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Prana’s Summer Camp Brings Us The Sound of Music

by Ceci LeBeau
July 21, 2019

The hills are still alive with the sound of music as of today, Friday July 19. The Prana production of this perennial favorite brought the whole audience at Medway High School back to the fresh scent of edelweiss and the Austrian Alps. Alive again was Maria, the postulate who opened the heart of an embittered naval captain and forged a bond with his seven children by re-introducing the world of music to them. The Act 1 Maria, Abby Rachlin, exuded joy as she brought spunk and humor back into the Von Trapp home.

Holliston 8th grader Abby Rachlin as Maria sharing her “Favorite Things” with Mother Abbess (9th grader Olivia Dwyer)

The Mother Abbess, Olivia Dwyer,  and her fine ensemble of nuns and choir gave voice to the stirring Maria and My Favorite Things songs. Maria is gently pushed out of the convent nest to try her wings in the outside world. The autocratic Captain Von Trapp, as played with strength by Jackson Huckins, finds Maria’s impudence annoying, but rushes off to Vienna, leaving Maria with his love starved offspring. The costumes enchant, with hand embroidered details enlivening the dirndles and lederhosen. With 30 - 40 children onstage for the iconic Do-Re-Mi, marching and twirling, the audience was caught up in the magic that made this film one of the most beloved of all time. Adele Boggess’ Liesl gives a maidenly sweetness to her duet with handsome telegram deliverer Rolf (Alex Cashin.) In this junior version, The Lonely Goatherd takes the place of My Favorite Things, which traditionally is sung as the children huddle with Maria during a thunderstorm, and it works well.

In Act II, Julia Quatromoni takes over as Maria. The split cast gives more children chances for big parts, especially worthwhile with a show as beloved as this one. After Captain Von Trapp (Emma Reardon) returns, Julia makes the case that he doesn’t really know his children, and he fires her, until he hears his seven singing a tender version of the title song. When he joins in, his hard heart softens. A bubbling Brigitta (Ruby O’Brien) confesses that she thinks her father is in love with Maria.

Holliston 8th grader Julia Quatromoni as Maria listens as Brigitta (5th grader Ruby O’Brien) reveals that the Captain is in love with her.

The sweetly sentimental So Long, Farewell gives the seven a chance to sing out in solo. Alison Fonseca, as Max Detweiller, does an outstanding job in portraying the crafty musical producer who knows a good act when he sees one. His willingness to get along with the Nazis stands in stark contrast to the principles Georg lives by. The Climb Every Mountain scene is superb, with full choir and angelic voices. The Mother Abbess (Samantha Curry) is convincing as she stresses that the convent is not a place to hide from one’s troubles. After returning from her retreat to the Abby, Maria believably reunites the the Captain. As the Third Reich begins to gobble up Eastern Europe, Liesl (Declyn Dumas) has to learn to live with divided loyalties as her boyfriend Rolf reveals himself to be an ardent follower of Hitler. The climax of the show is magnificent, with the entire cast, numbering perhaps eighty plus children, brightening the stage with their wide array of costumes and their heartfelt reprise of Climb Every Mountain.

The details in this show were truly amazing. The pretty Austrian gathered dresses and skirts on the girls, the crisp military garb on the soldiers, the actual choir robes with stoles, the nuns’ black and white habits, the formal wear on the servants and the little ones in outfits suggesting bunny rabbits, turtles and other forest creatures give the impression that nearly every costume in director Roberta Weiner’s possession has been shown to its best advantage.

Two of the many costumes hand-made by Holliston resident Paula Pellissier. She needlepointed the designs on these lederhosen, worn by Holliston 5th graders Julia Furey as Freidrich and Addison McShane as Kurt.

There are girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, and brown paper packages tied up with string. Even the minor characters, like the other entrants in the Salzburg music festival, have a unique turn. The trio of Herwegen comically bob up and down as they overdo their thank yous. I sat in the front row, and a boy appeared holding flowers so that when Fraulein Schweitzer accepted her singing prize, he could run up and give her the roses, and she artfully tossed one back to the audience.

Joanne Hines accompanied the entire show ably at the keyboard, also ringing a real church handbell during scenes in the Abby. Joe Duda was at her side as always as her trusty assistant. The tremendous time and effort put into this show are evident in every scene, and it was a delight to watch.

Photos courtesy of Roberta Weiner

 

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Comments (2)

Many thanks for this beautiful review of our Sound of Music! I love how you take the time to notice so many details, and honor some individual performances. Thank you for your continuing support of the arts in Holliston!

- Roberta Weiner | 7/23/19 8:28 PM

Thank you for this lovely article about the Prana Camp 'Sound of Music Jr'

performances. We are so proud of each and every young person that participated in this lovely and lively play! Also we were thrilled to get a mention of our beautiful granddaughter Adele who played Liesl singing with Rolf in the sweet rendition of "I Am Sixteen". Applause all around for those that directed the camp and for seeing the talent in each young person.

- Cheryl Boggess | 7/21/19 5:11 PM

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