Synthia Yusuf brings Maria von Trapp to life in the Arts Club Theatre’s current production of The Sound of Music – a portrayal that earned her a standing ovation for her performance on opening night.
Yusuf is currently living in Burnaby with her partner, Colin Sheen, who grew up here, graduated from Alpha Secondary and is also in theatre.
“I joined my high school choir in North Vancouver and found I enjoyed performing and became confident of my vocal abilities, so when I talked to the counsellor before graduation, I decided to follow music and acting, instead of science, which was my other choice,” she explains.
After graduating from the musical theatre program at Capilano University, she went on to appear in some TV and movies, and local theatres, recently in Legally Blonde at Theatre Under the Stars.
“I found I like the audience connection in live theatre the best,” she says.
In The Sound of Music, her strong voice and lively portrayal suit the character of the nun-turned- governess-turned-baroness-stepmother, and Yusuf says interacting with the children in the cast is one of the best parts of the musical. Audiences will agree, as the seven von Trapp children brighten up the stage every time they appear.
The Sound of Music not only has great music, it’s also a visual delight for theatregoers, thanks to the work of Drew Facey, the set and costume designer. The stage transforms from a vast abbey to a sunlit mountainside to an elegant mansion, complete with moving staircases.
The cast is excellent, with standouts including Annie Ramos as the Mother Abbess, singing Climb Every Mountain, and Jolene Bernardino and Jason Sakaki portraying the young lovers, in Sixteen going on Seventeen. Five-time Jessie nominee Jonathan Winsby is Captain von Trapp, going from cold martinet to loving father and husband.
A six-piece live orchestra fills the theatre with, appropriately, the sound of very good music.
CHECK IT OUT
What: The Sound of Music, presented by Arts Club Theatre
Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville St.
When: ongoing until Sunday, Jan. 5. Special sing-along performances Dec. 26 at 7:30 p.m., and Jan. 4 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: starting at $39. Buy through www.artsclub.com or call 604-687-1644