What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

29 February 2016

Odd, But Charming

In a shocking turn of events, I went to the theatre last week. The Sound of Music tour came through Austin, I'm a season ticket holder as well as a huge fan of the musical, so away I went.

From the top (if you can even see the one at
the top): Ben Davis (Captain von Trapp),
Ashley Brown (Mother Abbess), Paige
Silvester (Liesl), Kerstin Anderson (Maria).
When the cast for the tour was announced last summer, and I saw Ashley Brown was going to be Mother Abbess, I did the happiest of happy dances around my living room, and for good reason. Her "Climb Every Mountain" may be the most incredible thing I've ever heard in person. I've been walking about six inches off the ground ever since I met her at the stage door last week. (Her signature is the one with the heart next to it.) The rest of the cast was already outside and we were chatting a bit before she came out, and when I saw her coming I could feel the manic grin stretching across my face. To her credit, she didn't run away, although I did say, "Sorry, I know this face I'm making is kind of frightening."

So! Fans of the movie The Sound of Music tend, at least in my experience, to not be excited about the stage version. First of all, without the amazing Julie Andrews on the stage, some folks just have a hard time with the show-- a difficulty that I agree is hard to overcome. Secondly, the songs are in a different order on stage, and many of the beloved moments in the show--the outing to the mountain, the dance in the gazebo, the puppet show--are missing from the stage show, as is the song "I Have Confidence" (that last one's not a great loss, to my way of thinking, but I acknowledge the song has some fans).

And I readily admit that the first time I saw The Sound of Music live on stage I thought, "What is this nonsense?" But it has grown on me, so much that I now lament one key song that was cut from the movie version: "No Way to Stop It" (link is to the Sound of Music Live version; I'm not a fan of that show as a whole but Laura Benanti (Elsa), Christian Borle (!) (Max), and Stephen Moyer (Captain von Trapp) absolutely nail this song). Why does this song matter? Because this gives much more of a look at the irreconcilable differences between the Captain and Elsa. Rather than her being a schemer who convinces Maria to leave and him being the jerk who essentially says, "Oops, well, fell in love with the nanny so you'll have to go", this song shows why they diverge so sharply. This is when they know it will never work. Plus, this song also makes it obvious how much of a turnaround Max goes through when he sacrifices himself for the von Trapps later (another scene that Stephen Moyer and Christian Borle absolutely tore apart in Sound of Music Live. I seriously only watch that version to fast-forward to all of Christian Borle's scenes).

BTW, today's post title is one of Max's lines in the stage show. Right before he turns into an elitist prig for about three minutes.

Anyway. If your fan-ness of The Sound of Music only extends to watching the movie, that's totally valid. However, if you want to take your obsession to the next level, 1) See the stage show; 2) Read Maria Trapp's book upon which it's all based; and for the extra-obsessed, 3) Check out Charmian Carr's book, Forever Liesl, or any of the other books written by the Trapp family.

Now, I have to go find a mountain to climb. Ashley Brown told me to.


erica and christy said...

So in love with this post! I've watched and sung to the movie version since I was little and I've never gone to it live and I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW SHE'D WRITTEN A BOOK. WHERE HAVE I BEEN?!? I live under a rock. It's the only explanation. Thank you for lifting it up to show me the light of day! While you climb your mountain I'll be enjoying the fresh air for the first time. That rock was stuffy!! Glad you enjoyed yourself and got an autograph from someone you admired! :) Thanks for sharing. Christy

Su Wilcox said...

I'm not exaggerating when I say the book was life-changing for me. (I *was* only 20 at the time, so your mileage will probably vary.) Read it & love it. Maria got some serious ish done in her lifetime.

Also, here's my protip for the stage show: for those of us who are addicted to the movie, the stage show really is hard to enjoy the first time. So make your first trip to a local high school or community theatre production. That way, when you finally get the chance to see a professional show, the initial shock of "what is going on here?" will already be done and you won't have to feel like you wasted money to see something different than what you thought you were getting.