Musicals provide perspective, from the comfort of a theater seat.
If you’ve never thought of how life might be for a girl growing up on the plains, “Oklahoma!” offers perspective.
Never been a Times Square craps-shooter? Consult “Guys & Dolls.”
Want to walk in the shoes of an upwardly mobile window-washer? “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” lets you do just that.
Naima Laube wanted a different perspective.
The 16-year-old from Cologne, Germany, has been living in Valhalla since July, the guest of actress Toni Rubio, a friend of her actor parents, Steffen Laube, who is from Germany, and the Westchester-born Amanda Whitford.
This weekend, Laube will play Baroness Elsa Schraeder in Valhalla High School’s production of “The Sound of Music.”
“As soon as I found out I could come here, I told my parents ‘I need to come here,’” Laube said.
Laube says Valhalla High School is a far cry from her school in Cologne.
“Schools in Germany don’t have any after-school activities, musicals, sports, nothing,” she said. “So this has been an amazing experience for me. You can do some acting here and there, but it’s hard to find.”
“Professional theaters, there’s one on every corner,” she said. “We have so many little theaters, it’s amazing. But for teen-agers, it’s a little harder.”
Not so in Valhalla, where director Bill Mentz cast Laube as the woman who plans to marry Captain von Trapp, until a nun-turned-governess changes those plans.
(Junior Salvatore Daniele plays the captain and senior Giovanna Olson is Maria.)
Elsa is an interesting character, an outsider, a rival, Laube said.
“Elsa is very confident. She knows what she wants from life, she knows her opinions and she’s headstrong,” Laube said.
She is also pragmatic.
“She does love the captain, but she’s also after what he can offer, status and moneywise,” Laube said. “When she realizes that he will not just go with the flow of things when it comes to Nazi Germany, she realizes this is not the place for her and she needs to keep her status. So she decides to leave him in the middle of the second act.”
Laube’s perspective on Nazis is perhaps more personal than that of the rest of Valhalla cast.
“We learned a lot in school about what happened,” Laube said. “I have visited concentration camps in Germany. Being here and portraying someone who is OK with what they are doing — I don’t think she realizes what the effects of this situation are going to be — but it’s very interesting seeing this.”
Giovanna Olson, a Valhalla senior, plays Maria, one of the most famous roles in the musical-theater canon.
For a character who sings up a storm — “Lonely Goatherd,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things” and the title song — Olson said one of the highlights of performing is a short acting scene she shares with Laube.
“We really exchange attitude,” she said. “She sees me as a threat, but I don’t want to accept the fact that I’m falling in love with the captain, especially because I’m going to be a nun. It’s a fun little exchange.”
Senior Julia McCarthy is 17, going on 18, but she plays Leisl, the von?Trapp daughter who is 16 going on 17.
“Every girl has been lovestruck,” McCarthy, which makes her character universal. When she realizes that her boyfriend, Rolf, isn’t going to work out, “that’s her portal to step through and mature, not just for him but for herself.”
What: “The Sound of Music”
Where: Valhalla High School, 300 Columbus Ave., Valhalla.
When: 8 p.m. March 19; 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. March 20
Tickets: $12, $10 students and seniors.
With: Shawn Bonelli, Daniel Borgia, Conrad Bove, Nicholas Bundarin, Rhea Catubig, Laura Childs, Kathryn Ciancio, Sal Daniele, Jordan Delano, Jeanne Einhorn, Molly Feeney, Hendrik Fiedler, Kathleen Finan, James Fulgenzi, Danielle Gerbosi, Samantha Goyco, Kashif Graham, Sam Halligan, Caitlin King, Naima Laube, Carly Macken, Aidan McCarthy, Julia McCarthy, Juliana Moccio, Simone Norris, Giovanna Olson, Buddy Orlay, Deborah Paul, Cory Petretti, Simone Santoro, Adriana Soto , Gabriella Soto , Kayley Tierney, Siobhan Treacy, Ariana Tringali, Randall Tyc, Isabelle Weissman, Jacquelyn Williams, Jenna Williams, Jake Williams, Connor Dillon, Hendrik Fiedler, Billy Herbert, Coral Curcio-Bonner, Alex Shapiro, Justin M. Snow, Nick Athanasatos, Anthony Amiano, Steven Anuskiewicz, Melissa Hart, Alexia Iuni, Paul Salminen, Ben Yeung, Olivia Cvelic, Jessica Caixiero, Laura Childs, Joanie Grioli, Erika Hart, Michelle Scott, Ariana Tringali, Stefanie Wolfson