‘The Sound of Music’ rings out at Caesar Rodney High School

Steven Curd is Capt. Von Trapp and Ellie Blaier is Maria von Trapp in the “The Sound of Music.” The musical opened last night at Caesar Rodney High and will continue tonight at 7 and Saturday at 6 p.m. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

CAMDEN — The singing von Trapp family of “The Sound of Music” takes the stage this weekend at Caesar Rodney High School.

“We sat down in the fall and knew we wanted a classic for the spring show and ended up choosing this one,” said director Keith McCarthy.

“A lot of kids in the show had never seen the movie before and so I think a lot of younger people who come to the show probably have a general understanding of the story. But this will be their first real experience with it.”

While the classic, which premiered Thursday and night and will continue tonight and Saturday, may be new to many young people, it’s well known among the actors, many of whom have been intrigued by musical theater since childhood.

“’The Sound of Music’ was a big part of my childhood,” said senior Alexis Waddy portraying the role of Baroness Elsa von Schraeder. “I saw it a bunch of times and I remember my mom singing all the songs, so it’s definitely something I’ve always known really well and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Alexis’ castmate Steven Curd, portraying the lead role of Captain von Trapp also grew up with the movie, because it was a favorite of his mother.

Portraying nuns, from left, are Audree Wells as Berthe, Haydee Byars-Weiser as Sophia, Elyse Roscoe as Mother Abbess and Hannah Garey as Sister Margaretta.

“It’s probably her favorite movie of all time, so she’s planning on coming to every show,” he said. “I grew up watching it and hearing about it but after being cast, I watched it a couple more times to get some insight.”

He’s working on capturing the toughness of Captain von Trapp while keeping in mind he has a soft side, although that isn’t shown in the stage production.

His on-stage counterpart Ellie Blaier, who portrays Maria, is trying to condense the dynamic role Julie Andrews’ played in the film to fit the stage show.

“It’s a little stressful because the role is so famous and the audience will have certain expectations but I’ve built a lot of confidence through being a part of theater and during our rehearsals and I think the show’s going to be great and the audience will love it.”

“Here at CR, we have set a very high standard for our productions, and the audience, along with cast, crew and musicians know that, and we always rise to the occasion,” he said.

And it takes a lot of collaboration to put on a show like “The Sound of Music”, which is stacked with talent from 45 actors, a dozen crew members and 14 musicians playing the Rodgers and Hammerstein score live.

Playing the von Trapp family in Caesar Rodney’s production of “The Sound of Music” are, from top, then left to right, Izabela Marasco as Liesl, Joshua Balcena as Friedrich, Michaela Tucci as Louisa, Alexindra LeNoir as Brigitta, Lucas Paret as Kurt, Sarah Radio as Marta and Emily Radio as Gretl. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

“The live music is something we always do at CR and I think it really adds something special,” Ellie said. “You can really hear how expressive all the players are and it enhances what we’re doing on stage.”

“This is definitely the biggest production I’ve done and there are a lot of moving parts, but everyone contributing their best effort makes a great product,” Ellie said.

Alexis said great casts is one of the reasons she’s loved the theater program at CR.

“I love theater itself and pretty much every genre, but the people are what make it so special,” she said. “Here everyone is so hardworking, fun and open-minded, every show is a really positive experience.”

And all the cast, crew and musicians get to celebrate that experience after the curtain drops Saturday night.

Alexis Waddy is Baroness Elsa Schraeder and Michael Sell is Max Detweiler, a close friend of the von Trapp family.

“The cast party is probably my favorite part of each production,” Mr. McCarthy said.

“All of the kids have so much joy having seen all their hard work come together and it just a time of celebration,” he said.

“We push them to do their best and it’s fulfilling to see them work together and all pay off in the end.”

“The Sound of Music” takes the stage at Caesar Rodney High School on Old North Road in Camden today at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10-12 and available at crscat.org or at the door.

Ashton Brown is a freelance writer living in Dover.

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