Niagara Gazette — When Captain Von Trapp hugged little Gretl on stage during opening night of “The Sound of Music” at Artpark on Thursday, there were more than a few people in the audience who got misty-eyed.
It was the scene after Maria scolds the captain and tells him he doesn’t even know his own children. The widowed captain, played by David Autovino, seems taken back by the words and reaches for his youngest of seven, Gretl, played by Faith Walh, 9, of Orchard Park.
”He kneels down and grabs her real tight,” said Faith’s mom, Katie Walh. “Me, my husband, and her whole entourage, got teary eyed.”
Faith is one of the many children and young actors who will be on stage in Lewiston over the next two weeks. “The Sound of Music,” is running on the mainstage at Artpark through July 19. Over at Hennepin Park on Center Street, during “Spirits of 1813,” there will be a handful of young actors helping the Marble Orchard Players bring history to life.
For some, the acting will come naturally. Faith, raised by two parents who own a dance and acting studio in Orchard Park, found the experience even better than a recent role she had in “Annie.” She was delighted when the audience laughed at several of her lines, including when she asks of a Nazi officer, “why was he so cross?”
But others are getting their first taste of speaking lines on stage. While Madeline Catalano has been in “Spirits of 1813,” for the past three years, her younger sister, Allison, 7, is getting her first speaking role in this year’s rendition.
”I feel really excited and scared,” said Allison, who plays a little sister to her big sister in the production. In the play, where characters recount their experiences in war torn Lewiston, the Catalanos play sisters whose lives are turned upside down when Lewiston in burned to the ground in 1813.