By MIKE CHAIKEN
This coming weekend and next, the Plainville Choral Society is focusing its talents on the classic stage musical, “The Sound of Music.”
“The Sound of Music” features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It’s probably best known for the film version, which starred Julie Andrews.
The show is about Maria, a postulant at an abbey, who doubts her decision to become a nun. Sensing Maria’s doubt, the Mother Abbess suggests to Maria that she spend time away from the abbey in order to consider her decision. Leaving the abbey, Maria takes the post of governess for the von Trapp family. The story spins from there.
Peter Peloso is director for the show, which stars Bristol’s Liz Adams as “Maria,” the character made famous by Andrews.
“The music is wonderfully clever,” said Peloso of the show. “It sounds simple but has a lot of subtle harmonies. It combines, to dramatical effect, songs with melodies that are very likeable upon the first hearing. Very few composers are able to do this.”
“The music in this musical is without a doubt, smart,” said Adams. “To take notes like ‘Do Re Mi’ and to transform them so that even the smallest children can understand them is brilliant. It’s incredibly catchy. I grew up watching ‘The Sound of Music’ when I was a little girl and the music is what helped me understand the story. The songs are simple and easy to understand whether you’re a kid or an adult. That’s the beauty of the music in this show – it’s universal to all ages.”
Peloso said the musical has survived as a staple of the stage because it “has a very efficient script, a clever score, and most of all, it’s about family, defying tyrants, dealing with the world in general. These are all things that all of us deal with regardless of what generation you are in.”
Adams said, “‘The Sound of Music’ is a masterpiece that captures the hearts of audiences all ages. This show takes you on a journey, exploring life’s ups and downs through Maria’s musical sensibility towards life. Themes like family ties, political up rise, and the power of faith are all intertwined in this ‘feel good’ musical, which is performed by extremely talented actors and actresses who reside in our backyard. I can’t promise that you won’t be singing these songs from the show to yourself after you’ve seen it.”
As for the character she plays, Maria, Adams said, “Ever since I was little, the thing I loved most about Maria was her honesty and determination. She never gives up on doing the right thing no matter how hard it is. And it’s not like it comes easy to her either which makes her human and relatable. She makes mistakes but when she falls down, she get’s right back up. I find that when I play her, it’s best to keep it simple and honest because it’s that simple, honest perspective that gives such dynamic liberation to the strict environment she enters into at the beginning of the show.”
Peloso said “The Sound of Music” is a great vehicle for the talents of the Plainville Choral Society, in particular. “We are blessed with people capable of carrying the leads. But most of all, we have a chorus that is very strong and capable of singing more complex music.”
In terms of the strengths of the cast, Peloso said, “All my leads, both adult and children are experienced. Liz Adams (Maria) is a former student and a graduate of Boston Conservatory. Jim Lawrence (Captain von Trapp), Mike Fox (Max) and Maureen Demming (Elsa) have all performed many roles.”
“The Sound of Music” will be performed by the Plainville Choral Society, and members of the PCS Youth Theater, on Saturday, May 4, Friday, May 10, and Saturday May 11, 7:30 p.m. at Plainville High School, Robert Holcomb Way.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at Dancingly Yours, Family Barber Shop, JP Jewelers, Plainville Senior Center, Irene’s Culinary in Forestville, and Saint’s Restaurant in Southington.
For more information on the Plainville Choral Society, contact them at (860) 747-5695, or pcsmusic.org.