The Los Angeles Times Fall Arts Preview featured a behind-the-scenes look at the new national tour of The Sound of Music, which plays at the Ahmanson Theatre through October 31, 2015. Here’s what Director Jack O’Brien has to say about the task of updating this iconic production:
People are so familiar with the show that I think they’re perfectly happy to let it go by without asking any questions,” O’Brien said during a rehearsal break. “There’s a passivity to how we experience The Sound of Music. I want to take the text and question it. How many times do we earn the lyric? How many times do we earn the score?
He added, “Without violating anyone’s expectations and without rewriting anything, there’s a lot of unexplored territory here.”
Reporter Steven Zeitchik called O’Brien’s casting of Kerstin Anderson as Maria “perhaps the most significant” of O’Brien’s changes:
O’Brien chose the 20-year-old [Kerstin] Anderson—she has never had a professional role—from among dozens of more seasoned competitors. He liked her precisely because she wasn't a star. “If it was Carrie Underwood, you’d think ‘there she is doing something bad, or there she is doing something great,’ but I don’t know that you’d really be seeing Maria.