Rediscovering the wonder of The Sound of Music
I grew up with the magic of The Sound of Music.
It was one of those movies that always seemed to be shown every few months or so on a Sunday afternoon when I was young. And as a young aspiring singer myself, I dreamed of being one of the Von Trapp children one day, singing my way through the unforgettable score from Rodgers & Hammerstein.
BTW I’m sure you’d still know all the words to “Doh-Re-Mi” or to “My Favourite Things” if you heard them right now, even if it’s been years since you’ve last seen the movie!
I really don’t know how many times I saw The Sound of Music back then but it never failed to give me all the feels, even though I’d obviously know exactly what was going to happen. However, I must confess it’s been quite a few years since I’ve seen the film – life has a funny tendency to get in the way like that.
So, I was genuinely excited to have the chance to rediscover the magic when the opportunity arose to see the latest critically acclaimed stage production of The Sound of Music at Sydney’s grand Capitol Theatre on Sunday night.
And it wasn’t just because it presented another opportunity for Nathan and I to have a date night without kids (although that was a welcome bonus!)
I have to say, watching the show was very much like easing yourself into a well worn pair of slippers – the warmth and comfort of familiarity envelopes you from the start. It really was like being in a welcoming bear hug.
However, despite this feeling of familiarity, the show still managed to differentiate itself from the film in a number of ways, such as changing the order of some of the songs. I found this refreshing as it allowed new meanings to be found in songs that are traditionally sung in different settings.
For instance, there was a poignancy in seeing Maria and the Mother Abbess dueting on “My Favourite Things” near the start of the show before Maria leaves the convent. It held up the life of a nun in sharp relief, a very different context to when it is sung by Maria and the children in the movie.
Just like the movie, the stage show gave me all the feels. I laughed along with the many funny moments. I clapped with genuine appreciation at the end of each song. I even shed some tears in response to Maria’s confused anguish just before the interval break. And I walked away with a big smile on my face after being reintroduced to one of my favourite stories.
The performances were flawless. Amy Lehpamer, who plays Maria, truly channels Julie Andrews – she even sounds like her – it’s uncanny. Cameron Daddo plays a very fine Captain – grumpy and strict at the start before finding his softer side through his love of Maria, his children and his rediscovered appreciation of music by the end of the show.
The supporting cast, headed by well known performers Marina Prior (the Baroness), Lorraine Bayley (the housekeeper Frau Schmidt) and Jacqui Dark (the Mother Abbess) also shine. Which is no surprise really, given such a cast literally brimming with experience and talent.
A special shout out has to go out to the child performers who took on the roles of the Von Trapp children. They were superb – all highly talented and very professional youngsters. It was a joy to watch them take the stage.
While I did love having a night out with Nathan, The Sound of Music would make a fabulous school holiday outing for the whole family. At the 6pm performance on Sunday there were quite a few kids in the audience and they all seemed to enjoy being introduced to this classic tale by those, like me, who grew up with the movie.
The content is age appropriate, the songs are timeless, there is quite a lot of humour sprinkled throughout and the narrative is fast paced so there is little chance of boredom. I can really recommend it if you are looking for a family friendly activity in Sydney during the summer break.
The Sound of Music has just begun its run in Sydney at the Capitol Theatre and will be moving onto Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide in the coming months. If you have the chance to go, do it. You won’t regret it. It leaves you feeling uplifted and full of joy and busting to sing.
Trust me on that last one – you’ll be humming the score for DAYS afterwards 🙂
Disclaimer: I received monetary compensation as well as complimentary tickets to the Sunday evening show. These are my honest thoughts on a fabulous show – if you can get there, check it out for yourself – it’s fantastic!
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