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Friday, October 23, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Review: Modern Theater Coeur d’Alene’s ‘Sound of Music’ leaves one humming

Sandra Hosking Correspondent

“The Sound of Music” is a beloved musical with upbeat classics like “Do-Re-Mi” and “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” The Modern Theater Coeur d’Alene delivers the classic with charm and vocal talent.

“The Sound of Music” follows irrepressible Maria, a nun-to-be who becomes a governess for seven children. Emily Cleveland, a solid vocalist who has always been an audience favorite, is energetic and embodies the playfulness of the character quite well. Her renditions of “I Have Confidence,” “Do-Re-Mi” and “My Favorite Things” are all great.

Cleveland has a nice rapport with the Von Trapp children, who also demonstrate much vocal talent: Liesl (Riley Setian), Friedrich (Nick Griep), Louisa (Katie Ann Schini), Kurt (Gregory Schaefer), Brigitta (Sophie Anderson), Marta (Quincy McFaul) and Gretl (Olivia McNeice). Setian’s portrayal of Liesl is sweet, and her singing voice is as smooth as silk.

J.R. Haynie (Georg von Trapp) also has a pleasant singing voice, and his skill is apparent. His characterization of Georg is most effective during the captain’s vulnerable moments.

The show’s highlights include “Praeludium,” the show’s opening song sequence, which features a chorus of nuns and lovely solo work by Caryssa Murphy as Sister Sophia. Teri Grubbs as Mother Abbess delivers on “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Chelsea Haynie, as Elsa Schraeder, and Dan Baumer, as Uncle Max, make a comedic duo.

The simple yet beautiful scenic design, costumes and puppets also are well done.

Director Andy Renfrew, music director Zachariah Baker and choreographer Brook Basset bring out the most charming and fun aspects of the story, as well as the beauty of the music. The characters could use a deeper connection between one another, especially between Maria and the captain during “Something Good” and Maria and the Mother Abbess during “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.”

“The Sound of Music,” with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, is a classic that appeals to all ages, and the theater’s production will leave one humming.

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