[THEATER REVIEW] ‘The Sound of Music’ (Hale Center Theater Orem Utah)

It’s always fun to get to see opening night of a show. The energy is palpable in the room and the performances feel new and fresh. So was my experience getting to see the new take on the classic The Sound of Music at Hale Center Theater Orem.

This show stars Melanie McKay Cartwright as Maria (MWF) and Patrick Kintz as Captain von Trapp. Shani Harper is also extremely strong as Mother Abbess at the abbey (she nails that high note in ‘Climb Every Mountain’).

Cartwright has a beautiful, warm soprano as Maria and a great natural chemistry with all the child actors. Staging numbers can be challenging on HCTO’s small stage but they all look like they are having such fun that it works and you can imagine them all running around Austria to their hearts content!

I recently did a best and worst musicals episode of my podcast and I chose The Sound of Music because I think they made the movie version significantly better than the stage. It’s a rare instance of that kind of transition. They moved things around like singing ‘My Favorite Things’ when the kids are scared of the dark instead of ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ in the stage musical. They also took out all the songs from the Baroness and Max, which make them seem a lot more sinister on stage than in the movie. I wish they would make a new revival version with these changes because they are definite improvements.

I also miss getting to hear ‘Edelweiss’ earlier in the story instead of just in the concert. The movie is just better than the stage musical in nearly every respect but that’s not the fault of these actors or production. They did an incredible job with what they had and deserve every ounce of respect.

As I said, The Sound of Music is just starting at Hale Center Theater Orem (it runs through Aug 7th) so if you can get over there I highly recommend it. It has great performances, lovely choreography and some of the best songs you’ll ever hear on stage! I have confidence you’ll love it 🙂

8 out of 10

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