreographs.
Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse wrote the libretto for 1959's Sound Of Music, based on the story of the "Trapp Family Singers" as documented by Maria Augusta Trapp. The autobiographical story told how the Trapps escaped from Austria during World War II. The original production starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. The film starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Broadway last heard "Do Re Mi," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and "So Long, Farewell" in 1991 when Debby Boone, Laurence Guittard and Werner Klemperer starred in a revival at City Opera's New York State Theatre.
Next season at The Musical Theatre Company will bring Funny Girl (Oct. 2-25), She Loves Me (Nov. 20-Dec. 13), Kander & Ebb's Cabaret (Feb. 19-Mar. 14, 1999) and Lerner & Loewe's My Fair Lady (Apr. 23-May 16, 1999).
For tickets ($15-$25) and information on The Sound of Music at the Eastside Performance Center, 531 SE 14th St. In Portland, call (503) 916 6592.
-- By David Lefkowitz