July 2009

The Sound of Music

29 JUL 2009  •  by Zack Smith


The Sound of Music
N.C. Theatre
@ Raleigh Memorial Auditorium
Through Aug. 2

The Sound of Music is enduring as a piece of musical theater because it promotes a certain feeling of exuberance. Yes, it’s sentimental, condenses history for storytelling purposes and even rewrites the geography of Austria in the climax (you aren’t getting to Switzerland over those Alps), but at its heart, it’s a simple story about finding joy and bonding as a family. Also, cute singing kids.

N.C. Theatre’s production of The Sound of Music is at its best when it focuses on the joy of performing. The story occasionally feels limited by the confines of the Memorial Auditorium stage (the von Trapps have roughly two tombstones to hide behind while they’re being hunted by the Nazis), but when the actors perform, their energy is terrific.

Broadway veteran Kate Fisher is a great Maria; the image of Julie Andrews in the 1965 film is impossible to erase, but Fisher nails the combination of childlike enthusiasm and matronly patience that defines the character. As Captain von Trapp, fellow Broadway vet Tom Galantich has less to do, though he acquits himself well in such numbers as “Edelweiss.” Fayetteville native Suzanne Ishee, as Mother Abbess, aces the first-act curtain number, “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” The von Trapp children, all from Raleigh, perform admirably.

What’s most interesting about watching this staging of an extremely familiar tale is realizing that while many of the songs are indelibly imprinted in our brains, there actually aren’t that many distinct songs in the show. Most of the major numbers (“My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” etc.) are reprised throughout the musical. It’s interesting to see how the relatively complex book allows musical numbers to build out of dramatic scene-setting, as opposed to the relentless singing from start to finish that characterizes most contemporary musicals. That might be the most old-fashioned aspect of The Sound of Music, but N.C. Theatre’s production proves that this Rodgers and Hammerstein warhorse still has the power to move and entertain an audience.


SDCC 09 EXCLUSIVE: Bob Schreck Speaks on Move to IDW

By Zack Smith

Later today at Comic-Con International: San Diego, longtime industry stalwart Bob Schreck will be officially announced as a new Senior Editor at IDW.

Previously known for his work as Senior Group Editor at Dark Horse and founding Oni Press along with a long career at DC Comics, Schreck has helped shepherd projects ranging from Sin City to All-Star Superman, and given breaks to such creators as Greg Rucka, Kevin Smith and many, many more.

In an exclusive interview, we got Schreck’s first words on joining IDW, and what he hopes to bring to the company.

Read the full interview here!

The View from the Middle pt. 2: Javier Grillo-Marxauch

By Zack Smith

In part two of our talk with The Middleman creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach, we discuss finding an audience for comic-type shows, The Middleman on DVD, and whether he kept any props from the show….
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By Zack Smith


middleman 2

Early Possible DVD Cover, courtesy ShockFactory.com

Javier Grillo-Marxuach started The Middleman as a spec script for a TV series more than a decade ago.  A few years ago, it became a comic series from Viper…which led to it finally becoming a TV series on ABC Family last year.  And now, it’s a comic again, albeit a comic adapting the TV series.  Confused yet?

You won’t be after reading Part One of our interview here!

satan-pi-01.jpg picture by ZackSmith8

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Here are a couple of live interviews I conducted at Heroes Con done up in podcast format.  Hear the sound of my voice!
Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting!

Guy Davis!

Land & the Fillbachs on Werewolves on the Moon vs. Vampires

By Zack Smith

It was a quiet day on Moonbase Alpha…until they showed up. Hairy, savage, out-of-control wolf-men bent on destruction. And just as the moon-cops had them subdued, they found their problems were just beginning…that a gang of ruthless bloodsuckers were also up there. Now, the battle has begun…a battle that could only be called…Werewolves on the Moon vs. Vampires.

With the second issue of Dark Horse’s miniseries hitting shelves on July 15, writer Dave Land and artists the Filbach Brothers let us know the origins of this epic conflict, and made a good number of references to a 1970s sci-fi show.

Read the full interview here!

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