Travels With JB

Travels With JB

Travel news and reviews

Melbourne’s Regent Theatre is truly alive to the sounds of music thanks to an excellent production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Cameron Daddo and Amy Lelpamer with the children in the Sound of Music.
Cameron Daddo and Amy Lelpamer with the children in the Sound of Music.

The production is based on Jeremy Sams’ 2006 London Palladium version of the original 1959 stage musical. While stage productions of the Sound of Music are fairly rare I, like most others, have seen the 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews on many occasions!

Lelpamer and the children sing Lonely Goatherd.
Lelpamer and the children sing Lonely Goatherd.

As I discovered there are differences between the two, such as songs appearing in different scenes. My Favourite Things, for example, is sung by Maria and Mother Abbess while in the thunderstorm scene Maria and the children sing the Lonely Goatherd. Although the story is the same we also learn a little more about the leading characters and their motives in the stage show. These characters are brilliantly bought to life by the cast.

Amy Lelpamer as Maria in the Sound of Music.
Lelpamer gives a great performance in the Sound of Music

Amy Lelpamer has understandably won critical acclaim for her performance as Maria. Together with a fantastic voice, her acting ensures Maria comes across as young, enthusiastic, fun loving and spontaneous but at the same time somewhat insecure and vulnerable.
Jacqueline Dark, who plays Mother Abbess, has the most amazing voice. I wasn’t surprised to discover she is a renowned opera singer. Dark, together with a chorus of singers playing nuns, open and close the show and provide one of the many musical highlights.

Cameron Daddo with children.
Daddo with the children.

Cameron Daddo’s performance as Captain Georg von Trapp has divided critics. I always thought his character was meant to be rather cold and aloof so I didn’t have an issue with his performance. And I must admit to tearing up when he and his children emotionally reconnect through a loving hug!
The children were another highlight of the show. On opening night they were played by Heidi Sprague as Gretl, Ruby Moore as Marta, Karina Thompson as Brigitta, Beaumont Farrell as Kurt, Darcy McGrath as Louisa and Alexander Glenk as Friedrich.

Cameron Daddo with David James and Marina Prior.
Daddo,  David James and Marina Prior.

Their songs, including Do-Re-Mi, The Lonely Goatherd and So Long, Farewell, also seemed to provide great joy to the many youngsters in the opening night audience.
Other excellent performances came from David James as Max Detweiler, Marina Prior as Baroness Schraeder, Stefanie Jones as Liesl, Du Toit Bredenkamp as Rolf, Lorraine Bayly as the housekeeper, Frau Schmidt and Philip Dodd as the butler Franz.

Daddo,Lelpamer and the children sing Edelweiss
Lelpamer and the children watch on as Daddo sings  Edelweiss

The sets were another highlight. They included rocky mountains, an Abbey cloister and several rooms in the von Trapp home. Imaginative lighting complemented the sets.
There isn’t the same level of choreography in this production as other musicals currently playing in Melbourne such as Matilda the Musical and Singin’ in the Rain although the dance scene in the Von Trapp family home and the children’s numbers are very well done.
What the Sound of Music does offer is a  thoroughly entertaining musical presented brilliantly by a very talented cast.

The Sound of Music is playing at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre until July 31. It then opens in Perth on September 14. Visit the Sound of Music website or ring 1300 723 038 for more information and tickets.

*Photos by James-Morgan

Jenny Burns attended the opening night of the Sound of Music as a guest of the production company.

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