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Songs, values a draw for MHS show 'The Sound of Music'

Hannah Millar-Torgerson, left, and Natalie Parks discuss the removal of Maria Rainer from the convent in a rehearsal for "The Sound of Music" Tuesday. (Jennifer Jungwirth/Republic)

Just two weeks into the school year, nearly 70 students began preparing for the annual Mitchell High School musical.

The students -- actors, the technical crew and pit crew -- are the third group at MHS to perform Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic, "The Sound of Music." The show was performed in the '70s and late '80s.

The show is at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Friday at the Mitchell High School auditorium.

Tickets are $3 for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and $5 for adults.

Tickets are general admission and available at the door. School activity passes are accepted.

The musical is the story of a young woman, Maria, who leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the six von Trapp children. "The Sound of Music" features popular numbers including "The Sound of Music," "My Favorite Things" and "Do-Re-Mi."

"The Sound of Music" originated as a stage production in the late 1950s. In 1965, it was adapted into a film, which won five Academy Awards.

Its plot has a family friendly vibe and incorporates many morals, which is what makes it a crowd favorite, said director Mel Olson.

The show also has numerous roles, especially for females, which is a bonus, Olson added, as most of the students on stage are girls.

"We have a lot of talented people," said Olson of his cast, which includes several elementary students and first-time performers.

The stage production is similar to the movie. Some songs were added to the play that weren't featured in the movie.

Olson said in order to keep the show at two hours, some lesser-known numbers were cut.

"The songs are just so much fun and everyone just knows them," said Kathleen Serie, who plays the lead role of Maria Rainer.

Most of the cast had heard of "The Sound of Music" prior to auditioning. However, Kyle Stas, who was cast as Captain von Trapp, was unfamiliar with the show. He was still cast as a lead role -- his first large role in his theater career.

Olson said that even though it's a young cast, he's seen several standouts.

"You have Allison Day, the oldest von Trapp child -- she's just outstanding. And Tim Parks has evolved, and Danny Pecenka has a lot of fun with his part," Olson said. "What I like is they realize their parts aren't necessarily large, but they have their chance to shine. They really make the most of their opportunity."