It took a make-believe trip to Austria to bring Kate Turner back to Maine.
Turner, an actress, plays the role of the baroness Elsa Schraeder in the national tour of the “The Sound of Music,” which has three performances at Merrill Auditorium, at 7 p.m. Friday and 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Portland Ovations is bringing the show to Portland.
Schraeder got a lot of her early professional theater experience in Maine. She appeared in several shows at now-closed Arundel Barn Playhouse and played the role of Bridget in “Ragtime” at the Ogunquit Playhouse in 2017.
Although being on the road allows little time for social outings and experiencing a community, Schraeder is looking forward to coming back to Maine and spending a few days in Portland.
“I love Maine,” said Turner, who grew up in Florida. “In Maine, it’s always such wonderful weather and the people are friendly.”
Friendly, yes, but she clearly hasn’t been to Maine in March.
“The Sound of Music” is among the most popular American musicals and a prime example of the collaborative brilliance of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. Among the songs from the musical that have become standards are “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi” and “The Sound of Music.” It tells the story of the governess Maria, who takes a job caring for the widowed Captain von Trapp and his family, and ends up falling in love. It is set in Austria in 1938 and centers on von Trapp’s plan to flee the country rather than accept a commission to serve the Nazis in war. It opened on Broadway in 1959 starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel.
Turner loves the role of Elsa because she is a strong woman who stands up for her values and beliefs. “She is a fiercely independent woman at a time when it was not common or even accepted. She is so vehemently herself and does not conform to what society expects in 1938. She is her own person, and I admire that about her.”
WHERE: Merrill Auditorium, 20 Myrtle St., Portland
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday, 12:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday
HOW MUCH: $45 to $70
INFO: portlandovations.org or (207) 842-0800