This year is a good year for theater. Apart from the countless quality local shows we have, more and more international productions are coming to the Philippines to show us a good time. This year alone, we saw Wicked, Sister Act, and West Side Story. Now, it’s The Sound of Music‘s turn to wow us as the West End production opens this month in Manila!
We’re all familiar with the story of The Sound of Music, where a young woman named Maria becomes a governess for the von Trapp family, where she falls in love with the children and the widowed father. The story is based on the life of Maria von Trapp, who wrote the memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.
Maria’s iconic story first hit Broadway in 1959, when Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the music and lyrics, and Howard Lindsay Russel Crouse wrote the book. It opened to positive reviews, with the New York Post noting its “strangely gentle charm that is wonderfully endearing.” It was nominated for nine Tony Awards, winning Best Musical, Best Leading Actress for Mary Martin as Maria, Best Featured Actress for Patricia Neway as Mother Abbess, Best Conductor and Musical Director, and Best Scenic Design.
It was adapted for the West End in 1961, followed by a hit film adaptation in 1965, where Julie Andrews charmed the world as Maria and introduced the songs “My Favorite Things,” “Do Re Mi,” and the titular song to a broader audience. This film won five out of its 10 Academy Award nominations, taking home the trophies for Best Picture, Best Director for Robert Wise, Best Music, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Film Editing.
Since then, people around the world have seen The Sound of Music through its worldwide tours and the Philippines will soon be added to the list.
Taking on the role of Maria is Carmen Pretorius, a noted South African performer who has worked on both musicals and TV shows. She has toured the world with roles in High School Musical Live on Stage, Footloose, Mamma Mia!, Cabaret, and Jersey Boys. On TV, she has appeared on three well-known series in South Africa, a top Afrikaans magazine show, and a feature film.
This won’t be the first time Pretorius has joined The Sound of Music. She took on the role of Liezl von Trapp before taking on the role of Maria in an international tour.
I heard Pretorius perform at the preview and she blew my mind with her heavenly voice. Accompanying her were the kids, who will be portrayed by 18 local actors! Over 400 children auditioned for the roles of six of the seven children, and 18 were selected after a grueling three-round audition.
Friedrich will be portrayed by Orenci Ken Soleta, Kyle Robert Rafanan, and Joseph Alexander Leggatt, while Brigitta will be essayed by Krystal Brimner, Rayne Yssibel Cortez, and Sophia Isabella Reyes. Louisa will be portrayed by Gwyneth Jearei Dorado, Quinn O’hara, and Angelica Mabuting, while the role of Marta will be taken on by Samantha Lagman, Leani Columna, and Princess Aliyah Rabara. Lastly, Kurt will be essayed by Tory Gil Emilio Cortez, Dean Adhiel Angelia, and James Christian Hess, while Gretl will be performed by Jia Ruth Lauren Condino, Alysha Mari Africa, and Faline Dorado.
They will also be joined by a 30-strong international cast, who will serenade us with our favorite songs (mine is “Do Re Mi”).
The year is a good year for theater and I can’t wait to see The Sound of Music in Manila!
This story is in partnership with Concertus Manila. West Side Story in Manila is made possible thanks to Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and Concertus Manila, and is presented by Globe LIVE. Shows are from September 27 to October 15, with Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday shows at 8PM, and Saturday and Sunday shows at 3PM and 8PM. For tickets, visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. For more information on Lunchbox Productions and Concertus Manila, visit www.lunchbox-productions.com and Concertus Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
All photos provided by Concertus Manila.