NOTE: I just received word, at 12:41 p.m. on Friday, that tonight’s performance—March 19—had to be canceled because of a 6-hour emergency electrical repair by Con Edison. Director John MacLean told me the power will go out at 3 and stay off till 9. Tickets for tonight will be honored at tomorrow’s 7:30 p.m. performance, which will mark the end of the production. MacLean said: “We tried to reschedule at other times this weekend but cast members were not available for every option we suggested. Of course, things like musician schedules and rented costumes, backdrops and scripts make it impossible to reschedule after this weekend.” MacLean added that he hopes to have a huge turnout tomorrow night. Incidentally, this is MacLean’s final production at Woodlands, as he’s retiring after next year and will use next year to break in his replacement.
Here’s the Woodland’s story:
Woodlands High School’s remarkable run through the boys basketball playoffs was great news for the school, but not necessarily for the family von Trapp.
With each win in the Falcons’ remarkable run, team member Reece Williams — whom director John MacLean had cast as Captain von Trapp — got deeper into the tournament and farther from “The Sound of Music,” which will grace the Woodlands stage this weekend.
Since the championship games are this weekend in Glens Falls, it made for some nervous moments for all involved, MacLean said. With two weeks to go, and no end in the team’s winning streak in sight, MacLean took Williams aside.
“Reece is a great kid,” he said. “I told him, ‘You can’t go into a game with part of you hoping you’ll lose. If you leave the play and focus on the games, you can give it your all.
“And he said, ‘Now, we’ve got to win,’” MacLean recalled.
Let’s win one for the von Trapps.
The decision made, MacLean had to find a new captain.
“We didn’t have anyone understudying,” he said. “We’re lucky when we can cast the play, let alone have understudies.”
Sophomore Eugene Boakye-Firempong, originally cast as Franz the butler, stepped up to lead the von Trapp Family Singers, his first lead.
“I didn’t expect to get the part, but I’m going to do the best I can,” he said.
His father was in the army and his grandfather was in the navy in his family’s native Ghana, so Boakye-Firempong has a frame of reference to play the military captain.
“I think of my father whenever I get in character,” he said.
In rehearsal, he was a quick study, watching MacLean and taking it all in.
Senior Dominique Forbes, 17, plays Maria, the would-be nun who becomes a governess and then a mother.
“She’s energetic and lively,” she said, “and I hope to put my own spin on her.”
After “The Sound of Music,” Forbes looks forward to joining “The Sound of America,” a choir with students from every state that will tour Europe next summer. The tour includes a stop in Salzburg, which figures in this weekend’s show.
Senior Toni Campbell plays the restrained Mother Abbess, a big stretch for a girl who said she’s peppy at heart.
She sings “My Favorite Things” with Maria, and the show’s anthem, “Climb Every Mountain,” a song that requires the senior to hit a high A.
Elizabeth Sanchez, a junior who is 16 going on 17, plays the eldest von Trapp girl, Leisl, opposite freshman Jackson Davis as Rolf, the telegram-delivery-boy who is her love interest.
Davis said he thinks Williams made the right call, choosing basketball over the musical.
“You have to represent your school,” he said. “And I think Eugene will do an excellent job stepping in. He learned his lines fast.”
Samuel Washington III, plays Uncle Max in the musical.
“Reece is my best friend,” he said. “I want him to be here, but he loves basketball so I told him, ‘Whatever you love, you gotta go with.’”
For the record, Woodlands lost to Burke Catholic in the Class B regional semifinal.
And Williams volunteered to be on the stage crew and will run the light board for “The Sound of Music” this weekend.
What: “The Sound of Music”
Where: Woodlands High School, 475 W. Hartsdale Ave., Hartsdale
When: 7:30 p.m. March 18, 19, 20.
Tickets: $10; $5 seniors
With: Deborah Akuoko-Firempong, Shaunice Alexander, Jennifer Alvarez, Lauren Beauzile, Janelle Berridge, Michael Berry, Jessica Blair, Nadine Bourne, Asia Brooks, Caturah Brown, Shane Burke, Toni Denise Campbell, Andrei Constantinescu, Jackson Davis, Dominique Forbes, Rachel Gomez, Randy Gonzalez, Meg Graves, Karl Habana, Kirk Habana, Liz Houston, Laura Lamilla, Jaylyn MacDonald, Justina Mark, Thomas Mendola, Akosua Mensah, Nury Moncada, Deborah Mosley, Andy Nguyen, Brian Nguyen, Jessica Nurse, Awa Nyambi, Mandi Nyambi, Ariana Otto, Asia Reid, Elizabeth Sanchez, Charese Scott-Cooper, Keturah Smalls, Eugene Boakye-Firempong, Manuela Trinidad, Lordess Turner, Eva-Christina Wade, Samuel Washington III, Janae Young, Bryan Aleman, Raymon Baek, Myles Massey, Joseph Sugrue