The Griffin Players Presented The Sound of Music
The hills of Wetzel County were alive with The Sound of Music last weekend. May 20th through the 22nd, the Griffin Players, an amalgamation of Paden City High School and Magnolia High School thespian troupes, revived Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic.
The theatre just like West Virginia is steeped in tradition. This performance of The Sound of Music wasn’t any different.
As director Dan Henthorn explained this musical has a special place in his heart. It began with The Sound of Music soundtrack on vinyl. His affection grew when his mother took him to his first show, a Libby Francis’ directed rendition, at the old Brooklyn Grade School.
Local tradition was furthered when Faith Yoho, at the tender age of 6, graced the stage as Gretl then. Now she’s back as Elsa Von Schroeder.
Faith isn’t the only one furthering local tradition. Young Brigetta Von Trapp is Lyndsey Barcus who is the great niece of Jan Newman who as this small town would have it, a former cast member of that very Francis show.
This was a production that almost never was. Potential disasters plagued them in the forms of distancing restrictions, persistent uncooperative weather and a venue change. All that was shouldered on top of a global pandemic. These thespians weren’t impeded or discouraged. The show must go on. A hard working cast and crew lead by a seasoned director were determined to bring musical theatre back. Thankfully they were successful. Opening night had a few hiccups but they quickly found their stride and delivered a nearly flawless show by closing night.
Rachel Price was the lovable and tuneful Maria Rainer. Her melodic voice, expressive face and graceful moves made it clear why she won the role. Pure joy radiated from the house when she delivered My Favorite Things. Audience members could be heard singing along.
Captain Georg Von Trapp was portrayed by relative new comer Garrett Black. He handled the male lead masterfully with a deep, clearly resonating voice. His rendition of Edelweiss was loved and rewarded with thunderous applause.
The younger Von Trapp children were comprised of kids from both New Martinsville and Paden City elementary schools. Enthusiastic and adorable, they were guided by standout, Serenity Strother. Serenity was the eldest daughter, Liesel Von Trapp.
The character of Max Detweiler is cheeky and Talan Chambers certainly depicted him as such. Laughter quickly followed most of his appearances.
Faith Yoho, a local notable, is a welcome fixture of local musical theatre. Her talent was evident and shining bright in the role of Elsa Schroeder. In the first act, the way she dismissed Maria had the audiences in stitches.
It’s important to note the crew behind the scenes of a musical make what’s seen on stage possible. Everyone from the deck crew to the sound operator gave countless hours to ensure The Sound of Music was enjoyed by all. If you weren’t there, trust me they executed their roles fabulously.
The final curtain call was capped off by the cast and crew leading the clapping and cheering audience to join singing Do-Re-Me. This was easily one of the greatest moments of the entire run. Well done Griffin Players!
If you missed out this year, check out thegriffinplayers.net