This weekend marks the opening of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s fourth rendition of “The Sound of Music,” a acclaimed musical about love, music, and survival.
This show is a conglomeration of both the beloved movie and the Broadway musical, bringing back classic and well-known songs. MSU graduate student RJ Magee plays Max Detweiler, the Von Trapp children’s uncle. Magee wanted to get involved in the themes that are present in the show.
“It’s a very seminal piece, considered one of the best books in the world of musical theatre. It’s very well written,” Magee shared. “It touches on a lot of good universal themes in terms of personal responsibility, love and family.”
Since “The Sound of Music” is such a beloved piece, this isn’t the first time MSU has run the show. Director Matt Caron had to balance staying true to the story, while giving this production its own voice.
“One of my main goals for this show was that I really wanted people to feel like they were coming home when they came to the theater,” Caron said. “I wanted it to feel familiar.”
Caron found it important to keep the show familiar as it was a nostalgic piece.
“One of the reasons we chose it is we knew it would be a crowd pleaser,” Caron explained. “We wanted to do a show that would bring people back to the theater and keep people coming back.”
MSU student Jack Adams plays Captain Von Trapp on the show. Landing the role was special for him as he grew up watching the show.
“I remember watching the movie over and over again as a kid and loving Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer’s performance,” Adams said. “As soon as I saw the show in the season, I immediately circled it and was like, ‘This is a role I want. This is a show I want to be on.
Adams struggled to adjust to his lofty role, but, despite the hardships, loved being a part of the show.
“I tried to take all the little nuanced things that make the character a person and just tried to be true to the movie and the play, but also to make the character my own,” Adams shared. “I love this cast, and doing a show I grew up with and a role I’ve always loved was definitely a highlight of my career. It was amazing to be able to play Von Trapp.
Caron appreciates that even though the show may be old-fashioned, it entertains the audience.
“[The show] is quite long, but the songs are so familiar and they keep you going. The songs come at just the right time and the plot moves at a perfect pace,” Caron said. “It’s a well-crafted play. I never get bored with it. There is a superb musicality on stage.
“The Sound of Music” runs April 7-9 and April 14-16 at 7:30 p.m. and April 16-17 at 2 p.m. at the Ted Paul Theater. Tickets are $24 for adults, $21 for children under 16, and $16 for MSU students.
Header photo: Maria (Faith Peterson) sings for the Von Trapp children. (Ajay Kasaudhan/The Reporter)
Write to: Syd Berggren at [email protected]