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Robert Cushman covers Stratford’s “Carousel” and “The Sound of Music” in this review. “This is a superb performance, that does justice to the captain’s initial ridiculousness, to his vulnerability, and to his integrity.”
“American actress Stephanie Rothenberg who plays Maria Rainer, the girl from Nonneberg Abbey, is just about perfect. She’s a Maria for today, feisty and feminine, but always her own woman…Will you like The Sound of Music? If prancing kiddies, chanting nuns and a love story that’s rather passionless turn your crank you’re in, like Do-Re-Mi.”
“Confession time: I used to be one of those people who said they hated The Sound of Music…as I aged, it turned into a sneering derision for something deemed too sentimental and syrupy for a brooding college student listening to Tom Waits.”
“Stephanie Rothenberg brings an emotional depth to the character that is reminiscent of Julie Andrews’…Anita Krause is a standout as the Mother Abbess…Her “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and its reprise as the end of the show will leave tears in your eyes. As expected, her singing is phenomenal.
“A further strength of this production is the presence of a Captain Von Trapp who is more than a stick of wood. Ben Carlson is delivering a splendid performance here…There’s heart and soul in this Von Trapp, a lonely widower burdened by a continuing grief and growing anger over the threat of a Nazi takeover of Austria.”
“It is striking in Feore’s subtly feminist re-envisioning of the show how truly dramatically unique the relationship between the Baronness and Maria is. Here are two women romantically interested in the same man, but who never fight over him – and who seem to truly respect one another.”
“Anita Krause…is spectacular as Mother Abbess, who lovingly steers Maria from the abbey and into the arms of the Captain. Her advice, delivered in a powerfully uplifting rendition of Climb Ev’ry Mountain, is one of the play’s great moments.”
“”The Sound of Music” is notoriously saccharine. Feore, however, wrings out every gram of cheap, cloying, excessive sentimentality in favour of honest, genuine depth of emotion, which sends audience members fishing for tissues throughout much of the evening.”