Climbing every mountain

Ryan and Cherilee Sorensen headline this year's community musical, "The Sound of Music" that opens next week.

Ryan and Cherilee Sorensen headline this year's community musical, "The Sound of Music" that opens next week.

Churchill County High School is presenting the Broadway musical “The Sound of Music” nightly at 7 p.m. from May 5-7 and May 12-14 in the CCHS theater.

Reserved seat tickets are on sale now at Opening night tickets are $10; thereafter tickets are $12, $15 and $20 according to seating. If available, tickets can be purchased on site in the theater lobby starting at 6 p.m. prior to each performance.

Lori Souba, assistant producer, said a community show is a chance to have a better seat for a good price.

“To also have a full house on opening night gets (the cast’s juices flowing and excitement up,” she said. “Plus, for those who have larger families, they can get good tickets for a more affordable (price) or half-price on opening night.”

Directed by CCHS music teacher Tom Fleming, the play with about 45 students and community members has been preparing since September to perform Rodgers and Hammerstein’s original composition of song, dance and drama. The story takes place in 1930s Austria right before World War II.

“Under the amazing tutelage and direction of Tom Fleming, this very talented Von Trapp family, along with the rest of the cast and chorus, will not disappoint,” said choreographer Suzette Benecke. “This production ... will ‘climb every mountain.’ Guaranteed!”

The director echoed her sentiments that sprung from the show’s most famous tune.

“We’ve got a big team and a great team,” said Fleming. The production’s “heart-wrenching and humorous … It really shows the chops of our actors, to be able to do that humor then come right back and pull off the seriousness of the subject matter. Plus they can sing.”

Fleming said he and his coworkers wondered early on if they could find kids for the Von Trapp children roles.

“We thought, well we’ll do the auditions and see who shows up—and oh my gosh, boy do we ever have them … There continues to be amazing talent in our community. I think that’ll always be the way it is. It’s nice to be able to tap into that.”

High school student Jefrey Horne, who plays one of the children, Friedrich Von Trapp, said it has been a great experience.

“Our director can be really funny and crazy,” he said. “He’s just a really cool director because he can have fun, and he’s a great guy.”

Cast members said they are excited to perform for the public.

“To me,” said Cherilee Sorensen, who plays the baroness Elsa Scraeder, “presenting a play to the public is our gift to them. For a couple hours, we transport them to another time and place, and they live a story through us. It’s thrilling to be part of something like that. ‘The Sound of Music’ is a beautiful, fun, inspiring story that will delight everyone who comes.

“Through the process of putting a musical together, we all become family. So this truly is a gift from our family to yours.”

Sorensen’s husband, Ryan, and their children are also involved in the production.

Glen Perazzo, CCHS drama teacher, is working on all the sets alongside some of his students, stage manager Missy Miller, volunteer David Doll, and professional artist and retired teacher Scott Thompson.

The sets become “like a canvas that Scott just … makes beautiful.” Perazzo said of Thompson’s painting talent. “He adds these special touches that really make them a masterpiece.”

“It’s wonderful the community does this,” Souba said. “They’re going to absolutely capture the audience’s heart. They will. It’s mind-boggling for a small town like this, year after year. That’s theater.”

To help the older community if needed, Fleming said, a good selection of assigned seat tickets are available for pre-purchase in person at Jeff’s Copy Express on Maine Street. The theater doors open at 6:30 p.m. before each performance. Show proceeds go to the theater program.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment