Source: Hometown Life
Author: Brad Kadrich
Lucy Devine probably can’t say how many times she watched “The Sound of Music” as a kid, but it was enough to absolutely fall in love with the main character, Maria Rainer.
Now the Mercy High School senior is bring the part made famous by Julie Andrews to life this weekend when the high school drama program presents, “The Sound of Music.”
And Devine, last seen in “The Night of Jan. 16” last fall, couldn’t be happier.
“She’s such a charismatic character,” Devine said of Maria. “She has so much life in her. She’s been one of my dream roles forever. I watched the movie all the time as a kid. To be up on stage as Maria is amazing.”
She certainly won’t be the only one up on stage. The cast has 49 actors, and there are another 60 kids in the orchestra pit and working backstage. That number includes five kids playing the Von Trapp children — three from Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Victory, and two boys from Frost Middle School in Livonia.
To augment the production, the all-girls school brought in actors from places like Detroit Catholic Central, Walled Lake Central and and U-D Jesuit.
Director Kathy Sill, who has been directing musicals at Mercy since 1997 and has directed some 50 productions in her career, said “The Sound of Music” was chosen as the school celebrates its 70th year.
“We wanted a family show,” Sill said. “It’s about a young woman trying to find her way in life. It’s about Maria trying to find her calling, and it’s not being a nun. She realizes her calling is to be a mother to those (Von Trapp) children.”
The fall musical has its challenges. The large cast and crew is one. The music is another. Vocal teacher Rebekah Ferguson said the music isn’t only challenging, it’s voluminous. It’s a lot for the 22 musicians in the orchestra pit to tackle.
“There’s just so much music,” she said with a smile. “It’s a professional score, not a student score, so the kids have had to make some adjustments.”
It’s not the first time the Von Trapps have graced the Mercy stage. Sill said the last time the school presented “The Sound of Music” was 2004, but it seemed like a natural in conjunction with the all-girl school’s 70th year.
“I like it because it features a lot of roles for women,” Sill said. “It was time to bring it back.”
Devine, in her fourth musical and seventh production, is glad they did. She said, though, that the popularity not only of the movie, but of Julie Andrews’ performance, presents a kind of challenge all its own. Obviously she’s not going to make anyone forget Andrews, but she doesn’t want anyone thinking she’s copying her, either.
“Everyone has seen the movie, so everyone knows Julie Andrews,” Devine said. “I’ve been trying to do it my way, and give it my own twist.”