The hills are alive with The Sound Of Music. And so is the Princess of Wales Theatre, where a new production of the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical opened last night for what's sure to be a long, long run.
Say what you will about the show -that it's old-fashioned and sentimental - it still holds up as a piece of popular family entertainment.
Director Jeremy Sams and set/costume designer Robert Jones help things immensely. It's best not to know too much about the visual surprises in store, especially in the quick-moving second act.
Of course, the show got a huge publicity boost during the summer with the CBC reality show about the search for the production's lead, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? The show's winner, Elicia Mackenzie, in her first professional gig, handles the difficult role like a pro.
After a few opening night jitters - some pitch and enunciation problems - Mackenzie demonstrates the requisite pluck and energy. She's completely comfortable in her scenes with the (adorable) von Trapp kids and makes a believable transition to woman by the show's end. It's a shame there wasn't a similar competition to find SOM's leading man. Burke Moses, while suitably dashing (if you've got a uniform fetish, be still your heart), comes across as oddly empty.
Read my full review in next week's paper. And keep in mind that How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?'s runner up, Janna Polzin, performs twice a week in the role.