The Sound of Music
Skylight Music Theatre
"With all due respect to Julie Andrews' matchless soprano and iconic performance, Telford's Maria therefore gets closer to what this show is really about - and why Maria is irresistible, to the Captain and to us.
While Andrews opens by gracefully twirling through the countryside, a much earthier Telford - with fuller, less angular features and an unruly mop of hair - moves with an ungainly, off-kilter physicality, reinforced by flailing arms and legs reflecting her irrepressible and untutored joy... This approach also leaves room for a longer and more compelling dramatic arc, during which Maria - who is not, after all, Mary Poppins - grows up in tandem with the von Trapp children rather than being ahead of them; this, in turn, makes the instant bond between her and those children more credible."
"The actors playing the musical’s most pivotal roles, Maria and Captain Von Trapp, face the most pressure and achieve the greatest heights. Telford’s Maria is spasmodic, juvenile and fiery in a way that is very un-Julie Andrews, but just right for the role nonetheless. Her command of the film’s many songs is nuanced and deliberate without seeming calculated, giving them purpose beyond simply being a famous song from The Sound of Music. Take 'Do-Re-Mi': Telford performs the song with frequent, quick hesitations, reminding us that Maria’s figuring out the song – and her life – on the fly."
"I loved – make that I was crazy in love with – Telford, who sings all over the country. She's cute as a button and brings a depth to Maria that I've rarely seen. In most productions it's easy to put Maria in this or that box, but not here. Telford lets Maria develop as a woman but never is far from her God. She embraces fully the Mother Abbess's counsel that 'loving a man doesn't mean you love God any less.' Telford is exquisite."
"And in the starring roles, Stephen Koehler as Captain Von Trapp and Elizabeth Telford as Maria work so well together that their eventual coupling is inevitable... Telford’s idealistic Maria ingratiates herself quickly and easily into the household and hearts of the children. Telford’s zany take on Maria balances nicely with the serious overtones of the shadow of the encroaching Third Reich as well as the seriousness of the convent and the existing Von Trapp household."
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