“The Sound of Music” at the Paramount Theater in Aurora

By | November 24, 2022

If, like me, you see Rodgers and Hammerstein’s nice musicals as nationwide treasures to be liked by younger and outdated and guarded for generations to come back, the attractive and deeply transferring new vacation manufacturing of the long-lasting title” The Sound of Music” on the Paramount Theater in Aurora will fill you with a heat glow.

Paramount, as I’ve mentioned many instances earlier than, is in a category of its personal relating to bespoke household musical productions, a consequence of the standard and breadth of its manufacturing values, its exceptional consistency, its dedication to giant acoustic orchestras (there are 17 musicians within the pit) and, after all, the great thing about its historic location. Jeffrey D. Kmiec, the gifted designer who brings the Austrian Alps to Aurora, clearly understands this final level: his spectacular postcard interpretation of the pleasant mountains and the protecting abbey looks like a continuation of the Venetian aesthetic of this artwork. -deco, Rapp and Rapp-designed place, the crown jewel of downtown Aurora.

However Amber Mak’s manufacturing hardly feels caught in a traditionalist rut. It’s miles too energetic and vigorous for that.

Alicia Kaori’s curious and looking out Maria bounces across the hills and cloisters, becoming a member of the von Trapp youngsters as if she had been simply the oldest member of them. She is very enjoyable to look at: charming, susceptible, melodious and, above all, current. She is a superb distinction to Christopher Kale Jones’ chilly Captain von Trapp: Jones, a really skilled singer, performs the Navy dissident as if wounded by previous trauma. It is not atypical, however the size of the private journey that Mak and Jones arrange for man to return to moral humanity is atypically lengthy, including depth to the entire thing, or reasonably the courtroom.

(Left to right) Milla Liss as Brigitta, Gage Richey as Friedrich, Julia Aragon as Liesl, Alicia Kaori as Maria, Savannah Lumar as Marta, Maddie Morgan as Louisa and Ezekiel Ruiz as Kurt in Paramount Theater's production of "The sound of music."

It is a part of the magic of this specific musical (which has a guide by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse) that the viewers pulls in instantly and intensely for the connection to work and for that to occur you must imagine the youngsters will probably be in secure and glad (you might be) and that this militaristic man has modified his methods sufficient to by no means stifle Maria’s freedom and spark. And, certainly, it seems just like the case right here.

Mak has discovered a terrific group of von Trapps singers, led by achieved singer Julia Aragon as Liesl, and longtime Chicago music star Susan Moniz, whom I’ve loved watching for many years, is inside attain. hand as Mom Abess, the story’s star matriarch and ethical information. She knocks him off the Alps, so to talk. And for a contrasting word of well timed cynicism, there’s outdated professional Stephen Schellhardt because the amoral Max Detweiler.

Since seeing Tom Stoppard’s luminescent “Leopoldstadt” on Broadway this fall, a play that vehemently asserts that Austrians did far lower than is mostly believed to cease the Nazis and the Holocaust, I assumed quite a bit concerning the extent to which “The Sound of Music” has each promoted and sanitized the post-Anschluss picture of mountain purity, embodied by Maria and the nuns, with out forgetting the elegantly patriotic Captain von Trapp. Most Individuals’ view of Austrian conduct through the struggle is coloured by this post-war spectacle, edelweiss, favourite issues and all. He was much more influential than most individuals notice; all through the final years of the twentieth century, and now past, it was like a singing commercial for the Austrian vacationer board.

Maria (Alicia Kaori) and Captain von Trapp (Christopher Kale Jones) are embraced by (rear, from left) Brigitta (Milla Liss) and Kurt (Ezekiel Ruiz) in Paramount Theater's production of "The sound of music."

The musicals, after all, aren’t laden with historic accuracy, although Mak’s surprisingly cheerful present, to his nice credit score, nonetheless would not draw back from the darker themes of the second act, as some latest productions have. . Conventional musicals like this often mirror folks doing their greatest underneath troublesome circumstances and striving to go away audiences with extra hope that people can discover the braveness to observe their hearts and make courageous decisions. .

That is precisely how this manufacturing, A Good Vacation Outing, makes you are feeling.

One remaining word: populist Paramount would not take pleasure in variable pricing a la Taylor Swift. Even on peak vacation nights this season, you will discover cheap, family-friendly costs for a present of this epic scale and wealthy high quality.

Chris Jones is a reviewer for the Tribune.

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Evaluation: “The Sound of Music” (4 stars)

When: Till January 15, 2023

The place: Paramount Theater, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Length: 2h40

Tickets: $38 to $79 at (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com