hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

Arts & Entertainment

November 9, 2011

Local theater group revives 'Sound of Music"

The hills of the Merrimack Valley will once again ring with "The Sound of Music."

The Pentucket Players will perform the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic this month, boasting a cast both young and old.

Based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, the musical follows Maria's romantic awakening as the maid of Captain von Trapp's family during the Nazi invasion of Austria. Its popularity has endured since its first performance in 1959.

Director John Buzzell said he want the Players' second production of the show to express the same youthful energy projected by the protagonist in songs, sets and cast.

"The whole theme of 'Climb every mountain' is something everybody can relate to," he said. "The story is timeless."

This is the fifth time Buzzell has directed the production over his career.

To help audiences visualize the sweeping vistas and picturesque castles of Austria, the show will feature at least eight backdrops.

One of the youngest performers is Mackenzie Murphy, 8, of Haverhill, who will step into the role of Gretl, the youngest von Trapp.

In preparation for her role, Mackenzie said she's been practicing her parts by singing along to the soundtrack in her family's car, in addition to eight hours of stage practice each week. Her favorite aspect of the part, her second with the Pentucket Players, is that she gets to change her costume eight times.

Buzzell added the Pentucket Players production will follow an updated book and score. "Those changes add a great deal of energy," Buzzell said.

IF YOU GO:

Pentucket Players present "The Sound of Music"

When: Nov. 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. and matinees on Nov. 19, 20 and 26 at 2 p.m.

Where: Rodgers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College in North Andover, 315 Turnpike St.

Tickets: Online at pentucketplayers.org or by calling 978-521-9259. Tickets are $20.

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