Monday, March 6, 2017

The Hills of Waterbury Are Alive with Music

To Captain Von Trapp, marching is in, music is out, work is in, playtime is out, whistles are in, laughter is out, discipline is in, singing is out. All that changes when an excitable, soon- to-be nun named Maria plays governess to the Captain's seven motherless children in the wonderful family musical classic "The Sound of Music." 

Until Sunday, March 12, , the Palace Theater in Waterbury will play host to the entire von Trapp clan and you're invited to the mountains of Austria to hear all the joy.  With music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, with direction by Jack O'Brien, this musical is a family favorite.

1938 Austria presents profound changes for the earnest and solemn Captain Georg von Trapp (Ben Davis) when both the Nazis and a young impetuous girl named Maria enter his life. He is powerless to defy either as one hardens his heart and the other captures his soul.

The captain has been running his household as he did his naval ships: strictly and decoreously. Instead of names, he uses whistle sounds to summon his seven children: Liesl (Paige Silvester), Kurt (James Bernard), Friedrich (Elliot Weaver), Louisa (Stephanie Di Fiore), Marta (Taylor Coleman), Brigitta (Dakota Riley Quackenbush), and Gretl (Anika Lore Hatch).  When the irrepressible Maria, played wonderfully by Charlotte Maltby, skips into their lives, the hills of Austria and Waterbury suddenly are alive with the sounds of glorious music.

Whether Maria is teaching the children how to sing, in the fun song "Do-Re-Mi", dressing them in play clothes cut from old curtains, helping them yodel their way through a thunderstorm, or preparing them to star in the Carlsbad Festival, she opens windows to love and laughter in their lives.

With the Captain and Maria, Teri Hansen as the Captain's almost fiance, Merwin Foard as the manipulating Max, and Melody  Betts  as Mother Abbess have their individual moments in the spotlight, it is clearly the sweet dimple faced youngest von Trapp who steals the show.

For tickets ($64.50-94.50), call the Palace Theater box office,100 East Main Street, Waterbury at 203-346-2000 or online at  Performances are tonight at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 pm. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Before the Friday show and after the Sunday matinee show, Verbena Catering will offer a four-course pre-fixe dinner in the theater's Poli Club for $65 a person including tax, fees, coffee and tea.  Call for reservations.

If girls in white dresses, packages tied up in string, crisp apple strudel, and bright copper kettles are among your favorite things, then plan a visit to the Palace Theater in Waterbury where they are all delightfully awaiting you.

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