THEATER: Bringing the sounds of the von Trapp kids to life.
Meet the scene-stealing young performers who play the von Trapp kids in ‘The Sound of Music’
The most intricate and infectious moments in “The Sound of Music” belong to the kids. The notes of “Do-Re-Mi” pop like hot popcorn, as the jolly new nanny, Maria, teaches the hyper-disciplined von Trapp children how to make songs from a basic major scale. And then there’s all that giddy yodeling and hopping on a bed as the brood drowns out a scary storm with “The Lonely Goatherd.”
In the national touring company now at the Kennedy Center, the young performers could hardly be more charming as they croon “So Long, Farewell,” or more polished as they romp through their boisterous numbers. If they don’t entirely steal the show — and maybe they do — they certainly own the moments that will linger on the way home.
The von Trapplings, as the kids are affectionately known within this tour, which has lasted almost two years (and which concludes with a final week in Cleveland after its Washington
stand ends July 16), range in age from 7 to 15. That grouping doesn’t include Paige Silvester, who at 26 is playing “I-am-16-going-on-17” Liesl.
Silvester was a replacement in the “Evita” tour that hit the Kennedy Center in 2014, and from the beginning she’s been Liesl in this respectful “Sound of Music,” directed by Jack O’Brien (“Hairspray”). The rest of these von Trapplings joined in January, except for Anika Lore Hatch, the 7-year-old who plays Gretl. She’s been touring since last August.
The budding pros seem attuned to the showbiz ropes. They follow directions quickly during a splashy photo shoot, and even though they travel with chaperons (usually a parent), none are supervised during interviews dealing with potentially touchy subjects — for instance, homework.
Least interesting question: how they make their demanding songs look so easy. Duh: When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything.
Charlotte Maltby as Maria, with the von Tra pp children, in “The Sound of Music.” The national touring production is at the Kennedy Center through July 16.