Some of the nuns in the Sound of Music.

Final preparations underway for Sound of Music

Only three weeks left

October 22, 2019 11:34 am
Kara Kinna

There are only three weeks left before Creative Vision Productions performs “The Sound of Music” at the Conexus Convention Centre in Moosomin from November 8-10, and Sherrie Meredith, one of the producers, says all the finishing touches and final preparations are starting to fall into place.

The play is double cast with two different sets of actors playing the Von Trapp family, which Meredith says is going to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of the performance, especially if people want to see the performance more than once with the two different casts.

“All the family are double cast except for one character, there are two Captains, two Marias and then two of every child other than one,” says Meredith. “The character of Kurt is Caleb Kelly, and he plays his part in both shows because he’s one of the few actors we could find to hit the high, high note that we need!

“It has made it very challenging because you have to rehearse everything twice, but it is really rewarding because you get to see the teamwork between the players and how they learn together.

“The good news is that you can see this show in any live theatre and it’s different every time, but in this one there is literally is a whole different family. And we have our returning numbers like Blake Kelly as the Captain, and then we have newcomer Ian Adair on the other two shows, and it’s just so amazing to see them work together and to see the different things they bring. As Maria, Kendra Parrish brings a different take than Melissa Berkshire, but they both have this amazing skill and we’re glad that we can share it with everybody.”

Why was the show double cast?

“When we went through the audition process and saw the amazing amount of talent that was here to showcase, it just seemed like we could showcase some of our returning talent and foster some new talent as well,” says Meredith. “And then everyone gets a piece of the excitement, especially with the younger people, because it’s a great experience. So now we can give that experience to a dozen people and not just seven or so.”

Meredith says the group making up the nun chorus is also going to impress audiences.

“We have a nun chorus of about 35 ladies and it is an amazing range of harmonies,” she says. “I sometimes can be in one room working with a cast and they’re singing in the other room and you feel like you are in heaven at times. It is just a beautiful sound.”

This is Creative Vision Productions’ fifth musical, and Meredith says it has presented some unique challenges.

“They are all fun, but I think this one is more work just because of the amount of people involved,” she says. “We haven’t done one with this demographic of children to adults in main roles. We did Les Mis which had a couple children’s parts but they were a few scenes. This dominates through the majority of the play. We are dealing with kids from Grade 2 all the way to Grade 12. The sheer number of people you are trying to find places for, it’s also a very challenging. Plus there is the fact that you’ve got these grandiose locations like the mansion ballroom or the living room.”

Meredith says a lot of work is going into the sets for this production.

“We’ve discovered styrofoam because we have to make 20-foot walls. So we’ve got styrofoam walls and we’re working on trying to get them to rotate so that you can be in the living room and then you rotate and you can be in a projection scene and then rotate back.

“We’ve got a wonderful crew that are figuring it out. They find ways to make my dreams a realty and I can’t thank them enough.

“We have created lots of props. We’ve created a giant puppet theatre that is beautiful. We had to source a vintage couch and chair and period pieces. We are looking for a bicycle from the 1930s.”

Meredith says the band was introduced into the rehearsals last week, adding to the excitement as work started in earnest on working the band’s parts into the performance.

Is it fun to watch it come together?

Cast members working on the puppet theatre scene.<br />

“Oh it is,” she says, “and some days you go home exhausted and the list seems longer, and then the next day we’ve made a significant dent and you know it’s going to be quite a show to watch.”

As the show is pulled together over the final weeks, Meredith says she’s excited and nervous.

“It always comes together—experience has taught us that,” she says. “There is always the anxiousness of how this is going to go from rehearsal into the space at the Convention Centre, because that always takes more time than you think and that is a challenge.”

What are some of the things she thinks will really wow the audience?

“So many things,” she says. “The harmonies are amazing. Our costume group has been working so hard. It is a gigantic cast and their attention to detail is amazing. I can tell you that the sets are going to be very nice too. Lots of talent has been going into that. There have been work bees on sets for the last three weekends straight, and now we just need to figure out how to rig it all, but it’s going to be good.

“I think the story line is a touching story line. I think the cast has done a good job of making their roles believable. One day I said ‘this is going to be my favorite scene’ and then I’m saying ‘nope, this is going to be my favorite scene.’ So I think throughout the whole thing it’s going to be nostalgic, I think, for lots of people.”

Meredith says the plot of the production follows the movie, but like most local productions, there will be some things that are unique to the Creative Vision Productions performance.

“There are some parts that are the same and some that are different—every Broadway show has its nuances,” she says. “For the majority, though, I think the things that really stuck with the movie you will find them in our production. There are some tweaks in the story line. Actually I think some of them are better than in the movie. For the most part I believe you see the power of the war and you see the power of family and the power of music throughout it all.”

Meredith says ticket says are going well. There will be four performances—one on Friday evening of the Remembrance Day weekend, one on Saturday evening, and a matinee and evening show on the Sunday.

“I think the matinee is the show that has the most tickets sold right now,” she says. “There are still tables left for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. They would love to see more people out Sunday night. That one has a great cast. All in all the ticket sales have been steady. I’m looking for a push here in the next couple of weeks as we get closer.”

Meredith says as show time nears, she’s feeling good.

“I am very excited. I would always love to put some more time into the calendar, because three weeks seems like a short period of time, but we’ll get there. It’s coming along and I definitely think it’s a show you can see more than once. I recommend it because you’ll see a different show with these two groups of people.”