[Metroactive Stage]

[ Stage Index | Metro | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

The Foothills Are Alive With Music

What goes up must come down in Sunnyvale's production of 'The Sound of Music'

By Michelle Jenkins

The Sunnyvale Community Players' rendition of the original fun-for-the-whole-family musical, The Sound of Music, is as uneven as the foothills of the Austrian Alps. The foothills, unlike the Alps themselves, have neither glorious peaks nor disastrous chasms, but dips and swells that sometimes make the journey more difficult than it should be.

No one player stands out across the board in this two and a half-hour performance, but there are a few gems in the hills. Kay Arnaudo's opera-quality voice and smooth acting as the Mother Abbess lend a very professional air to the production. Also quite professional are the two oldest Van Trapp daughters, played by Sarah Coogan and Julianne Fylstra--and the young delivery-boy Rolf, played by Dave Sanchez. (Some of the cast members alternate.)

Among the principals, Anthony Santucci presents a very realistic Captian George Von Trapp, an aloof and distant man trying to overcome the death of his wife. Unfortunately, Amy Heumann's over-eager and shallow performance as Maria makes their eventual infatuation and marriage a steep mountain to climb.

The play lags a bit at the beginning but picks up a little with the entrance of Steven Anthony as the loud and animated Max Detweiler. Every scene with Max becomes exponentially more entertaining with his exaggerated clowning and excellent timing. "How Can Love Survive," sung by Max, Elsa (played by an elegant Margaret Young) and Captian Von Trapp, is by far the most polished and enjoyable piece in the play. It is also one of the few places where the transition from speaking and singing does not feel awkward. Even the stilted choreography comes off as natural and fun.

Despite a few truly rousing scenes, the play as a whole does not develop any sense of drama or tension. Maria's love for Captain Von Trapp is too sudden, and the Captain does not appear all that upset to be marrying Elsa instead of Maria. Even the threat of Nazi invasion, which is not woven very well into the main plot, does not seem to be on anyone's mind until the issue of Maria has been resolved.

Although younger children will enjoy the energy, the familiar songs and the sight of performers their own age on stage, the rest of the audience will have to ride out the troughs and crests of a so-so production.

The Sound of Music, presented by the Sunnyvale Community Players, plays Sept. 25-27 and Oct. 2-4, 9-11 at 8pm and Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 and 12 at 2:30pm at the Sunnyvale Community Center, 550 E. Remington Dr., Sunnyvale. Tickets are $10-50-$15.50. (408/733-6611)

[ Metro | Metroactive | Archives ]

Web exclusive to the Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 1997 issue of Metro.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

Foreclosures - Real Estate Investing
San Jose.com Real Estate