the sound of music


  • Simon Shepherd was originally cast as Captain von Trapp, but after two preview performances he was withdrawn from the production, and Alexander Hanson moved into the role
    in time for the official opening date along with Lesley Garrett as the Mother Abbess.

  • History After viewing The Trapp Family, a 1956 West German film about the von Trapp family, and its 1958 sequel (Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika), stage director Vincent J. Donehue
    thought that the project would be perfect for his friend Mary Martin; Broadway producers Leland Hayward and Richard Halliday (Martin’s husband) agreed.

  • The role of Maria was chosen by the public through a television show, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, which was produced by Lloyd Webber and Ian and aired in mid-2008.

  • A touring company then played for years, with Vanessa Lee (Graves’ wife) in the role of Maria.

  • Maria von Trapp, who attended the opening night performance, described Clark as “the best” Maria ever.

  • [16][17] It was the first stage production to incorporate the two additional songs (“Something Good” and “I Have Confidence”) that Richard Rodgers composed for the film version.

  • Following failed negotiations with Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson,[20] the role of Maria was cast through a UK talent search reality TV show called How Do You Solve a Problem
    like Maria?

  • Set in Austria on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938, the musical tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as governess to a large family while she decides whether to become
    a nun.

  • Elicia MacKenzie won[44] and played the role six times a week, while the runner-up in the TV show, Janna Polzin, played Maria twice a week.

  • Max asks for an encore and announces that this is the von Trapp family’s last chance to sing together, as the honor guard waits to escort the Captain to his new command.

  • [18] “My Favorite Things” had a similar context to the film version, while the short verse “A Bell is No Bell” was extended into a full-length song for Maria and the Mother

  • But it was soon agreed that the project should feature all new songs and be a musical rather than a play.

  • Maria says that he cannot leave immediately, as they are all singing in the Festival concert; and the Admiral agrees to wait.

  • The entire children’s cast was nominated for Best Featured Actress category as a single nominee, even though two of the children were boys.

  • [15] Despite her misgivings that, at age 49, she was too old to play the role convincingly, Clark opened to unanimous rave reviews and the largest advance sale in the history
    of British theatre at that time.

  • The original Broadway production, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, opened in 1959[1] and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, out of nine nominations.

  • Two songs were written by Rodgers specifically for the film, “I Have Confidence” and “Something Good”.

  • Other notable productions[edit] 1960s to 2000[edit] The first Australian production opened at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre in 1961 and ran for three years.

  • “[71] Walter Kerr’s review in the New York Herald Tribune was unfavorable: “Before The Sound of Music is halfway through its promising chores it becomes not only too sweet
    for words but almost too sweet for music”, stating that the “evening suffer(s) from little children”.

  • However, he said, the libretto “has the hackneyed look of the musical theatre replaced with Oklahoma!

  • [4] To make the story more dramatic, Lindsay and Crouse had the family, soon after Maria’s and the Captain’s wedding, escape over the mountains to Switzerland on foot.

  • Alone with Maria, he asks her to stay, thanking her for bringing music back into his house.

  • [73] In 1959, singer Patti Page recorded the title song from the show for Mercury Records[74] on the day that the musical opened on Broadway.

  • [2] The producers originally envisioned a non-musical play that would be written by Lindsay and Crouse and that would feature songs from the repertoire of the Trapp Family

  • While Maria and the Captain are on their honeymoon, Max prepares the children to perform at the Kaltzberg Festival.

  • [82] Awards and nominations Original Broadway production[edit] Best Musical; Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical: Mary Martin; 1960: Tony Award; Best Featured
    Actress in a Musical: Patricia Neway; Best Conductor and Musical Director: Frederick Dvonch; Best Scenic Design of a Musical: Oliver Smith; Theatre World Award: Lauri Peters; 1967: Outer Critics Circle, Special Award, Constance Towers

  • [18] The recording “includes both the two new songs written for the film version and the three Broadway songs they replace, as well as a previously unrecorded verse of “An
    Ordinary Couple””.

  • [76][77] RCA Victor also released an album of the 1998 Broadway revival produced by Hallmark Entertainment and featuring the full revival cast, including Rebecca Luker, Michael
    Siberry, Jan Maxwell and Fred Applegate.

  • 2006 London revival[edit] The Sound of Music showing at the London Palladium in 2009 An Andrew Lloyd Webber production opened on November 15, 2006, at the London Palladium
    and ran until February 2009, produced by Live Nation’s David Ian and Jeremy Sams.

  • [13][14] 1981 London revival[edit] In 1981, at producer Ross Taylor’s urging, Petula Clark agreed to star in a revival of the show at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London’s
    West End.

  • [64] Film adaptation On March 2, 1965, 20th Century Fox released a film adaptation of the musical starring Julie Andrews as Maria Rainer and Christopher Plummer as Captain
    Georg von Trapp.

  • 1998 Broadway revival[edit] Director Susan H. Schulman staged the first Broadway revival of The Sound of Music, with Rebecca Luker as Maria and Michael Siberry as Captain
    von Trapp.

  • The production replaced the song “Ordinary couple” with “Something Good”.

  • [27] A 1990 New York City Opera production, directed by Oscar Hammerstein II’s son, James, featured Debby Boone as Maria, Laurence Guittard as Captain von Trapp, and Werner
    Klemperer as Max.

  • Patricia Brooks, June Card and Tatiana Troyanos were ensemble members in the original production.

  • Other awards included Martin for Best Actress in a Musical, Neway for Best Featured Actress, Best Scenic Design (Oliver Smith) and Best Conductor And Musical Director (Frederick

  • The cast recording made in 1961 was the first time a major overseas production featuring Australian artists was transferred to disc.

  • It was adapted as a 1965 film musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, which won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

  • [71] Cast recordings Columbia Masterworks recorded the original Broadway cast album at the Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City a week after the show’s 1959 opening.

  • [10] Martha Wright replaced Martin in the role of Maria on Broadway in October 1961, followed by Karen Gantz in July 1962, Jeannie Carson in August 1962[11] and Nancy Dussault
    in September 1962.

  • Lindsay and Crouse altered the story so that Maria was governess to all of the children, whose names and ages were changed, as was Maria’s original surname (the show used
    “Rainer” instead of “Kutschera”).

  • The musical premiered in London’s West End at the Palace Theatre on May 18, 1961, and ran for 2,385 performances.

  • He praised Mary Martin’s performance, saying “she still has the same common touch … same sharp features, goodwill, and glowing personality that makes music sound intimate
    and familiar” and stated that “the best of the Sound of Music is Rodgers and Hammerstein in good form”.

  • The Captain and Maria return early from their honeymoon before the Festival.

  • Playing to 101 percent of seating capacity, the show set the highest attendance figure for a single week (October 26–31, 1981) of any British musical production in history
    (as recorded in The Guinness Book of Theatre).

  • Elsa asks the Captain to allow the children to say goodnight to the guests with a song, “So Long, Farewell”.

  • [23] The production closed on February 21, 2009, after a run of over two years[24] and was followed by a UK national tour, described below.

  • It was directed by Jerome Whyte and used the original New York choreography, supervised by Joe Layton, and the original sets designed by Oliver Smith.

  • The Sound of Music was the last musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Oscar Hammerstein died of stomach cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.

  • To prevent further disruptions, an alternate Maria, Aoife Mulholland, a fellow contestant on How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?, played Maria on Monday evenings and Wednesday
    matinee performances.

  • Meanwhile, the housekeeper, Frau Schmidt, gives Maria material to make new clothes, as Maria had given all her possessions to the poor.

  • Then they decided to add an original song or two, perhaps by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

  • Other notable cast members included Helen Anker, John Bennett and Martina Grant.

  • Act II[edit] Max teaches the children how to sing on stage.

  • “[71] The New York Journal American’s review opined that The Sound of Music is “the most mature product of the team … it seemed to me to be the full ripening of these two
    extraordinary talents”.

  • [56][57][58] A North American tour, directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Danny Mefford, began at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles in September 2015.

  • [71] Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times gave a mixed assessment.

  • Lesley Garrett reprised her role as Mother Abbess for the tour’s final engagement in Wimbledon in October 2011.

  • In view of the Nazi German occupation, the Captain decides the children should not sing at the event.

  • When he announces that the first prize goes to the von Trapps and they do not appear, the Nazis start a search.

  • While the judges decide on the prizes, the von Trapps sing “So Long, Farewell”, leaving the stage in small groups.

  • Maria explains her lateness, saying she was raised on that mountain, and apologizes for singing in the garden without permission.

  • The production opened on March 12, 1998, at the Martin Beck Theatre, and closed on June 20, 1999, after 533 performances.

  • Discussing the expected marriage between Elsa and the Captain, Brigitta tells Maria that she thinks Maria and the Captain are really in love with each other.

  • Max argues that they would sing for Austria, but the Captain points out that it no longer exists.

  • The von Trapps spent some years in Austria after Maria and the Captain married and he was offered a commission in Germany’s navy.

  • Since von Trapp opposed the Nazis by that time, the family left Austria after the Anschluss, going by train to Italy and then traveling on to London and the United States.

  • Alone, the Captain and Maria finally admit their love, desiring only to be “An Ordinary Couple”.


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