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Q and A with The Sound of Music’s Whistler stars



The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein, The Sound of Music, remains the most popular movie musical of all time and the Royal City Musical Theatre Company’s production of the musical is set to do the same on a local level. Already they are breaking box office records with their current New Westminster run and ticket sales for next month’s shows in Surrey look just as impressive.

Two of Whistler’s own exports, six-year-old Abigail Winter-Culliford and proud mom Sadie are currently starring in the production as little Gretl, the youngest of the von Trapp children, and a singing nun respectively. They seem to be having a great time doing it so we thought we’d get the low-down on what it’s like being part of such a successful show.

Pique: What do you like about being in the Sound of Music?

Abigail: It’s fun meeting all the people and singing the songs and I love the orchestra.

Pique: W hat’s your favourite part of the show?

Abigail: I like the Kalsberg festival when we’re trying to escape. It’s exciting. I get to sing about tea with jam and bread.

Pique: Do you like wearing the costumes?

Abigail: Yes, especially the wedding dress because it’s really soft inside.

Pique: What’s it like working with Uncle Max?

Abigail: He’s so funny. He has a blindfold and we get to tickle him and poke him.

Pique: What do you want to do when you grow up?

Abigail: I want to keep acting. I want to work with Jim Bryson and Ed Harrington again (the director). They are so much fun.

Pique: The production is proving very successful. Why do you think that is?

Sadie: The cast is so dedicated and the people working behind the scenes are true professionals. The sets are breathtaking. They’ve all been hand painted to give a three dimensional look. There are nine changes throughout giving great visual variety.

Pique: What’s it like watching you daughter on the stage?

Sadie: It’s interesting to see her evolve. She’s just coming alive with each performance. It’s a great education for her and she’s constantly asking the orchestra what they do. The kids are in almost every scene and a couple of times she even sings on her own so it’s great to see her shine a little bit.

Pique: You play a singing nun in the show too — what’s that like?

Sadie: It’s funny I had no intention at all of being in the show but they asked me to help out backstage and then asked if I could sing, which of course I did. So I auditioned and got the part along with 19 others. The role is very unlikely me. Nuns are calm and serene so that’s been a challenge but the music is absolutely beautiful.

You can catch the Sound of Music at New Westminster’s Massey Theatre until April 26 and then from May 9 to 11 it will be at the Bell Centre in Surrey. Evening performances are at 8 p.m. and matinees start at 2 p.m. Prices range from $20 to $35. Tickets are available at www.royalcitymusicaltheatre.com and through Ticketmaster at 604-280-4444.