‘The Sound of Music’ comes to life in Leavenworth

  • By Sally Birks Herald Writer
  • Thursday, August 1, 2013 12:32pm
  • Life

LEAVENWORTH — The warm nighttime breeze carries a sweet scent from the sugar pines and the evening sky turns dusky navy blue as the hills around this alpen village come alive with the sound of music.

Yes, the real “Sound of Music,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical story of the Austrian von Trapp family that has captivated audiences for more than 50 years as a play and then as a movie.

This is the 19th year that the Leavenworth Summer Theater has presented “The Sound of Music” in its woodsy outdoor amphitheater high on Ski Hill park just north of the town.

Audience members are greeted and seated by the “nuns” from the abbey.

The trumpeting of an alpenhorn, spotlighted on a hill above the stage and echoing off the surrounding mountains, signals the opening of the play.

After the overture by the 10-piece orchestra, the stage lights come up on the slick new turntable set that allows for easy scene changes, and the nuns in the Nonnberg Abbey begin the story of “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria.”

Maria, played by Jenness Klein-Schrenzel, is the spirited young postulant sent off to learn about life outside the convent walls as a governess to the seven children of a strict Austrian navy captain.

Klein-Schrenzel has big shoes to fill in the role so identified with Julie Andrews, but her lilting voice and engaging stage presence are more than up to the challenge in this professional production.

Many of the actors and chilren as well as the musicians and stage crew are from the Leavenworth area.

College students from Central Washington University, the University of Washington, Whitworth University, the University of Northern Colorado and Pepperdine University fill in the cast and crew.

And Klein-Schrenzel and her husband, Julian Schrenzel, who plays Captain Georg von Trapp, are from the Seattle area.

As the play progresses through the charming musical numbers by the children and the night sky grows darker, we’re distracted (only momentarily) by the millions of stars overhead.

The wind picks up, rustling the trees, as if on cue as the play reaches its dramatic climax when the Trapp family bids “So Long, Farewell” to their beloved Austria now occupied by Germans.

In addition to presenting “The Sound of Music” every year in this perfect setting, the Leavenworth Summer Theater company does two other plays every summer and another tradition, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” during the holidays.

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Footloose” continue along with “The Sound of Music” through August on Tuesdays through Saturdays, with the only Sunday performance of “The Sound of Music” on Sept. 1.

“Joseph” is performed at Hatchery Park and “Footloose” is on the Festhalle Theater stage in downtown Leavenworth. “It’s a Wonderful Life” will also play at FestHall Theater on three weekends in December.

Book early because tickets go fast.

The two-hour hop over Stevens Pass to this Bavarian village is beautiful any time of the year, and glorious in summer.

If you don’t want to drive, however, Amtrak now stops in Leavenworth. And of course there are inns and motels and plenty of German vittles.

If you go

Leavenworth Ski Hill Amphitheater: 10698 Ski Hill Drive

Hatchery Park Amphitheater: 7919 E. Leavenworth Road

Leavenworth FestHalle Theater: 1001 Front St.

Parking: Free at all the venues. There’s a shuttle from the parking area to the Ski Hill amphitheater if needed.

Reserved tickets: $30, $25 and $14. Call the box office at 509-548-2000, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Information: www.leavenworthsummertheater.org

Accomodations: Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce has information at www.leavenworth.org.

More in Life

Using a rod to assist in running wiring through an attic space, Don Thomas, of R&D Handyman Service, works on installing a ceiling fan at a home in SE Everett on Monday, July 24, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
                                Don Thomas of R&D Handyman Service installs a ceiling fan at a home in southeast Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
When fall chores loom, just hand them to the handyman

Here are three local businesses that can help you prepare your home for the rainy season.

And this year’s winners of Everett’s Monte Cristo Awards are…

The awards recognize local homeowners and businesses that take special care of their properties.

‘Happy Death Day’ applies ‘Groundhog Day’ premise on horror genre

Smart writing and Jessica Rothe’s performance make this worth seeing.

Adventurer 1st to finish Race to Alaska on stand-up paddleboard

Karl Kruger will speak about his trip at the Everett Mountaineers Banquet on Nov. 4 in Lynnwood.

Therapy helped ease debilitating pain after injury

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley shares her experiences with complex regional pain syndrome.

How to prune a hydrangea: An exception to the pruning rule

It helps to think of a growing blackberry vine when you’re about to cut back this blooming shrub.

Visiting Germany’s Lutherland, birthplace of Reformation

The sights include the church where the first Protestant service took place in 1521.

Can you top ‘Hamilton’? Author Ron Chernow is about to find out

The notable writer’s latest book, published Oct. 10, is a lengthy biography on Ulysses S. Grant.

Most Read