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'The Sound of Music' hits the stage at CRT posted on 08/02/2022

The cast of Clackamas Repertory Theatre’s (CRT) August production of “The Sound of Music” has had an extended time to consider their roles, as the show had been cast prior to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Director Jayne Stevens noted that the performers, including Merideth Kaye Clark as Maria Rainer and Leif Norby as Captain Georg von Trapp, have put in a lot of work during their wait.

“I think there’s a really nice energy in the room because of that,” Stevens said. “Everyone is excited to be back doing musical theater.”

The show, one of the classic musicals from the 20th century, offers the story of Maria, a governess for a large family who falls in love with the widowed father, Captain von Trapp, with the two attempting to flee the Nazis. Many theatergoers will be familiar with the show, featuring music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, either from its numerous stage productions or the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews.

Stevens noted that it is a challenge to mount such a well-known musical, balancing between giving the audience what they know and want and also presenting it in their own way. But she also added that the themes in the musical, including how some people have the means to leave where they live when it gets too difficult and others don’t (reflected in the current invasion of Ukraine), as pertinent to the world today.

“A lot of people didn’t have money and didn’t escape,” Stevens said, adding that the show is also centered around a woman and what her options are in the world. “There’s a lot of meat to ‘The Sound of Music,’ and I think sometimes people forget about it.”

Stevens, who has performed in two different productions of the show in her youth, noted that the music, including classics such as “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things” and “Do-Re-Me,” offers a “beautiful choral sound that you don’t always get in a musical.”

Stevens added that the show and the CRT season are dedicated to Janice Osterman, who passed away before being able to see this musical produced at the theater. Janice and her husband, Jim, have been major sponsors of CRT since the first season, in 2005.

“The Ostermans have been such huge supporters of Clackamas Repertory Theatre from the start,” Stevens said, noting that the first Friday show, normally opening night, will be a sold-out performance for Jim and his family and friends.

The CRT presents “The Sound of Music” from Aug. 4-28, at the Osterman Theater on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. A low-cost preview performance will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4. Children under the age of six will not be admitted.

For more information, visit clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047.

Audience members will be required to wear masks and provide proof of vaccination to attend performances. CRT’s COVID-19 policy is subject to change and can be viewed online, at https://www.clackamasrep.org/tickets-events/covid-19/.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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