See classic musical ‘Sound of Music’ at Theatre Macon

lshirley@macon.comDecember 6, 2013 

HEmma Banze, center, playing Maria teaches the Von Trapp children how to sing using the Do Re Me technique in a scene from Theatre Macon’s production of “The Sound of Music.” Seated, from left, are Greta (Clarisa Cleghorn), Marta (Emma Littleton), Brigita (Sarah Pyles), Louisa (Grace Deedrich) and Kurt (Grey Faulkner). Standing are Joshua Garner (Fredrich) and Ally Parker (Liesel).

A.I. CARTER — For The Telegraph

People find great comfort in the familiar at the holidays, and that’s just what Theatre Macon will give audiences with “The Sound of Music,” opening Friday.

“We’ve never done ‘The Sound of Music’ on the main stage, though the Youth Actors’ Company did it about 10 years ago. It’s a great choice for the Christmas season,” director Jim Crisp said. “People want happy, feel-good entertainment, something they are familiar with, and this is a great big helping of holiday comfort food for the soul.”

Certainly actor Rob O’Quinn feels comfortable in the role of Capt. Von Trapp; this is his third time playing the part.

“He is a stern character, or at least he starts out that way, but that’s mostly done to hide the pain he has from losing first wife. He doesn’t like to be around his kids because they remind him of her, but he gets turned around, gets to know them and realizes what a gift they really are,” O’Quinn said, adding that he particularly likes Act 1, Scene 9, where von Trapp hears his seven children sing together for the first time and is moved to sing along.

Joining O’Quinn is Emma Banze as Maria, a role she has hoped to win since she started singing at age 9.

“Maria is about my age, going out on her own in the world for the first time. I’ve been going through school and am about to make that leap, get a real job and be responsible for other people. She’s nervous and doesn’t know what to do with herself sometimes, but music is very important to her,” said Banze, a third-year law student at Mercer University with a minor in voice.

And while most people are familiar with the film version of “The Sound of Music” starring Julie Andrews, they “owe it to themselves to see it on stage,” Crisp said.

“It was written and designed to be experienced in the theater, it really shines that way, and it provides an experience you can’t get from film. There is no substitute, especially when you have a cast as sterling as ours,” he said.

In addition to O’Quinn and Banze, the cast includes Billy Bishop as Max, Rachel Snapp as Elsa, and Martha Malone as the Mother Abbess.

“We also have seven beautiful kids whose voices are great and who have a wonderful presence on stage,” Crisp said, and Banze agreed.

“The kids are really young and do such a good job; we run from ages 15 down to 5,” Banze said. “It’s a great group of people to work with; it’s comfortable and feels like home.”

“The Sound of Music”

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 6-7, 13-14; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11-12; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 15

Where: Theatre Macon, 438 Cherry St.

Cost: $25 adults, $20 seniors, $15 students

Information: 478-746-9485; www.theatremacon.com

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