The hills around Chilliwack are about to echo with the Sound of Music.
The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is being presented by Secondary Characters, July 18-29 at the UFV Chilliwack Theatre.
What’s so rich about the Sound of Music is that it’s based on a true story, says director Randy Newbury, who will also play the role of materialistic uncle Max.
“Of course it’s about the wonderful music, and many say it’s their favourite of all time,” he said.
Except there are some younger audience members who’ve potentially never seen the Sound of Music.
It follows the Von Trapp family on the cusp of Nazi occupation of Austria, all the way to their triumphant trek to freedom in Switzerland.
A historical display will be in the lobby to provide some historical context.
“That makes it an educational experience for kids as well as entertainment.”
The well-loved songs stand up through the years: “Do-Ri-Me”, “My Favourite Things” and “Edelweiss” will performed by a huge cast of children and adults alike, from Chilliwack to Surrey, with a live orchestra.
The youngest player is only five years old.
“The kids are extremely talented. They’re giving it their all. I’m so amazed at the level of talent coming out of this community,” the director gushes.
Theatre has been a thriving artistic concern here for a long time, he said, and Chilliwack is “teeming” with theatrical and musical talent.
“When you get to work with so many eager new people wanting to see shows done so well, it makes you want to do even better,” he said.
The way the story of the Sound of Music goes, when a “postulant,” which is someone awaiting entry to a religious order, proves too high-spirited, she is sent to be the governess of seven children, the beloved family of a widowed naval Captain.
Maria’s rapport with the kids, along with her generous spirit, captures the heart of the stern Captain, and they marry.
Leading the cast is experienced Chilliwack duo of Caroline Davies as postulant Maria Rainer and Darren Guenther portraying Captain von Trapp. Joining them are Sarah Benjamins as the Mother Abbess, Randy Newbury as Max Detweiler, Steffi Munshaw as Elsa Schraeder, and Ben Buckingham as Rolf Gruber.
The von Trapp children are played by Katie Allinger (Liesl) Connor Ferris (Friedrich) Darby and Jackson Howard (Louisa and Kurt) Sydney and Maya Dombowsky (Brigitta and Marta) and Eden Wedel (Gretl). Choreographer Shelley Wojcik and music director Nicola Davies, who leads a nine-piece live orchestra. Costumes are designed by Mari Spani and Chrystal Romano, props by Alyson Seale, and lighting by Gabriel Kirkley.
The Sound of Music July 18-21, 25-28 at 7:30 p.m. and July 22, 28, 29 at 2 p.m., with all performances at the UFV Chilliwack Theatre. Tickets are $20 Adults, $15 Student/Senior. July 18 and 19 are Preview Nights: all tickets $12. July 25 is The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long; join the cast for all your favourites! All tickets are $15
Tickets are sold at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre: in person 9:30-5:00, 604-791-SHOW (7469), online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca.