BIG RIVER Ends, JOHN DENVER Begins… And, On The Horizon, THE SOUND OF MUSIC

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on June 13, 2011

Over 100 children auditioned for The Sound of Music. If we were casting Old Mother Hubbard, we would have had no problems.

When we produced The Children’s Hour some years back, thirteen girls showed up for auditions. Lillian Hellman’s play calls for twelve girls. What do you do? I couldn’t send one home, so we created a role. Sorry, Miss Hellman.

But you only need seven children for the von Trapp family. So even if you are triple-casting, you have over eighty to send home, not because they aren’t talented but because the Rodgers & Hammerstein script calls for seven children who are stair steps in heights.

Debby Dowlen-Noyes’ production of The Sound of Music had nine children (she pulled a “Children’s Hour,” too). She is graciously loaning us her costumes for our production. Debby was, for us for many years, and now is for a theatre in Greenville, the creator of grand costumes. We had her Beauty and the Beast costumes on loan, and they were beautiful. We know the von Trapps’ will be beautiful as well.

I saw a YouTube video which had the eldest boy, Friedrich, in long trousers — a wonderful choice, for after Friedrich says, “I’m fourteen. I’m a boy,” Maria replies, “Why, you’re almost a man.” So the long pants. That choice, which is text-driven, is not unlike the latest Oklahoma production where Laurie begins the musical wearing overalls. Of course, she does — she’s a farm girl.

Captain von Trapp was no different from the soldiers of today, going on tours of duty and returning home for a short time before heading off again. I see so many of our brave young men who have come home from harm’s way, lovingly carrying a baby probably born when he was deployed.

It’s fun-raising, not fund-raising — for, if it’s not fun, it won’t happen. If it doesn’t happen, it won’t be fun, nor will it raise any funding. To that end, for our next event, the Roxy is lying low down-under F&M Bank, with a pre-Father’s Day cookout at 6pm on Saturday, June 18. Tickets are $25 for all-you-can-eat hamburgers and hot dogs (courtesy of Linda and Gary Shephard of Edward’s Steakhouse), iced tea, lemonade, and a John Denver sing-off with prizes, ending in an 8pm performance of Almost Heaven, a tribute to the music of John Denver.

See you at the theatre!

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