The favorite musical, The Sound of Music, is on stage this week at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium in Brandon, and Superintendent of Turtle Mountain School Division, Grant Wiesner, has traded his role of educator to don the suit of Captain George von Trapp in this favorite production!
Wiesner says this is his 4th show with Mecca Productions, starting with 'Shrek' and then 2 rounds of 'Spamalot', and now has had a lot of fun playing this role.
"Things are going so well," he explains. "This is a show that is near and dear to so many people's hearts. Being on stage with this league of performers just blows me away! Really excellent acting, singing and dancing. It's been really well cast and it's so fun to do!"
The Sound of Music is based on the 1949 memoir of Maria von Trapp, the Story of the Trapp Family Singers. The story is set in Austria on the eve of Anschluss 1938, the annexation of the Federal State of Austria into the German Reich, March 13th, 1938. The musical shares the tale of Maria, a young woman who is considering whether to become a nun, who hires on as governess to the Trapp children. Captain von Trapp is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy but opposes the Nazis. Maria falls in love with the captain and his 7 children and the family plans to flee Austria.
Playing the role of Captain von Trapp took a lot of memorizing for Wiesner; weekly drives from Killarney to Brandon, and some extra instruction to get his groove on - 1938 style! "Yes, that is one of the lead roles," notes Wiesner, "so, lots of lines, lots of singing, and I had to learn how to dance!"
"I've been in a lot of plays and musicals over the years," he continues, "and this one is a dream-like show to be in. It is a show that is considered to be one of the best musicals ever created, and for a lot of people this is their musical. So, there is pressure just because the captain's shoes are big shoes to fill."
Wiesner says everyone involved has done a fabulous job. It takes many hands for a production this size to be ready for a live audience; from casting the performers, to costuming, to music conducting, to set design, and more!
"Everyone involved is from Westman. It takes hours and hours of work! And the set is mind-blowing! It's just fantastic," he adds. "There are 50 or more who are just on the stage who you see, not to mention all the hands that work backstage."
As Superintendent of Turtle Mtn School Division, Wiesner says the performance didn't distract him from his day job, as most practices were done twice each week starting in February, and in the evenings, to accommodate students and those who work during the day.
For future acting, singing (and dancing?) endeavors, Grant Wiesner, is looking forward to more on-stage opportunities. "I would like to continue doing this. It's gives me a good work-life-balance. I've always loved performing, so it's a good outlet for me."
Mecca Productions musical, The Sound of Music, is being performed at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium in Brandon.
Thursday, April 27, - 7:30pm
Friday, April 28, - 7:30pm
Saturday, April 29 - 2:00pm
Saturday, April 29 - 7:30pm
Sunday, April 30 - 2:00pm
Child (12 and under): $20.00
Prices include taxes and service charge.
Tickets available at the WMCA Box Office, or by calling (204) 728-9510
Visit: . . . WESTERN MANITOBA CENTENNIAL AUDITORIUM . . . (wmca.ca) for more
(Photos submitted by Grant Wiesner)