"The Sound Of Music"

Derby Dinner Playhouse

By Michael W. Stout

When the topic of musical theater arises in the midst of a conversation, the names of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are soon to be mentioned. In a matter of seconds, the award-winning duo's most popular and most beloved musical, "The Sound of Music," will be the center of conversation for obvious reasons. Whether you've had the great pleasure of attending a live production of this classic tale, or whether you grew up gathered around the television set watching the legendary Julie Andrews bring this story to life in the ever-so-popular major motion picture adaptation, you're in for a real treat when you attend Clarksville, In.'s Derby Dinner Playhouse production.

Derby Dinner has assembled an outstanding ensemble cast, including an incredibly talented and endearing troop of local youngsters portraying the singing Von Trapp children. Annette McCulloch (Maria) and Brian Bowman (Captain Von Trapp) lead the cast through this tale of Maria's life outside the convent as a governess turned step-mother of seven during a time of political unrest in Austria in 1938, based on Maria Augusta Trapp's "The Trapp Family Singers." Fit for the entire family, this production shines with stellar performances of the now-standard favorite numbers "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," "I Am Sixteen," "Edleweiss," "So Long Farewell" and the classic title tune.

The brightest star of this production is Bonnie Estes with her remarkable portrayal of the eldest Von Trapp child, 16-year-old Liesl, who learns valuable life lessons in love and heartbreak. Bonnie's vocal delivery of "I Am Sixteen" will send chills down your spine. Although Annette brings much grace and charm to the role of Maria, Bonnie can't help but steal the show with her stage presence and charisma.

The Derby Dinner Playhouse stage is definitely alive with "The Sound of Music," and will continue to be so through December 31. When making your Christmas shopping list, be sure to include tickets to "The Sound of Music." Your family and friends will be most thankful.