Featured Review: The Sound of Music Critics are expected to heap scorn upon this sentimental 1959 musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein (their final collaboration), but opinions sometimes soften with time. Today one is more disposed to find the good in this uplifting story about a young Austrian governess who helps a family express their love through song. This Muny production is well cast. Anyone who saw Ashley Brown as Mary Poppins either on Broadway or at the Fox last summer will not be surprised to learn that she has the poise and grace to be a lovely Maria. The surprise is that here Brown's soprano voice has an almost devout quality, as if she grew up singing in church choirs. As the austere Captain von Trapp, Tom Hewitt doesn't have to act at being stern; his commanding presence telegraphs an autocratic nature. Leslie Denniston brings a rare warmth to the svelte Elsa, the early frontrunner for the captain's hand. For once we can understand why von Trapp would want to marry this woman. As the Mother Abbess, Linda Mugleston is not merely some diva hanging around waiting to sing "Climb Every Mountain." She really cares about what happens to Maria — and she makes us care, too. The production has been directed for broad strokes, but surely these talented actors will find some of the nuances as the week plays out. Through August 1 at the Muny in Forest Park. In addition to the free seats, tickets are $9 to $66. Call 314-361-1900 or visit www.muny.org.
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