Audiences can experience Austria’s hills come alive with “The Sound of Music” this weekend, as Eagle Ridge Academy (ERA) students perform the classic musical.
Shows are at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 28, 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, at the school, 11111 Bren Road W., Minnetonka. Tickets will be sold at the door and are $10 cash or check only. The ERA Booster Club will be selling concessions before the show, during intermission, and for a short time after the show.
“This is a familiar tale of finding love in unexpected places,” said Sylvia Michels, who is ERA’s theater director.
Michels said that preparing for this musical has been highly educational for the students. “Many of our young cast members have not learned about the world wars or about the political pressures families faced when the Nazi party was seizing power throughout central Europe,” she said.
“Talking to the students about this historical time and considering the point of view of a refugee has been an extremely valuable part of putting this production together.”
Michels said the most enjoyable part of this production has been seeing the progress made by individual students and by the cast and crew as a whole.
“The ERA theater committee considered several shows and chose one that allowed us to cast students of diverse ages and performance ability,” she said. “The music is fun to work with, and we had the resources available to us to pull this production together visually.”
About 40 students are involved in the production. “I’d like to highlight Isabell Agner, our only senior in the show,” Michels said. “The first ERA show she auditioned for was the winter One-Act this past January-February.
“She leads with a great understanding of her talents and easily forms friendships with her cast mates. Isabell was a great fit for the role of Maria because of how quickly the young students were comfortable working with her.”
Thorn Khuhro, an ERA junior who lives in Eden Prairie, has a double role in the musical — he will play the part of Rolf in the show as well as run the lights.
This is Khuhro’s third production at ERA, having been in both cast and crew. He said he is looking forward to playing Rolf, but that the role is uncomfortable in many ways.
“I am trying to play Rolf as someone that the audience does not see as a good person,” he said. “I think it’s important to recognize that. He’s definitely arrogant and he made a lot of mistakes.”
While he enjoys acting, he prefers doing crew. “I love setting a mood with colored lighting,” he said. “I like being in the tech booth and seeing the stage when all the colors come together. It’s so satisfying.”
Khuhro said the most fun part of the production for him was setting up lights for a scene with yellow walls and props against a pink background with blue mountains. “When we were setting up the lighting for that scene, it looked so pretty,” he said. “And when the actors were on stage, it was amazing. It was my favorite part — I love moments like that.”
Khuhro said that during this production he has been inspired by ERA’s new theater directors. “The way that Ms. Michels sets up shows is so different from [the previous director], and I’m excited to see how that plays out in the actual show,” he said.
Additionally, he said, “We have a lot of cool props and I’m really excited to see those on stage. I’m excited to see it all come together.”
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