On stage at the Vilar Center | VailDaily.com

On stage at the Vilar Center

Kris SabelVail Daily, Vail Colorado
Special to the Daily The von Trapp children, on stage at the Vilar Center Saturday, is this week's director's pick.

Editor’s note: Director’s Corner is a new weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek.

This weekend the Vilar Center is pleased to present three very different programs. A farewell concert by The von Trapp Children Saturday, an already sold-out show with The Chieftains Sunday and Josh Blue, 2006’s “Last Comic Standing,” Monday.I’d like to talk about why The von Trapp’s is a show not to be missed:

The von Trapp Children are the great grand children of Maria and Captain von Trapp whom everyone knows from the most successful movie musical ever made “The Sound of Music.” They perform a variety of folk and classical songs, as well as timeless favorites from the movie including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi” and “Cuckoo.” Lucky audience members will be transported by this quartet whose voices blend naturally to create harmonies like only a family can do. The intimacy of the Vilar Center is a perfect venue for this family concert. As the children mature, they are incorporating more and more a cappella singing into their performance, something that’s highlighted in our small center. Sofia (18), Melanie (16), Amanda (15) and Justin (12), grandchildren to Werner von Trapp (whose character was named “Kurt” in the movie), first performed together at their grandparents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary. What started out as a family event has turned into a decade of professional touring and recording, but it still remains a family affair. (Parents Annie and Stephan serve as tour managers, and tutors, as all the kids are home-schooled.) Because Sofia will attend college in the fall, the children are saying good-bye to this stage of their careers. The ensemble’s popularity has brought them to major venues around the world like the Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl. In 2003, they broke all box office records playing their ancestors in the North Carolina Theatre’s production of “The Sound of Music.” The show was so successful, it was picked up by a Las Vegas venue, where it ran for a week. In 2006, they were named the outstanding singing group at the Young Artists Awards. Recently, the group has performed with the Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas, Baltimore and Milwaukee Symphonies, as well as having a sold-out booking with The Boston Pops.

I recommend this concert to audiences of all ages. Families will love the wholesome nature of the show while appreciating the poise and stage presence of these kids. As music critic Johanna Crosby says, The von Trapp’s “… sweet voices blend naturally, resulting in lovely harmonies and a pure sound.”

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