The Regional Theatre of the Palouses production of The Sound of Music is all about family and not just the von Trapps.
Katie McDougall plays Maria. Brigitta, played by Dora, is McDougalls daughter. Friedrich, played by Garret, is the son of RTOP musical director and actress Tina McClure. Louisa and Kurt, played by Sophia and Isaiah, share the same last name.
I love RTOP, I love this theater and I love the people who are involved in this theater, McDougall said. And I wanted to be in a summer production with my daughter.
Dora, who is 10, has provided her mother with notes on yodeling, with tips to soften some of her high pitches.
This is her zone and I may be infringing on it, McDougall said, laughing. McDougall played Nancy in last summers production of Oliver.
And thats been the first play Ive done in 20 years, said McDougall, who was inspired by her daughter to join. So we came in and I was just amazed. I just had never expected this little gem of a theater here.
Dora performed in Oliver, too, but The Sound of Music is her third main stage part.
Im Brigitta and shes kind of naughty, Dora said. She spies on people and tells other people about them.
McDougall said its been a challenge balancing her daughters schedule and her RTOP schedule, while working full time as a veterinarian at Alpine Animal Hospital.
Its physically demanding to play the role, singing and moving on stage and changing costumes, but also the vocal stamina needs to be maintained for all of these shows, and this is not something I do professionally, McDougall said. So its taking some pacing ... but its totally worth it. I love it. Its just a great outlet.
Todd Payne, who plays Captain Georg von Trapp, didnt officially audition for his part. After calling RTOP director John Rich for advice on Paynes own Potlatch production of Pollyanna, Rich told Payne he hadnt found a captain yet.
And I came on board that way, Payne said.
Payne said the five weeks to prepare the show was tough, having more lines than any production hes ever been in, but playing the head of a family came easy.
He has seven children, I have four girls, so it kind of matches up a little bit, Payne said, comparing himself to Captain. He lost his wife, I havent. And hes trying to raise his children in the only way that he knows how in his grief.
Being a captain in the Navy, Payne said Captain runs his house more like a ship, without having a wife there to help temper it, which is why Maria, the childrens governess, comes on the scene.
Some of the scenes with the kids are just kind of heartwarming and fun and I can just imagine sharing moments like that with my own kids, Payne said. When the children are singing for the first time, and he hears them singing for the first time, hes moved so much that he breaks into song.
Rich said The Sound of Music cast is strong.
Ive directed this show for many years. Ive worked with celebrities in the roles, Ive done it in dinner theater, Ive done it in big venues outside, Rich said. Its a show I know well, and so its getting the detail and flavor of Europe right, of Austria.
Rich stresses the pronunciation and the Austrian dialects in the show.
The thing is I try really hard to stick to the true direction of how it was done on Broadway with whatever instruments I can, Rich said. Ive even worked with the original Broadway sets.
While RTOP doesnt have the originals, their backdrops were designed and painted in New York and then shipped to the theater a few weeks ago.
Pre-recorded music will play through the RTOP speakers and the cast of more than 30 will sing popular The Sound of Music songs such as Edelweiss and So Long, Farewell.
Every other night, the von Trapp children actors will rotate casts, as each childs role is double-cast.
The RTOPs production will feature I Have Confidence and Something Good, which are from the movie and not the musical adaptation.
Adult ticket prices are $17 in advance or $20 at the door, while children under 13 are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. The Sound of Music runs today through Aug. 25.
Tickets are going fast, Rich said.
Seating options can be viewed online at rtoptheatre.org and seats should be reserved by calling (509) 334-0750.
Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @LindseyTreffry.
-> if you go: WHAT: RTOPs production of The Sound of Music WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15, 16, 21, 22, 23; 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17 and 24; 1:30 p.m. matinee-only on Aug. 25 WHERE: Regional Theatre of the Palouse, 122 N. Grand Ave., Pullman COST: Adult ticket prices are $17 in advance or $20 at the door, while children under 13 are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets can be reserved by calling the RTOP box office at (509) 334-0750.