University of Saint Francis opens its production of “The Sound of Music” tonight.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein musical stars Kennedy Lomont as Maria who becomes the governess to the seven children of a widowed naval captain on the eve of World War II.
Lomont answered some questions by email as she prepared for the show. Responses have been edited.
Q. Maria is a well-known role, thanks in large part to the movie with Julie Andrews. What challenges come with that?
A. There definitely are challenges regarding the expectations an audience has for an actor playing the role of Maria.
One major issue I've found is that I simply can't get her open-armed “Hills are Alive” moment right! My arms just don't hold up to Julie Andrews'.
In all seriousness, I have to manage the expectations from myself and from those around me that expect a flawless performance. (And of course, it will be flawless, so come see the show!)
Q. Aside from memorizing lines, music and staging, what have you been doing outside of the theater to prepare for the musical?
A. I am constantly running lines and listening to the show music on my own time. I also have my own policy that I never listen to any music outside of the musical soundtrack. As I'm driving to practice I'm blasting the “Lonely Goatherd” on my stereo.
Q. Is there anything you have learned while working on “The Sound of Music?”
A. I suppose the thing that surprised me the most was how many talented child actors we have in Fort Wayne. They definitely outnumber me, and some of them know my lines better than I do!
Q. What are a few of your favorite things to think about when you feel sad?
A. When I'm sad I generally think about my dog, Mimi, or my best friend, Autumn.
Mimi is a 7-pound chihuahua mix, and she's the joy of my life. Every day when I come home she's there to greet me, and she's listened in on many a musical rehearsal at home.
Autumn and I are going on our ninth year of friendship, and everything she does makes me smile.
Q. Do you have any other big theater roles you would like to take on? What are they?
A. I actually would like to play the role of Dawn from the musical “Waitress.” Other than that I'm happy to take whatever role I'm gifted with, as long as I get to keep performing.
If you go
What: “The Sound of Music”
When: 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Nov. 15 and 16; 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 17
Where: Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center, 431 W. Berry St.
Admission: $17 adults, $15 seniors and children; ArtsTix Community Box office, 422-4226 or tickets.artstix.org