Courtesy of Thomas Chown
The hills of Sonoma County were filled with the sound of music Friday evening as Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University collaborated on the production of “The Sound of Music” at SSU’s Evert B. Person Theater.
Why watch a classic musical on Disney+ when you can watch a great performance by the SRJC and SSU student theater departments?
“The Sound of Music” is set in Austria at the start of World War II and follows the story of Maria Rainer and the Von Trapp Family .
There is outstanding talent of all ages in the musical. Genevieve Smith plays Gretl and shines as a child actor who can sing and dance with other actors three times her age.
The play’s lighting creates a ‘50s film atmosphere with a slight vignette by darkening the stage corners. This creates a focus on the main characters but not to the point where you can’t notice background characters.
Six columns surrounding the stage with supporting structures, such as windows and stained-glass art pieces, brought down from above as needed by wires. This creates an adaptable stage from a concert hall to a convent.
The most important aspect of this play is the sound design, which magically changes the mood of each scene.
“My Favorite Things” is mixed with the track of thunderstorms, and neither sound overpowers the others.
The star of the show is Arriana LeMark as Baronin Maria von Trapp. LeMark was cast perfectly. She is able to sing, dance and act without any hiccups in her performance.
The play’s costume design is haunting. Costume designers were able to recreate two Nazi uniforms that look like they are straight out of a film or photograph as well as beautiful dresses that LeMarks wears throughout the play.
The only flaws were actors forgetting lines on occasion and a shaky spotlight.
Last semester’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” production suffered from poor acoustics in Maria Carillo High School’s theater. “The Sound of Music” benefits from SSU’s theater. After this production, the SRJC theater department will finally return home to a remodeled Burbank Auditorium.
The play will run from Nov. 22 to Dec. 8 with shows at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are sold at the SSU theater box office or at SRJC’s website https://theatrearts.santarosa.edu/buy-tickets-online.