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Orangeville Music Theatre begins 2024 with two new shows

January 11, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Jumping in early on, Orangeville Music Theatre (OMT) is bringing two shows to the Opera House, starting with The Sound of Music (the adult version), opening on Jan. 12 and running to Jan. 20. In a conversation with Amanda Dempsey Laughlin, director of OMT, she informed the Citizen that the singers and the show are “spectacular!”

They have been rehearsing since the end of September in the auditorium of Westside Secondary School, which suits them extremely well. The cast that came out of the auditions has worked out extremely well, as she said.

Inquiring about an old hand, Desmond Baxter, who has been with OMT for many years, it was heartening to hear his role in the show is Franz the Butler. Mr. Baxter also built the set for this production, which he has done for many shows as well.

To give an outline, The Sound of Music takes us back to the early days of World War II, to Austria, which was not yet fully involved with the war, and to the home of Captain von Trapp and his seven children, whose mother has died. Maria von Trapp’s memoir is the basis of this true story of an Austrian family, their governess, and living in Austria in the late 1930s.

New to OMT, Jordyn Bell leads in the role of Maria, the lady who answers Captain von Trapp’s need for a governess. She takes on the role while deciding whether she will become a nun.

Nick Rose takes on Captain von Trapp, and the long list of cast and the characters they play includes the company’s youngest member, in the role of Gretl, Cameron Delo, who was in Little Women with OMT, too.

Said Ms. Laughlin, “There have been no issues with the children. They have been making notes, they know their blocks. They sing so well – they’re amazing.”

She has been on stage with OMT as an actor herself and loved the experience, but Ms. Laughlin has enjoyed directing as well, giving the piece her vision of the story, how one dreams about it.

“This is based on a true story,” she pointed out. “The retelling of this story as a musical is incredible for families.

“It’s all about the love of a family.”

Following up from The Sound of Music, the younger troops from OMT Junior are rocking and rolling with All Shook Up Young@part [meaning Junior]. It opens on Jan. 25, the weekend after Sound of Music closes and runs over for that whole weekend, closing on Jan. 28. Featuring so many of Elvis’ songs, the plot is said to follow Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, but quite loosely.

The common thread is the strange love triangle the great bard created of three people falling in love with those who fall in love with another of the triangles, of which one is posing as a man – and let the funny begin.

Briefly, as Bailey Mills, who directed the show, told us, “The slight re-write of the original show has kept the story the same while making it workable for young audiences.”

She commented that the cast ages are from 10 to 18 years. Most of the leads are 14 to 18 years old, “They’re playing adults,” she remarked.

In brief, it is 1955. Chad drives into a rather dull little town and is determined to liven it up with his own kind of music. Those tunes stir the hearts of the locals and get them dancing.

So, Natalie falls in love with Chad but because he falls in love with Sandra, Natalie plots to get to know him better by dressing as a man, calling herself “Ed” while in that disguise. And Sandra falls in love with “Ed.” Got it?

The crisscrossing of who likes who is fun, along with Mayor Matilda’s rules against holding hands, kissing, and any hint of impropriety in public, styling Roosevelt’s policies at the time.

The really fun, really nostalgic songs that Elvis made famous but mainly as his own, matched with the sixteenth Century humour, which – wonderfully – is still funny in this 21st Century, carry the show. The dance routines are great, and there are opportunities for solos as well as singing in the chorus. Within the cast come teens playing for the first time with OMT and some of the “veterans.”

Ms. Bailey told the Citizen she played the role of Sandra with OMT in 2017. It is her favourite role, she said, and All Shook Up is her favourite show.

For details and to purchase tickets for The Sound of Music or All Shook Up, go to

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