by Stephanie Kanowitz
The Kennedy Center’s Opera House came alive with “The Sound of Music.” The moment Charlotte Maltby began belting out the title song, the audience gave gasps of recognition, seeming to hold themselves back from singing along. A new production of the famous musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein that debuted on Broadway in 1959, the play’s stars – a strong motherly type and the seven children she cares for – offer young audiences positive messages along with timeless tunes.
The voices of Maltby and Melody Betts, who play Maria and the Mother Abbess, respectively, are so powerful that my 7-year-old daughter was among the audience members to jump out of their seats to give a standing ovation when the nearly three-hour production ended. Maltby perfectly executes her delivery of humorous lines, while parents related to both Capt. vonTrapp’s penchant for his children’s obedience and Maria’s case for their need to play.
There’s a lot about the show that young ones can relate to, such as the children’s fear during a thunderstorm, their reputation for playing tricks on former governesses and disappointment over having to go to bed while the grown-ups party on. The fact that children play the children also helps make the show relatable to young audiences, who might not get the scenes when Maria and the captain realize they’re in love or references to World War II, including Germany’s takeover of Austria and the von Trapps’ refusal to pledge loyalty to the Nazi Party.
Overall, my daughter loved the play, especially the music, even if some of the story lines went over her head. We recommend this show for 7 and up.
The Sound of Music
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - Sunday, July 16, 2017
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
FIND TICKETS HERE
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