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Sound of Music gives audiences a tuneful thrill

FGHS delivers a nostalgic win from the first solo to the company finale
by: John Schrag The von Trapp children bid adieu to party guests during Forest Grove High School’s spring musical production of ‘The Sound of Music,’ which continues its run this weekend in Ellen Stevens Auditorium. From left to right are Grace Malloy, Seth Berdahl, Lily Fisher, Lauren Hansen, Hannah Teninty, Hannah Berdahl and CJ Johnson.

Take an overly high-spirited religious postulant, a widowed naval captain and seven governess-less children, and what do you get? Most of the major ingredients for a smashing evening filled with hints at history, formulas for falling in love, intrigue inside the gates of an Austrian abbey and lots and lots of fabulous music.

Audience members tapped their toes and sang along over the weekend as Forest Grove High School's fine arts department staged its version of the classic story set during World War II, best remembered in a 1965 American-made film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

As Maria, Elena Torry-Schrag acts and sings her way through the production on cue and in picture-perfect pitch. Her 'My Favorite Things' duet with the Mother Abbess (Becky Yakos) kicks off a string of selections demonstrating wide, wonderful ranges to impress even the most sensitive vocal connoisseur. Not to be outdone, Lauren Hansen beautifully sings her way to notoriety as Liesl, the eldest von Trapp daughter.

Under the direction of Barry Berdahl and John Anderberg, the cast of 60 does an admirable job. The von Trapp children are darling, the dozen or more nuns are engaging and the German military officers are, as expected, rigid and imposing.

James McCahon (Capt. von Trapp), Liza White (Elsa Schraeder) and Kyle Brown (Max Detweiler) all turn in fine performances, the latter duo's antics regularly drawing laughter from theater-goers. Brother and sister Seth and Hannah Berdahl get props for topping the adorable meter as Kurt and Brigitta von Trapp.

Go see this very satisfying and song-filled spring play at the local high school. You'll be glad you did.