The hills around Summerlin will be alive with “The Sound of Music” when Broadway Bound offers up the celebrated show Jan. 31 through Feb. 15 at the Summerlin Library’s Performing Arts Center, 1771 Inner Circle Drive.
Telling the timeless tale of a former young nun’s free-spirited nature and a stark disciplinarian’s rigidity through music, the production is set to include songs such as “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and the title song, “The Sound of Music.”
“Our program is known for our high-energy productions that are not just entertaining for audiences but also empowering for young talent,” said Michael Vojvodich, director and instructor of the musical theater program for Broadway Bound, 1181 S. Buffalo Drive, No. 105.
He called “The Sound of Music” a classic story with a “beautiful message that speaks across all generations.”
Broadway Bound students have been rehearsing the Tony Award-winning show since mid-October. Vojvodich said rehearsals had to be on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, allowing for 30 rehearsals, much like a professional theater group, which usually has four weeks to put together a show.
He should know. Vojvodich’s credits include title roles in “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Jekyll & Hyde” and collaborations with musical theater legends such as Jerry Herman, Susan Egan, Michael McElroy and Marvin Hamlisch.
The interrupted rehearsal schedule was not apparent on Jan. 3. The 26 cast members ran through their lines without a hiccup, hitting their marks and moving props as needed for the next scene.
Jessica Ruettiger, 15, who plays Maria, said this is the most “real” role she’s ever had, citing past parts in “Hello, Dolly!” and “Little Women.”
“This is the most real, fun role I’ve played,” she said. “I love performing because you bring something new to the table every time.”
Ruettiger said even though she has the lead role, she is still respectful of her castmates. How does she plan to make the role her own?
“I think you have to live it; you have to live your character and be in the moment,” she said. “I see Maria as someone who is very kind to everyone. I feel she has a secret. She wants something. She know she’s not satisfied at the abbey, and she wants to explore and go out in the world. The Captain is her exit into the world.”
McKenna Meeks, 13, plays Liesl and was impressive not just for her acting and singing. She also had the unenviable task of dancing as she sang, executing an arabesque at one point. She said the part had prompted her to master the art of diaphragm breathing.
“It’s fun because I get to play someone around my own age,” she said. “ … I found a way to sort of combine them (dancing and singing) both. I find the places where I can take big breaths.”
Their roles are double cast. For some performances, Maria is also to be played by Cambry Salway, 16. Liesl is also to be played by Darby Sorich, 16. When not in their leading roles, the girls appear as nuns.
There are tongue-in-cheek lines that play well on stage, such as when Maria finds the dress she wore when she arrived at the convent. Mother Superior says she’s lucky that it was still there and that such outfits are usually given to the poor.
“What about this one?” Maria asks.
“The poor didn’t want it,” Mother Superior answers.
Vojvodich said fans of the movie will not be disappointed with this theatrical version.
“Everybody knows Julie Andrews and everyone knows Christopher Plummer, (so) it’s intimidating to do it because you want to do it right,” he said. “But that same time, we want to take liberties with it and make it our own, make it a more entertaining experience than just copying the movie.”
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Monday, Friday and Saturday, with 1 p.m. matinees scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at tinyurl.com/nwdqa53.
For more information, visit broadwayboundlv.com or call 702-898-5131.
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2949.