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The Sound of Music returns to foothills at Fallon House

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The Sound of Music returns  to foothills at Fallon House

Stefani Potter as Leisl, Jaymie Jackson as Friedrich, Chloe Kerr as Louisa, Grace Miller as Marta, Makena Early as Brigitta, Wil Otterson as Kurt and Ruby Elaine James as Gretl.

Photo by Rich Miller/

POSTED July 18, 2014 7:54 p.m.

COLUMBIA — The foothills will come alive with The Sound of Music when the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical runs through August 31 at Sierra Repertory Theatre’s historic Fallon House Theatre in Columbia.

The delightful musical – based on the true story of the von Trapp family in Austria – has been captivating audiences for more than half a century, drawing huge crowds when it first hit Broadway and appearing again six years later as a much-beloved film. 

After 55 years, the show’s appeal is still universal, Sierra Rep’s Artistic Director Scott Viets said.

“There’s something special about The Sound of Music,” said Scott Viets, Sierra Rep’s artistic director, who directs the show. “Seven children singing and dancing, a love story, nuns, villains, an exotic setting – Austria in the 1930s – and that incredible musical score.”

The thrilling story is an inspirational tale of love conquers all: Young Maria is failing in her attempts to become a nun and is sent by her convent to become a governess for a navy captain’s seven children. She wins everyone over and eventually the captain breaks his engagement with a wealthy baroness to marry her. All this plays out as Austria is about to become part of Germany under Nazi rule.

The role of Maria will be played by Rhyn Saver, a New York resident whose impressive credits include Mother in Ragtime and Jeanie in Hair at the Weathervane Theater in New Hampshire. She is elated to play the young novice.

“I’m so thrilled, I can’t wait,” she said. “It’s a role I’ve always just adored. That lavish Rodgers and Hammerstein score is absolutely beautiful. It’s sacred music. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Saver’s first Actors Equity contract as a teen was for the role of Liesl, Captain von Trapp’s oldest child. Also, she recently married a widower with two daughters, and said she can’t wait to bring her perspective to the role of Maria.

The similarity hit her when she was preparing her audition tape. 

“I was like, this is my story,” she said. “It’s special. It’s very personal to me.”

The show features some of the most oft-hummed and memorable songs written for musical theater: Edelweiss, My Favorite Things, Climb Ev’ry Mountain and the title song, Sound of Music.

“The score is a winner,” Viets said. “Almost every song in this show is famous, and for a reason.”

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