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The Hills at Contra Costa Civic Theatre, are alive with "The Sound of Music"


The hills at Contra Costa Civic Theatre, are alive with "The Sound of Music," the 1959 musical by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II, with a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The CCCT ends its 55th standing ovation season with one of the most staged and beloved musicals of our time. Directed by Artistic Director Marilyn Langbehn says "I have loved this show since I was a little girl - and I've never done a production of it. CCCT's 55th anniversary just happened to coincide with both the 55th anniversary of the original stage production and the 50th anniversary of the film, so the timing felt perfect for us to present it. My hope is that a new generation will fall in love with the story and the incredible music the same way I did."

“The Sound of Music” has captivated audiences for decades with its memorable characters and unforgettable score, including "Do Re Mi", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev’ry Mountain", and "Edelweiss." If for some reason as a theatre fan, you have managed to miss the stage version, you are sure to know some of the iconic songs from this classic. The book based on real life Maria von Trapp story of her escape from Austria on verge of the Nazi take over. Maria a young postulant who gives up the religious life when she falls in love with a captain and his seven kids. She is assigned to serve as a governess for the seven Von Trapp kids and tames their dad the Captain. The cast is stellar headed by Sarah Sloan as Maria and Mark Manske as Captain von Trapp, both very talented and carry the two and half hour show.

The core cast is top-notch and includes Marie Plette gorgeous soprano voice as the Mother Abbess. The elegant Maggie Tenenbaum is Baroness Elsa Schrader. Local favorite Ron Pickett as Max Detweiler, Joe Metheny as Rolf, Christian McCooey as Franz, Kelcey Poe as Frau Schmidt, Paul Hogarth as Herr Zeller, and Bob Stratton as Admiral von Schreiber. The von Trapp children are excellent and all stage pro’s include Grace Lorenzana(Liesl), Tommy Huebner (Friedrich), Casey Moore (Louisa), Isaiah Johnson (Kurt), Maya Martinez-Krams(Brigitta), Kyra Chee (Marta), and Charlotte Curtin (Gretl). The nuns of Nonnberg Abbey are Chloë Angst(Sister Margaretta), Daria Bauer (Sister Berthe), Natalie Buck-Bauer (Sister Sophia), Christina Boothman, Mary Coleston, Joy Craig, Gracie Guichard, Mariah Heath, Genevieve Saldanha, Kelcey Poe, and Peggy Stratton.

The love story is simple and endearing, and Maria's love for the Captain is always a nice side bar in this tail. Along with Grace Lorenzana and Joe Metheny teen charm in “Sixteen going on Seventeen”. Marie Plette powerful “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” is a show stopper as the first act ends. The von Trapp children charmed the sold out audience with “So Long, Farewell”. Ron Pickett and Maggie Tenenbaum do a splendid version of “How Can Love Survive” and “No Way To Stop It”. Mark Manske as the Captain creates a very moving ”Edelweiss” with Maria and the children.

Director Marilyn Langbehn staging is lively and the cast fills the Flynn theatre from the stage to the isles. The simple set designed by George Ledo has a beautiful mountain backdrop that is the centerpiece of the open set, and highlights Lisa Denz costumes. Liesl and Rolfs sweet waltz in the first act is elegantly cute as choreographed by Rick Wallace. Kevin Roland music direction includes some classic choral pieces from the nuns that lifts the roof off the CCCT. Wallace accompanies the cast on piano along with Daniel Feyer, and both fill the Flynn theatre with a rich sound to back the company. Lighting design by Hamilton Guillén, and sound design by Mike Kelly.

After seeing this classic Rodgers and Hammerstein at least 15 - 20 times, including my own high school production back in 1968, that I would find this old hat. But CCCT brings in a bright beauty and emotion to this production. Its well worth to climb this mountain with this production of “Sound of Music”. Its runs from June 12 through July 19. Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm at the theatre.

Contra Costa Civic Theatre (CCCT)

concludes its 55th anniversary season with

The Sound of Music

by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

Directed by Marilyn Langbehn, Music Direction by Kevin Roland

June 12 - July 19 2015

No performances on July 3 and 4; two performances

on July 5 at 2pm and 7pm

Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm

CCCT 951 Pomona Ave (cross street Moeser)

El Cerrito, CA 94530

Tickets on sale now; call 510.524.9132 or visit

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