'Sound of Music' Remains Pleasing Experience; When the Musical's Title Is "The Sound of Music," the Musical Performances Ought to Be Clear and Satisfying. [Derived Headline]

By Carter, Alice T | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 24, 2016 | Go to article overview

'Sound of Music' Remains Pleasing Experience; When the Musical's Title Is "The Sound of Music," the Musical Performances Ought to Be Clear and Satisfying. [Derived Headline]


Carter, Alice T, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


When the musical's title is "The Sound of Music," the musical performances ought to be clear and satisfying.

The national touring production of this beloved 1959 classic playing the Benedum Center through March 27 as a presentation of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series succeeds at that.

By now, almost everyone is familiar with one version or another of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse's tale of Maria, a young, free- spirited, aspiring nun who finds love and her calling while healing an emotionally troubled family living in Austria on the brink of World War II.

The tunes in the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II score are so familiar that it's difficult not to sing along with its anthems: "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and "The Sound of Music," as well as ditties such as "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi" and "Edelweiss."

To his credit, director Jack O'Brien has made this touring production less saccharine-sweet than the usual production and takes seriously the looming menace of Nazi Germany.

Ben Davis' Captain Von Trapp still makes a too-swift transition from emotionally remote and controlling widowed father to affectionate, relaxed dad.

Kerstin Anderson, who plays Maria, is 20 and taking a break from her studies at Pace University in New York City. She is clearly much younger than Von Trapp, a captain with the Austrian navy and the father of seven children, the oldest of whom is, as a song tells us, "Sixteen, Going On Seventeen. …

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