Youth theater stages ‘The Sound of Music’

The J*Company Youth Theatre will present “The Sound of Music” from March 4 through 21 at the David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center.

Based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, “The Sound of Music” was the final collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. The story follows a postulant who proves too high-spirited for the religious life. When she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval captain, she gradually captures the hearts of children and father. The family’s narrow escape from the Nazis over the mountains to Switzerland provides a thrilling and inspirational finale.

The musical’s score contains many songs that have become American standards: “Climb Every Mountain,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and “Edelweiss.”

“I can’t believe that we have been in existence for 17 years and have never previously brought this show to life,” Artistic Director Joey Landwehr said. “After record-breaking attendance at auditions for this show (more than 200 young people), I am proud to say that we have collected one of the largest and finest casts of ‘The Sound of Music’ ever assembled, consisting of 98 young artists, with choreography by Deven P. Brawley.

“We have also topped ourselves with the largest orchestra to ever be assembled on the J*Company stage. Tim McKnight will conduct 23 fine young musicians.”

Landwehr, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors’ Equity Association, is directing “The Sound of Music.” He most recently directed “Into the Woods,” “Fireflies,” “South Pacific” and “The King and I” for J*Company.

The cast includes Ali Viterbi (Maria) of San Diego Jewish Academy; Scott Peterson (Captain von Trapp) of San Diego High School of the Arts; Naomi McPherson (Mother Abbess), Darien Sepulveda (Max Detweiler) and Danielle Smotrich (Baroness Schrader) of High Tech High International; Maddie Houts (Liesl) of Canyon Crest Academy; Zachary Herzog (Rolf) of Westview High School; Josh Shtein (Friedrich) of Standley Middle School; Celia Tedde (Louisa) of San Diego Cooperative Charter School; Jesse Carpentier (Brigitta) of Julian Charter School; Myles Collinson (Kurt) of The Bishop’s School; Brooke Posnock (Marta) of La Jolla Country Day; and Sierra Lieb (Gretl) of Sage Canyon Elementary.

‘The Sound of Music’

  • When: 7 p.m. March 4 and 18; 10 a.m. (school shows) March 5 and 12; 8 p.m. March 6, 13 and 20; 1 and 4:30 p.m. March 7, 14 and 21
  • Where: Garfield Theatre at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla
  • Tickets: $13-$17; (858) 362-1348,
  • Sing-along event: 7 p.m. March 18