The Sound of Music

by Diane Grant

The director of Theatre Palisades Youth, Lara Ganz, is over the moon. The troupe has acquired the rights to produce The Sound Of Music for its summer show. It was very difficult to do. Lara asked. They refused. She asked again. They refused. She cried, and they gave in.

The Sound of Music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, is based on the true story of the Trapp Family Singers in Austria at the time of the rise of Nazism.

Since 1965, it has continued to be one of the most popular movie musicals and plays ever.

Maria, one of the Trapp Singers, was a young nun in an Austrian convent who regularly missed her morning prayers because she went into the hills to sing. Deciding that Maria needs to learn something about the real world before she can take her vows, the Mother Superior sends her off to be governess for the seven children of the widowed Captain Von Trapp.

The movie, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, is full of glorious music. I can do without Do-Re-Mi, but I love Sixteen Going On Seventeen, My Favorite Things, Edelweiss and Climb Ev′ry Mountain. And more.

My husband made the making of The Sound of Music for the CBC and 20th Century Fox. When they were filming in Salzburg, Plummer would sit outside, hungover on a bench in full lederhosen, and was overheard calling the movie The Sound of Mucous. He is terrific in it.

And can Julie Andrews sing or what?

When I lived in Toronto, I took my aunt, Edna, who was blind, and her friend, Clara, who was hard of hearing, to see it in the movies on a Saturday afternoon. We sat way down front on the aisle, with me between the two.

Aunty Edna would lean into me and whisper,

Where is she now?

and I would whisper back,

She’s climbing up a hill and I think she is going to sing.

Throughout, Clara would ask quite loudly,

What did he (or she) say?

And I would say, also quite loudly,

He said…..

Nobody threw us out and we had a wonderful time.

It’s perfect for the kids and I’m really looking forward to the Theatre Palisades production. I won’t sing along, but I could!

4 thoughts on “The Sound of Music

  1. Very lovely, Diane. I was just thinking a few days ago about Salzburg and the sound of cobblestone under ones feet, and Mozart and Julie Andrews… Thank you, I’ll be watching my copy of The Sound of Music soon — it’s always enchanting.

  2. Lovely nostalgia. I remember when I had a very blue day (a string of them) and thought to myself I need something to cheer me up… I came upon a box of old vhs tapes and a tv-vhs machine beside it. I rummafed through the videos and found “The Sound of Music” and that cheered me right up. Thank you for the post Diane!

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