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‘These Are a Few of My Favorite Things’

Springfield man is starring in “The Sound of Music.”

Performing as the Von Trapp children are (from left) Grace Shields, Marc Manaloto, Dimitri Gann, Aubrey Cervarich, Maya Tischler and Robinson student Carys Meyer, holding Dorothy Cervarich.

Performing as the Von Trapp children are (from left) Grace Shields, Marc Manaloto, Dimitri Gann, Aubrey Cervarich, Maya Tischler and Robinson student Carys Meyer, holding Dorothy Cervarich. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

The hills may not be alive with “The Sound of Music,” but Centreville Presbyterian Church sure will be when its community theater presents this classic, Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

Show times are Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 21, 22 and 23, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 at www.centrevillepres.com, at the church office at 15450 Lee Highway in Centreville or at the door.

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Erin Cooper and Springfield’s Brian Johnson portray Maria and Capt. Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” at Centreville Presbyterian Church.

The cast and crew of 70 have been rehearsing since September, and Director Zoe Dillard is proud of them all. “We have great actors, very talented, with wonderful voices,” she said. “And the music is absolutely stunning and beautiful, as is the integrity of the story.”

Noting that Rachel Harrington portrays Mother Abbess, Dillard said, “I feel it’s a role she was born to play. The first time she sang, ‘Climb Every Mountain,’ I got goosebumps. And it’s been lovely watching the cast grow through rehearsals. I think everyone who comes to this show will enjoy it and will walk out humming the songs.”

Nancy Smith is conducting the 18-person pit orchestra. The cast includes both adults and students from a variety of schools, including Robinson Secondary School and GMU.

The story’s set in 1938 Austria, prior to the German invasion. It’s based on the true story of a widower with seven children and their governess who intends to become a nun, but falls in love with him. Scenes take place in the Austrian Alps, the Von Trapp home and the abbey.

Portraying Capt. Von Trapp is Springfield’s Brian Johnson, an active-duty Air Force colonel in real life. He describes his character as a retired Navy captain and a strong person who’s known great love. “But he’s also known great loss and he’s passionate about that,” said Johnson. “So it’s about his rediscovering love again and the love he has for his children.”

Calling this role one of the favorites he’s done, he said, “It’s a challenge because Von Trapp has great depth and emotion, but it’s shown in subtle ways. So I have to show how he changes in a more-subdued way.” Johnson especially likes the song, “The Sound of Music Reprise” when the captain first hears his children singing and it opens up his heart again.

He said the audience will love this musical because “it’s a well-known, uplifting, family show with a great story of a family overcoming great obstacles and persevering.”

Chantilly’s Erin Cooper plays Maria. Cooper says she relates to Maria because they both have a passion for children and music. Her favorite song is “Do-Re-Mi” because she has “so much fun singing it with the children. It’s where I interact most with them, and they’re all so cute and fun to work with.”