By Phoenix Editor Anya Murphy ’19:
The Sound of Music, The Drama Club’s fall musical, premiered on Friday, November 16, and was followed by additional shows on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18. Over 3300 tickets were sold, amounting to over 1000 attendees of each performance and two entirely sold-out shows.
The story of the musical follows Maria, a young Austrian girl who, though she hopes to become a nun, finds love in the most unexpected places. Junior Deidre Ambrosi captured the audience with her portrayal of Maria’s youthful joie de viviré. From her performance, it was clear that she had a profound understanding of who Maria is and how to best present her to an audience. As the musical progresses, Deidre expertly captured Maria’s growth from an air-headed and vivacious young rulebreaker into the type of strong and intelligent woman who was able to protect her family from the Nazis.
Deidre reflected, “For the first month, my Maria was a lot of fabrications and things I tried out and let go after and I was really frustrated with my characterization process. Around mid-October, something clicked in my head as I did my first act one run and I realized that love of life was the sole force behind Maria’s every action. Once I started playing her from that angle the show completely opened up for me and I began to actually enjoy the character instead of stressing about whether or not I was doing it ‘right.’ She is driven by love of children, love of life, love of hills and love of husband, and once I figured that portion of her out, everything made sense and I fell in love with her story all over again.”
When she is sent to the home of Captain von Trapp to become a governess for his seven children, Maria grows in her relationship with the family.
In a reflection of her character’s bond with the von Trapp children, Deidre grew closer to their underclassman and Latin School counterparts.
“The most fun I have probably ever had with a musical number was Do-Re-Mi,” she remarked, “The kids were incredible to work with and we spent a good three rehearsals on just that one number because the blocking is so complicated and it’s such a long and iconic number in the show. Everyone knows it’s coming as soon as the guitar cut in over my lines, and the audience responded really well every single night. Do-Re-Mi was one of my magic moments because it allowed me to bond with the kids right at the top of act one and established a relationship I could build off of for the remainder of the show.”
Stephen Scully ‘19 played the Captain in his last Kellenberg musical, and was able to grow vastly in his skills as an actor through the role.
“One thing I’d say that I learned from my character is how important it is to move forward in life, and that one tragedy can’t define who you are, The Captain in the show never gets over his wife’s death, and as a result becomes a cold, unfeeling father toward his children, and a bitter and angry man at his friends. Through Maria, he learns to open his heart again and become who he should have been all along.”
The scene in which Stephen’s character sings “Edelweiss,” was most challenging for him as an actor.
“The hardest part was definitely learning the guitar, while also having to sing,” he said, “Having to focus on my voice, my facial expressions, and also an instrument that I hardly knew how to play was extremely challenging. I don’t recommend anyone try to learn the guitar in less than a week.”
With the help of the stage crew, who painstakingly sculpted the columns used in the set and practiced moving the complicated pieces of equipment, as well as the audio provided by Jake Metzner ’20 and lighting by Nick Trainor ’19, the show was ready to go on. After months of practicing every day of the week but Sunday, the members of the drama club were sad but relieved to say “So Long, Farewell,” to The Sound of Music.
Stephen said, “My favorite memory of my last musical is was taking my final bow. Knowing that that was the final time I would walk across that stage and say goodbye to my audience was bittersweet, but I will always cherish being able to take that bow arm in arm with my friends.”
Mr. Murphy, the moderator of the Drama club, is now choosing between four plays for the spring show. On Monday, November 26, an informational meeting took stock of interest in future productions.