“I am not Julie Andrews, and I will never be Julie Andrews,” Solano said with a laugh.
Now running at the Dallas Arts District’s Wylie Theater through April 24, the Dallas Theater Center production is a re-examination of the beloved musical that became an iconic film. This production has all music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Every word in the book by Howard Lindsay and Russell Krause is preserved. The purpose of this production is to reveal the humanity of the mythical family.
“It is based on real people and real events and clearly, at a time when socially and politically, the world was in utter turmoil,” Solano said. “The reason I’m excited about my version of Sound of Music It’s because we’re really, really, really trying to harness the human story out there.”
A member of the theater’s Briarley Resident Acting Company, Solano remembers watching Julie Andrew’s famous performance as a child on the set of two VHS tapes.
“At the age of six or seven, I remember watching the movie,” Solano said.
As a teenager, she played the eldest von Trapp child, Lizel, and was simply excited to perform in one of the most famous musicals of the twentieth century. Performing in a Dallas Theater Center production requires actors to rethink the history surrounding the story and the real life of that history.
“We are all accused of looking at this piece through a new lens,” Solano said.
Artists visited the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum to learn more about what was happening in Austria in the 1930s.
“Having that knowledge and those stories and the opportunity to make contact with those human voices and faces, it’s really changed,” Solano said. “I’m trying to tell the story as a storyteller.”
As rehearsals begin, Russia invades Ukraine, making the musical’s historical setting and the von Trapp family’s war refugee story all the more resonant.
“It’s so relevant and heartbreaking that we keep repeating our bad behavior as humans,” Solano said. “It is important that we learn from the past to move forward in a better, brighter and more positive way.”
With a set designed by Tony Award-winning Beowulf Borritt, the show quickly defies audience expectations.
“It’s unbelievable,” Solano said. “It’s fantastic and a little scary too and it really helps us tell the story in a way that is new and unique and the minute the audience comes into the house and sees the set, they will know that we are like this. are not. traditional Sound of Music,
The cast is diverse. As a younger Latina girl, Solano had not imagined playing the role.
“Growing up, I would not have seen someone like me play this role. I wouldn’t even have seen a brunette play this role,” Solano said. “The opportunity to be on that stage and represent for other little girls who wouldn’t have seen someone like me, that I didn’t get to see, Really important to me.”
The beginning of the show sets up the von Trapp family’s grief after the death of the children’s mother. ,
It’s raw. It’s okay to be a little messy and a little gritty and not all of these things you are affiliated with Sound of MusicSolano said.
Solano’s seven-year-old daughter, Sofia DeSena, plays Gretel. When Desena first saw the kids in the movie Sound of Music, she realized that she could be into music just like her mother. She has been singing “So Long, Farewell” since childhood.
“I’m not kidding when I tell you that she’s been rehearsing for this role since she was three years old,” Solano said.
DeSena prepares herself for her audition, singing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” cinderella and from “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” Annie,
“I’m blown away by her. She’s this incredible, smart, curious, sweet, sassy — all things little girl,” Solano said.
While DeSena has appeared in commercials, Dallas Theater Center’s Public Works Dallas production as you like Itand elevator project Lucha Teotli, this role is the most demanding for him. She developed a character, she has lines, and she knows her music and her choreography.
“It’s really fun for me to see him make acting choices,” Solano said.
Solano is enjoying this mother-daughter experience.
“We will have these memories forever,” Solano said. “This moment in time is really special.”
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