The groundbreaking Electric Company Theater, the McEnthaler Cultural Center’s resident theater group, has given spirea-like wings to the revival of the famous musical The Sound of Music, and this production will bring Mack’s theater to life. and soared high into the sky. affectionately called) mansion and spectacular grounds.
Because of the company’s unparalleled creativity, artistry, and storytelling, I never run to a show by The Electric Company, but this show is one of The Sound of Music. When I heard that it would be, I wrinkled my nose and wondered. What can be done to make this obsolete warhorse something other than obsolete? Let’s be honest, what is The Sound of Music without Julie Andrews? Almost everyone knows the story and the songs are classic, but why did this musical catch the attention of Electric Her Company and Her Theater?
From the moment the audience gathered in the circle center courtyard, I knew it was different and that I was in the middle of something very special. Thanks to the beautiful angelic statues and the quiet, fantastic setting, we, the audience, realized that we were no longer in the courtyard. We suddenly traveled back in time and gathered at Nonnberg Abbey. It was the 1930’s. Holy nuns gathered around us. They took us on an unforgettable journey that was just beginning. As they sang “Prelude,” “Morning Hymn,” and “Alleluia,” it was as if the heavens had opened to invite the angels in and closed the rest of the world.
That night, it was simply the voices of birds chirping in the trees, the softness of the fading sunset, heartwarming stories, and a peek into the souls of these characters we only know so well. All of us, the viewers, were ushered into the rolling hills of the property, which mimicked a mountainside, where a beautiful young girl began singing alone, and it was her, it was Maria (Shaann Ortiz). No, she wasn’t Miss Andrews, but this young girl singing on top of the mountain was our beautiful Maria, and I had forgotten all about her by then. As she began to sing about her favorite hill, her lyrics became clearer than ever, her rich, lively voice filling our world and singing brightly.
We all moved into Reverend Mother Abeth’s (Leeza York) devout office. And there Mother sang her favorites “Maria” and “My Favorite Things”. The wise abbot reminded us that this free-spirited follower was not yet ready to become a nun. She sent Maria into the “real world” to tutor Captain Trapp’s (Brent Cindere) seven children.
During the musical, we were taken to 10 different locations on the property, each providing the perfect backdrop for a new scene. Every spot was just as nice as last time. Maria met the captain and found him to have strict discipline. Cheerful Maria was well-mannered, but not nonsensical reminders like his harsh whistleblowing, or being harsh with her children for being children. She taught her children how to be happy, happy and childlike. The captain was beginning to melt, but we were all still perfect, even though he was also due to marry the wealthy and sophisticated Baroness Elsa (Lenny Curtis) and most of us knew the outcome. I was rooting for the ending.
While a true love connection is brewing, another story is brewing between 16-year-old Liesl (Emily Taylor) and 17-year-old German soldier Rolfe (Miles Henry). As they sing the catchy duet “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” we all seem to forget that they’re on opposite sides and it’s just two people in love. was a teenager. But the underlying anxiety of the era is still present, and I clicked the shutter later in the story when Rolf extended his right arm and gave a Nazi salute.
One of the most standout moments in the show was when Mother Abbeth (Lisa York) sang “Climb Every Mountain” and to my surprise, York’s wonderful mezzo-soprano voice gave me chills. so i had to hold back my tears. spine.
Brent Schindell played retired Austrian Captain von Trapp (Brent Schindell) as a character who is as dignified and tough as he really is, but who maintains his character’s strength and later reveals a softer side. . When he sang “Edelweiss,” it was quiet yet brilliantly representative of his character, not always an easy transition for an actor, but Sindel made it through without a hitch.
The seven highly talented children (including Liesl) were collectively charming, playing beautifully with each other and with Maria, forming a sophisticated ensemble. They brought laughter and fun to the fore along with some reflective moments. I won’t reveal how the ending was produced, other than to say that it was impressive.
Due to the double cast, Caleb Elliot will play Friedrich, Miranda Taylor will play Louisa, CJ Walker will play Kurt, Lily Garcia will play Brigitta, Brooklyn Riggan will play Marta, and Camryn Dancer-Walker will play Grettle. rice field. More incredible performances by Alfonso Nieves as Max Detweiler and, as mentioned above, Lenny Curtis as Elsa, Andrew Aguilar as Franz, Vanessa Verdugo as Frau Schmidt and Sister Sofia. Gloria Henderson, Madeleine Nieves as Sister Margaretta, and Megan Cherry as Sister Belt. , James Herrera as Admiral von Schreiber, Tana Carmichael as Baroness Elberfeld, Scott Carmichael as Baron Elberfeld, and Michael Leal as Mr. Zeller.
Shayan Ortiz excelled in every aspect of her performance as Maria. As Mother Abes, she played Lisa York as well. Let’s not forget the friendly group of nuns who guided us. As the sun went down they lit our way with their little flashlights and guided us through the crowds, like fireflies in the dark.
Director Brian Johnson has set high standards and expectations for this epic production, and his production team and company as a whole have delivered one of the most beloved musicals we’ve ever seen. Praise should be given for this work reproduced in
Choreographed by Emily Taylor. Music director Brent Schindell. Intimacy Coordinator, Carrie Plendiville Johnson. Landscape design, Brian Johnson. Sound Design, Caleb Alcorn. Costume designer, Tara Carmichael. Lighting design, Matt Mankiewicz. Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse.
McEnthaler Cultural Center 1201 West Malvern Ave, Fullerton, CA 92821.
www.electriccompanytheater.org The deadline is June 28, 2023.
*Message to visitors: Since most of the shows are held outdoors, it gets cold outside after dark, so please come dressed in layers. This show starts at exactly 7pm. Please arrive a few minutes early to find parking and check-in in the courtyard of the Center Circle. The production tours Mack’s beautiful grounds, requiring the audience to walk from place to place.