The Sound of Music is one of those musicals where you know, and can even sing along to, the songs even if you haven’t seen the musical or the film. That’s certainly what happened when I watched it onstage, where I quietly sang along to “Do Re Mi” and “My Favorite Things.”
The Sound of Music follows the story of a young woman named Maria who 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 and 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. It was adapted for the West End in 1961, followed by a hit film adaptation starring Julie Andrews in 1965, winning five Academy Awards.
It’s a tough act to follow Andrews as Maria, but Carmen Pretorius readily steps up to the role. She is charming as Maria, and her voice has a clarity that made me feel every note she was singing. She was complemented by Nicholas Maude as Captain von Trapp, who was more tender than dictatorial.
Their love story was set amidst an impressive production, with gorgeous gradients lighting a beautiful set composed of the abbey, the von Trapp home, and their garden overlooking the rest of Salzburg, Austria. Perhaps my favorite scene would be the one where the entire family sang at the Kaltzberg Festival, which provided a dark tone that may surprise the unwitting viewer.
Everything aside, the highlight of the show were the kids, who cheerfully performed the musical’s iconic songs. A total of 18 Filipino children were cast to portray the six of the seven von Trapp children, and I fell in love with each of them. They were a delight to watch when they sang “Do Re Mi” and “So Long, Farewell”!
The Sound of Music is the kind of musical you can enjoy even without knowing the story because the songs will be familiar enough. Plus the ominous nature of the second act is a timely and relevant theme that will strike a chord among Filipinos. The hills are definitely alive, and they are bringing the most joyful sound.
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 22, 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.