Ever since first watching Julie Andrews in one of her best roles as the lovable Maria in The Sound Of Music on VHS as a child, the story of the seven Von Trapp children has been one of my favourite things.
From Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammersmith, the timeless London Palladium production has finally come to Adelaide for a short but sweet season from August 9 until September 4.
The extremely versatile Amy Lehpamer as the innocent yet mischievous governess Maria brings the musical to life with positivity and uplifting energy. Her sweet vocals are purely outstanding, especially when paired against Jacqueline Dark’s Mother Abbess for the duet of My Favourite Things.
Dark is extraordinary as the Mother Abbess with her operatic mezzo-soprano vocals making me tear up several times during her epic solo of Climb Ev’ry Mountain.
Cameron Daddo is charming and likeable as the strict and serious Captain Von Trapp who, from the influence of Maria’s positivity and kind heart is able to find joy in music again. Near the closing of Act II as Captain Von Trapp is pressured to join the Nazi Germany Navy comes the crowd favourite song named after the native white flower found in the Alps. Daddo’s lead vocals in Edelweiss, signifying Austrian devotion against Nazi Germany and as an emotional goodbye and blessing to his ‘homeland’ as the family prepare to flee the country are exceptional.
There is an all-star supporting cast with musical theatre veteran and stellar soprano Marina Prior as the Baroness Schraeder and David James as Max Detweiler, a man increasingly hesitant to choose a side in the imminent Nazi Anschluss.
The real standout of the show however are the Von Trapp children, lead by rising star Stefanie Jones as the eldest Leisel, who as many of you know is only sixteen, (but going on seventeen).
With each new city of The Sound of Music’s Australian tour, an entirely new cast of children, excluding Leisel are cast providing an invaluable opportunity for 12 local talents to be involved with the acclaimed musical.
Friday’s media preview starred Nathan Stafford as Friedrich, Jacinda Tsakalos as Lousia, Oscar Bridges as Kurt, Alicia Hammond as Brigitta, Danika Roach as Marta and Anna Mcauliffe as the adorable Gretl.
The second cast of children, who alternate with the other includes Ethan Schembri (Friedrich), Katie Lammin (Louisa), Cooper James (Kurt), Ariel Higgs (Brigitta), Charlotte Van Zuydam (Marta) and Zoe Pool (Gretl).
The production design is lavish with sprawling green hills, a grand staircase in the exquisite Von Trapp mansion and a dark and sinister concert hall complete with Nazi emblem and handsome nasty stormtroopers who could give the guards at Buckingham Palace a run for their money with their strict composure during comical moments.
When the Australian tour moves on to another state, those lucky enough to witness the production will be encouraged, when times are tough, to simply remember their favourite things, and then, they wont feel so bad.
Book tickets to see The Sound of Music in Adelaide here.