The week before a show opens is typically hectic — and the Nikiski Middle-High School’s production of the “Sound of Music” is no different. Flocks of elaborately costumed nuns, von Trapps and many of the 40-something cast members in school’s musical theater class gathered around the stage, waiting for director Joe Rizzo to tell them where to go.
As the group planned their final rehearsals, members of the stagecraft class put the finishing touches on the set on stage. A small group of actors practiced moving an unwieldy set piece after a scene.
They practiced for nearly six hours on Wednesday, Rizzo said. The show opens Friday and the group will showcase nearly four months of rehearsal and class time spent on the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic about a young nun who proves to high-spirited for a religious calling and instead becomes a governess for the seven children of a widowed military Captain. Her antics with the children capture the Captain’s heart and the two marry. The family’s narrow escape from Austria — which is invaded by Nazis — is set to music that the two senior girls playing Maria von Trapp found to be enchanting.
“It’s my favorite musical,” said Sadie Avril. “I’ve seen it like 500 times.”
Avril will play Maria during the Friday shows and Mira Solmonson will play the part during the Saturday shows. The two also take turns playing the Baroness Schraeder who tries unsuccessfully to woo the Captain away from Maria von Trapp.
As a set crew painted behind them, both said they most enjoyed singing “My Favorite Things” as Maria.
“It personally does make me happier,” Solmonson said. “Not just in the musical and how I’m supposed to feel, but literally I will go home, sing it to myself and it will make me happier.”
They also agreed that audiences will enjoy “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” between a young Liesl von Trap — played by Erin O’Brien — and her love interest Rolf, played by Garratt Dohse.
In it, Rolf tells Liesl that she is a young girl, verging on womanhood and she can depend on him for guidance because he is a year older.
“They did such a good job,” Avril said.
The cast and crew have been working on the show since January and Rizzo said most of the students at the high school have pitched in to help with the production.
Rizzo said audiences will see a stage production that is different from the movie they remember.
“The play is similar to the film, but a lot of the dialogue is different,” he said. “(In the movie) they changed the script to be not-so-sweet, to be a little more somber.”
Reach Rashah McChesney at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @litmuslens