Arts & Entertainment

Richland High filled with 'The Sound of Music'

The beloved musical The Sound of Music hasn't lost its appeal ever since the film premiered in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

On March 5, the Richland High drama department will debut its presentation of this classic tale of the Von Trapp family singers in the high school auditorium. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m.

And though none of the cast members were even born when the movie came out, they are thrilled to be part of production.

"It's an honor to play such a famous character from a such a famous story, (and) during my senior year of all times," said Alan Hayden Boesen, a senior.

He portrays Capt. Georg von Trapp, the prideful and strict father of the seven precocious Von Trapp children. "I love acting with the kids and bonding with them off-stage and on, making them more like my own children every time we interact."

Hayden's fatherly instincts, however, seem to be much easier to act out than falling in love with Maria, he said.

"Being serious and keeping my bearing is easy, but falling in love on stage has been difficult," he said. During rehearsals he's been asked to smile more and his response usually has been, "I am smiling," he said.

"But (Sound of Music) has been a pleasure and honor to be in and a great way to end my high school career."

Grayson Stamps, who plays Rolf Gruber, Liesl's boyfriend, had different challenges to overcome. "One of the struggles I have found playing this part is having one of the most famous songs to sing (16 going on 17) and performing it like people remember," he said.

It was also difficult for him to play a macho role, he added.

"Rolf is 17 going on 18 (and a tall, buff, macho guy) when I'm 16 and only 5-foot-10 and not really the buffest person in the world," he joked. "And my voice is a little too high-pitched, so every day and night I do vocal exercises for making my voice deeper."

He also said it's hard to play a serious role when he is a self-professed jester at heart.

The Sound of Music, directed by Ellicia Elliott, continues March 6 and March 12-13. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Advance ticket sales are available at Adventures Underground in the Uptown Shopping Center in Richland and the Richland Bookworm store, or will be availabe at the door.

The cast also will perform a few songs from Sound of Music from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 27 at a book fair at Barnes & Noble at Columbia Center in Kennewick. Proceeds from the event will help offset the cost for the Richland High theater students' trip to the Fringe Theater Festival in Edinburgh Scotland in August.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;