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Encore performances tonight, Saturday
Mother Abbess (performed by Cambria Norton in front) and Maria Rainer (portrayed by Caroline Strong) are shown on stage during Thursdays performance of The Sound of Music. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

It’s arguably the most popular musical of all time.
So says Wendy Marshall, who, along with Bob DeRuiter, serves as the director for the Ripon Christian Middle School and High School production of “The Sound of Music.”
She directs the actors while DeRuiter handles the music, which hits the right cords right from the get go with the nuns performing ‘Preludium’ to open Act I.
Caroline Strong is Maria Rainer, who is a postulant at Nonnberg Abbey – in this case, the stage of the RC Performing Arts Center, 435 Maple Ave., with the curtains drawn.
She also enjoys a solo of the title song and does a duet of ‘My Favorite Things’ with Cambria Norton (Mother Abbess).
‘The Sound of Music’ is about the von Trapp family. Michael Veltkamp plays the patriarch Capt. George von Trapp – his best moment is saved for singing of “Edelweiss’ in Act II.
The RC production allows for a mix of high school and middle school students to fill the roles of the von Trapp children. In which case, Brittany Bloemhof (Liesl), Liam Kelly (Friedrich), Faith Ozenbaugh (Louisa), Caden Norton (Kurt), Tina Tazelaar (Brigitta), Annabelle Hernandez (Marta), and Allison Mendes (Gretl) fit the roles nicely.
Bloemhof and Austin Van Vliet (Rolf Gruber) enjoy a song and dance to ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen’ thanks in part to choreographers Atlantah Hoag and Emma Scott.
The sets – included is the von Trapp family house – and the costumes were the efforts of Modesto Junior College, Big Valley Christian School, Rachel Driskill, Valerie Van Unen, Susan Wright, Mary Alger, Ted Olson, Susanna Van Rys, Connie Bloemhof, Rod DeVries, and Randy and Gail Barnes.
Opening night was Thursday. Performances continue at 7 p.m. tonight with the encore set for Saturday at 2 p.m.
The play is similar to the Broadway musical based on “the Trapp Family Singers” with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein.
The cast of the RC production also includes Cara Hoekstra (Sr Berthe), Gabi Beckman (Sr Margaretta), Elizabeth Herbert (Sr Sophia), Arlan Yerby (Franz), Becca Small (Frau Schmidt), Vanessa Vander Helm (Elsa Schraeder) and Trenton Tablit (Max Detweiler).
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