And theres a 7-year-old from Auburn in it, Kendall Bonham, above, who steals the show.
And this 7-year-old steals the show. She plays Gretl, the youngest Von Trapp, in half the performances. Mark Kitaoka

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First of all: The Austrian makes great points and his take-down is fun to read. (So are the comments.) He's right about the "sticky, yodeling happiness" of the material, and commenter Zander is right about this:

Americans love musicals where a dude bangs the babysitter. Yeah, that is pretty much the whole plot line.

But I can't let the moment pass without pointing out a few worthwhile things about The Sound of Music at the 5th Avenue Theatre, which runs through January 3.

The Von Trapp children, Kirsten deLohr Helland as Maria, and Hans Altweis as Captain Von Trapp. To the far right is the lower left corner of a Nazi flag.
The Von Trapp children, Kirsten deLohr Helland as Maria, and Hans Altweis as Captain Von Trapp. To the far right is the lower left corner of a Nazi flag. Tracy Martin

1. Kristen deLohr Helland is a fantastic Maria, almost slightly deranged with happiness and a desire to please—she just can't quite figure out who the most important person to please is. She plays Maria's capriciousness perfectly (and sings the show the way Mary Martin did on Broadway, rather than the way Julie Andrews does in the movie). When she and Anne Allgood, who plays the Mother Abbess, are onstage together, you get to see the sparks of two great actor-singers playing off each other.

2. Kendall Bonham, who plays Gretl, the youngest of the von Trapp children, is impossible to look away from. I don't know how to explain it, but whenever she came onstage I could look at no one else. Her peculiar way of gesturing as she walks around, her way of tilting her head to the side as she sings, her facial expressions, her cuteness—it filled me with an almost maniacal glee. (This is her debut at the 5th. She's 7!) You can tell the show is well-directed by how well the von Trapp children come across, perfectly staged, perfectly proportioned, and convincing as characters, which is rare in a live performance with seven actors who are so young.

3. Act two is brilliantly staged. The director, David Bennett, lets act one go on a bit longer than I expected—I started to get bored, which rarely happens when I'm watching something David Bennett directed—but whoa act two redeems everything. The speed with which the sets change, the lighting effects when the Nazis enter the picture, the tension (act one has no tension), the wedding, the final image of the show—flawless.

4. A commenter points out that Hans Altweis, as Captain Von Trapp, is not a great singer. I'm not going to argue with that, but I do want to point out that that certain plot detail at the end of the show works better if he's not a good singer, and meanwhile he's an excellent dancer. His chemistry with Maria can't be denied, and the moment when things change between them happens during a dance number—an elegant, brisk dance number at the end of act one.

5. A 20-foot-high swastika, like you see on the Nazi flag at the end of the show, is a chilling thing to behold when Trump is going around shrugging off comparisons to Hitler.

6. I saw the show with someone I did not expect to like it, someone who doesn't usually like musical theater, and he said, afterward, "I'm going to recommend that to my parents."

The Sound of Music plays at 5th Avenue Theatre through January 3.