The Sound of Music

@ Ordway

Directed by Gary Briggle

Cast: Lisa Bartholomew-Given (dance captain), Kate Beahen, Debra Berger, Dieter Bierbrauer (Captain Georg von Trapp), Bella Blackshaw (Louisa von Trapp), James Detmar (Max Detweiler), Chloe Lou Erickson (Gretl von Trapp *), J.P. Fitzgibbons (Admiral von Schreiber), William Gilness, Elena Glass, Reid Harmsen, Elizabeth Hawkinson, Tammy Hensrud (Mother Abbess), Susan Hofflander (Sister Sophia), Caroline Innerbichler (Liesl von Trapp), Suzi Juul, Wendy Lehr (Frau Schmidt), Peter Moore (Herr Zeller), Quinn Morrissey (Friedrich von Trapp), Dee Noah (Sister Margaretta), Tod Petersen (Franz), Kersten Rodau (Baroness Elsa Schraeder), Matthew Rubbelke (Rolf Gruber), Jill Sandager, Randy Schmeling, Carl Schoenborn (Baron Elberfeld), Natalie Tran (Brigitta von Trapp), Janet Hayes Trow (Sister Berthe), Nate Turcotte (Kurt von Trapp), Mabel Weisman (Gretl von Trapp *), Billie Wildrick (Maria Rainer).


Director: Gary Briggle; Choreography: Bob Richard; Musical Director and Conductor: Raymond Berg; Set Design: Kenneth Foy; Costume Design: Lynda L. Salsbury; Lighting and Projection Design: Dan Darnutzer; Sound Design: Zach Williamson; Hair and Make-Up Design: Robert A. Dunn; Props Design: Rick Polenek; Production Manager: Andrew G. Luft; Technical Director: Jason Allyn-Schwerin; Associate Music Director: Andrew Bourgoin; Casting: Reid Harmsen; Stage Manager: Sharon Bach

 
 

“Billie Wildrick, who plays Maria in Ordway Center’s big and elegant new holiday production, clearly has Andrews in her head, even as she makes a claim to owning the role of the would-be-nun turned governess... Carrying the show with charisma, a light touch and a soaring voice, Wildrick brings sunshine, zest and a winning spirit to Gary Briggle’s slow-but-sure staging of “Music,” which opened Saturday in St. Paul. Wildrick has spark and dimension on her numbers, from the title song to her celebratory “My Favorite Things.” And she is well-paired with Dieter Bierbrauer, the commanding actor and singer who plays Captain von Trapp. His archness and reserve early on helps give his “Edelweiss,” delivered near the end, a powerful emotional punch”

Read the entire review HERE

“The beloved musical was well done by a large, talented cast and while the storyline was of course, unchanged, there were a few surprises.Billie Wildrick does a phenomenal job as Maria and I dare you not to fall in love with the vonTrapp children.”

Read the entire review HERE

Rohan Preston @ Star Tribune

“The lead roles of Maria and the Captain are handled by Billie Wildrick and Dieter Bierbrauer, and it is hard to find better casting. Wildrick and Bierbrauer co-starred in last year's holiday production at the Ordway, A Christmas Story. Good as they were then, they truly shine this time around. Both have beautiful voices that do full justice to beloved songs, Maria's "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," and the euphoric title song, the Captain's hymn to his homeland, "Edelweiss," and together in a lovely less familiar song (because it was cut from the movie), "An Ordinary Couple." Wildrick brings a frisky playful exuberance to the role that is as irresistible to the audience as it is for the Captain's seven children, while also conveying sensitivity to the unique needs of each child. She and Bierbrauer have a chemistry together that makes the blossoming of their love an inevitability. The scene in which Captain Van Trapp recognizes the folly of his militant parenting style, and is able to embrace his children, can be mawkish, but as played by Bierbrauer it is deeply moving.”

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Arthur Dorman @Talkin’ Broadway

“Billie Wildrick makes an engaging Maria, with a very naturalistically delivered arc from starry-eyed novitiate to maternal guardian. Her voice is strong, lithe, and rich in nuance, and her chemistry with the von Trapp children (often a weak point in stagings) is natural and engaging. So is the gradual arc in which Maria falls in love with Captain von Trapp (Dietrich Bierbrauer); the dance scene when she realizes her affection is so finely crafted that director Gary Briggle should add it to its show reel. The show does not feel stylized on this stage – everything arises so naturally from the very human portrayals, which is very compelling and keeps film associations happily absent from the mind... This is not the first time that Bierbrauer and Wildrick have played opposite each other, but it certainly seems an entirely new romance and relationship, with all the attendant joys. Bierbrauer’s performance of “Edelweiss,” one of the show features, has the opposite feel and all the latent, heartfelt emotion in its delivery to reduce some in the audience to tears.”

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Basil Considine @ Twin Cities Arts

“Beginning with the gorgeous singing of the nun's chorus, we know that musically we are in for a treat. And when we discover Maria on the mountain, Billie Wildrick shows us this young woman relishing the peace and strength she finds both in the mountains and in the music. I heard those lyrics as if for the first time, as Maria trying to express herself... You just get the sense, in this show as in the Ordway's other shows with children, that it's a pretty sincere, kind stage. Sincerity rings through in everything they do, and it's so heartwarming and dear... The heart of The Sound of Music is love. Maria's unconditional love for the children brings them to life, and their happiness allows the Captain to let go of his sorrow and anger. And when the Captain and Maria fall for each other, it's the most natural thing in the world. (It doesn't hurt that Bierbrauer is probably the hottest Georg since Christopher Plummer!)

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Carly@ Minnesota Theater Love

“The Ordway has assembled an all-start cast, beginning with Billie Wildrick, who returns to the Ordway after starring in A The Christmas Story last year. And while I can't help thinking there are a half dozen local actresses who would be amazing in this role (look no further than the ensemble), Billie is a wonderfully warm and strong Maria, with a beautiful voice and a natural charisma with the children and the Captain. Speaking of the Captain, no one could be as dreamy as Christopher Plummer in the movie (or just generally in life, even at 86 today!), but Dieter Bierbrauer comes close. If I had cast this show myself, I would have chosen Dieter for the role, not just for the appropriately German name, but also for that voice that I never tire of listening to, and the way he believably transforms from the stern, cold, broken man into the warm and loving father and husband, all the while a proud Austrian firm in his beliefs.”

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Jill @ Cherry and Spoon

“The voices in this performance were first rate. Maria, played by Billie Wildrick, exudes true talent, professionalism and passion. She bursts with youthful energy, practically cart-wheeling across the stage. Her voice is rich, pure and fills up the theater. She was a delightful and mad the “The Sound of Music” Music filled the hours with child-like piece, “Lonely Goatherd” and “Do-Re-Mi.””

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Ms. Hoo Sook Hwang @ Asian American Press

“Wildrick, as Maria, is excellent. She transforms from an uncertain postulant to a governess and finally to a woman who finds love when she least expects it. She carries the show from beginning to end, bringing along the rest of the excellent cast as they tell her story. In particular, her chemistry with the seven young actors and actresses playing the Von Trapp children is wonderful.”

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Jean Gabler@ The Tangential

“Sitting in a packed house with fans of the story, who are just dying to sing along, and are in love with the characters, and story, is electric. We, and the story, came to life from the first note. The nuns’ chorus is gorgeous. Billie Wildrick’s Maria is a little more playful than Julie Andrew’s character. In her opening scene where the Hills are alive with the Sound of Music, she’s barefoot and dreamy, and her voice is splendid. When she meets the kids, she goes to them, gets down to their eye level and teaches them “Do-Re-Mi” with fun movements and a few giggles.”

Read the entire review HERE

Mary Aalgaard @ playoffthepage.com

“The beloved musical was well done by a large, talented cast and while the storyline was of course, unchanged, there were a few surprises.Billie Wildrick does a phenomenal job as Maria and I dare you not to fall in love with the vonTrapp children.”

Read the entire review HERE

Samara Postuma @ Simplicity in the Suburbs:

 

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