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Almanac

Arts & Entertainment - October 10, 2012

Woodside stages 'Sound of Music'

by Kate Daly

Audiences will recognize Maria and Captain von Trapp in Woodside Community Theatre's upcoming production of "The Sound of Music" because the actors have played the leading roles in two of the company's past shows.

In the October run of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, Kerie Darner will once again be paired with Damian Marhefka after starring together in WCT's "The Music Man" and "Guys and Dolls."

They are part of "a particularly talented cast" of 38, says director Doug Brook, who helped pick them after watching 135 auditions. This show marks his directorial debut with the company. He recently directed South Bay Musical Theatre's "Finian's Rainbow."

He says he is sticking "to the original Broadway script, which doesn't get done very often." He expects people to notice the differences such as "three songs are in there that are not in the film" version of "The Sound of Music."

The musical is based on Maria von Trapp's memoir about the Trapp Family Singers, where a postulant becomes a governess for a widowed naval captain with seven children. The couple marries and when the Nazis invade Austria in the late 1930s the family flees the country.

The only Woodside resident acting in the show is Jenna Lange, who plays one of the daughters, Brigitta. Many of the other cast and crew members, however, have Woodside connections, such as Matt Waters. The Woodside School math teacher is playing Rolf.

Darlene and Darrell Batchelder used to live in Woodside. She is an alum of Woodside School and both are former parents there. She's the Mother Abbess and he's a member of the men's ensemble, appearing in his eleventh WCT show.

Former school parents Akio and Karen Patrick are working behind the scenes as well, he as technical director and set designer, and she as costume designer. Akio's brother, Steve, also helped build sets back when their children appeared together in the eighth-grade operetta version of "The Sound of Music" years ago. He says these sets are "fresh and new and better" to fill the stage at Woodside High School Performing Arts Center.

The co-producers include two more former Woodside School parents, Donna Losey and Mark Bowles, and Claudia McCarley who went to Woodside High and plays the role of Sister Berthe.

There are four married couples in the cast, including the leading actress who met her husband, Nate Moss, in a WCT show a few years back. This time he's performing as Herr Zeller.

Torrey Rothstein of Portola Valley is playing Franz, and his wife, Fiona Ryan, is a nun. This is their first musical ever, and she says they are very grateful her sister offered to baby-sit their 8-month-old to free up their evenings for rehearsals.

Other local residents appearing as nuns are: Chloe Moissis of Portola Valley, Lyndesay Adams of Emerald Hills, and Mandy Leung of Menlo Park.

Hillview Middle School music teacher Richard Vaughan is playing cello in the full orchestra led by Richard Gordon of Woodside.

Vaughan met his wife, Liz Matchettt, when they were teaching at Woodside School. She's helping with costumes and their daughter, Evy, is cast as Liesl.

Marhefka's daughter, Mariana, is playing his daughter Gretl, sharing the role with Emily Mannion.

PERFORMANCES

The Woodside Community Theatre's productions of "The Sound of Music" will take place at the Woodside High School Performing Arts Center, 199 Churchill Ave. in Woodside, on two Fridays and Saturdays: Oct. 19 and 20, and Oct. 26 and 27, at 7:30 p.m. There will be two Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on Oct. 21 and 28. Tickets cost $25 for general admission, $22 for seniors (62 and up) and $15 for students (18 and younger).

Visit woodsidetheatre.com or call (800) 838-3006 for tickets or buy them at the door.

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