Abigail has worked as an actor/director in Chicago for over ten years, and along with husband Jason Epperson founded Lotus Theatricals in 2015, and PerformInk Chicago and Kansas City in 2016 (where she serves as Managing Editor of both publications). When not talking shop, Abigail is raising three padawans with Jason, drinking lots of coffee, converting school buses into RV's, and eating all the foods at Disney World. You can find her on Twitter @AbigailTrabue
The SOUND OF MUSIC is a show that you either love or you loathe. I happen to be in the former of the two categories despite my inner monologue telling me I should be in the latter. Fortunately, this recent production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Cadillac Palace holds its own and doesn’t give my inner monologue a leg to stand on. Lead by a Maria who’s voice is so versatile, so powerful, and so full of spunk THE SOUND OF MUSIC almost flies through the over 2.5 hours run time.
It’s not easy to take on the iconic role, but Kerstin Anderson has found a way to make her feel brand new again. While her lanky stance and quirky face scrunching won’t be for everyone, it’s enjoyable to see someone take on a part of this size and make it their own. She radiates an energy that is infectious to everyone on stage and is felt when she’s not there.
Rodgers’ score, while perhaps in need of a trim, still has the power to move. THE SOUND OF MUSIC is full of moments where the depth of Hammerstein’s lyrics are almost lost because the melodies are so infectious and gorgeous they threaten to steal the show. But, if the actors are emotionally engaged, if they are communicating with each other and with us, then the lyrics will come out crystal clear, and that’s exactly what happened numerous times during this production.
I was surprised by how much of the stage left wing was visible from our seats (and we were not in bad seats). I wanted to run backstage several times and remind everyone that if you can see me, I can see you. Nothing will pull you out of a show faster than seeing flashes of an actor dancing to the end of a number as they prepare to go on stage for the next scene. By all means, dance it up. We’ve all done it. This is a show where you can enjoy a little less deep focus before you walk on stage but just do it further back where only your fellow castmates can see you.
The cast is solid, The Mother Abbess (Melody Betts) has a powerhouse of a voice, and she used it to great effect during “Climb Every Mountain”. The children were adorable and hilarious. Gretl (Audrey Bennett) hugging the Capt because she just wants to be loved gets me every single time. The harmonies in the Abbey scenes are gorgeous and haunting; however, we could have done without the two guys dressed as Nuns. It was glaringly obvious they were men, and it made no sense.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC is only here for a short time, but while it’s in town the hills are most certainly alive with the sound of music.