Recreating a Tony Award-winning stage production, better known for its iconic Academy Award-winning movie production comes with its challenges. And so it is for Victoria Operatic Society’s production of The Sound of Music. “We’re planning a can-can number with some of the nuns,” jokes director Jaymes D. Goodman.
Audiences can actually expect some changes, however. “I’d rather not say what, but there are some character changes,” Goodman teases while also pointing out, “It’s not the movie. The songs aren’t in the same order. The characters aren’t exactly the same. But, you’ve still got the same shmultsy love story line!”
Monday caught up with the director, musical director, choreographer and actors at the Fairview Road VOS location where they rehearse three hours each night. Kelley O’Connor will play the lead, Maria, and choreographer Stephanie Geehan emphasized concern about her possibly slipping in the upcoming dance number, “You’ve got kind of a big part!” Other cast favorites include Colin Grewar as Captain Von Trapp and Eva Bild who slips into the habit of Mother Abbess.
The VOS space also boasts an in-house workshop. Lining the ceiling is the set of A Christmas Carol, which the Society plans to put on again. For this show the set includes large snow peeked mountains and a ballroom facade. It’s a stroke of luck that actors can get used to the set, considering they don’t see the McPherson Playhouse stage until one week before show time. “Also, known as Hell Week,” according to Goodman.
This lucky first look at a rehearsal begins with a ballroom dance. As actors take their positions, Geehan stands before them instructing and adjusting. “We just feel lucky to be doing a story that so many people love.” A couple of dry runs, then musical director Robert Cooper brings in the piano. The full orchestra on show nights will be another adjustment for actors, but everyone is looking loose, calm and ready to wow. “We’re in very good shape,” say Goodman.
Catch this classic at The Mac from Dec. 7-16 at 8pm, and Dec. 9 and 16 at 2pm. Tickets available online at rmts.bc.ca or 250-386-6121. M
By Colin Cayer