Watching musicals is our family’s all time favourite activity. The creative synergy of music, dance, drama and theatrical props bring plots and themes to life like no other genre. It’s also the best way to cultivate a love and appreciation for performance arts in our kids.
|In Singapore for a limited season till 10 August 2014|
Arguably one of the world’s best-loved musicals, THE SOUND OF MUSIC tells the true story of a young nun-wannabe, ‘Maria Rainer’ who was sent to be a governess to the 7 children of a widowed naval captain. She re-introduced music to their homes, dispelled the captain’s loneliness and brought laughter back to the children’s regimented lives. Eventually, she won their hearts and they escaped together from the Nazis to Switzerland (before finally settling in America).
The original 1959 Broadway production was adapted into the 1965 movie immortalizing Julie Andrews as Maria. It won five Oscars, including Best Picture, and remains one of the most popular and iconic movies of all time. Now, the musical finally makes it way to Singapore after a successful run at West End’s London Palladium.
This 2.5 hour long musical is superbly staged. From the sets that transported us to the Austrian hillside and Nonnberg Abbey in Austria to the familiar tunes, this production faithfully recreated the 1965 classic for us and I must say, as a big fan of the movie, they did a wonderful job. Right from the get go, the chorus by the nuns, sung live in Latin to the uncanny resemblance of lead actress Bethany Dickson to Julie Andrew’s Maria (her silhouette at the opening scene had me gasped, “is that Julie Andrews?”). At the Gala Premier which we attended, the audience reserved their biggest applause for the Von Trapp children (of which 6 out of the 7 children are played by 18 of Singapore’s most talented young actors and actresses aged from six to 13, auditioned from among 200 hopefuls).
|So long farewell, Auf Weidersehen Goodnight…|
There is something for everyone in THE SOUND OF MUSIC – children will be enthralled by the lively children cast and happily breaking out in a bit of ‘karaoke’ sing along to catchy tunes like ‘Do-RE-Mi’, ‘Sixteen going on Seventeen’, ‘My Favorite Things’ etc. Adults will empathize with the protagonists’ inner dilemmas of love, patriotism and loyalty. If you’re into metaphorical language (like me), you might be able to pick up some clever allusions on stage – such as when the Captain stood between his beau and Maria and the nuns standing in a triangle formation with Mother Abbess at the apex giving a moving rendition to the inspiring song ‘Climb Every Mountain’.
|Climb Every Mountain…Follow Your Dreams…|
Some signature scenes from the movie were missing (e.g. the marionette scene of ‘The Lonely Goatherd’) as it follows closely to the script of the original musical. This is however ‘redeemed’ by the excellent set designs. The most surreal moment had me staring unbelievably at the two gigantic Nazi flags draping down from the sides of the Grand Theatre Stage here in modern Singapore, accompanied by the flag of the Third Reich. What is also worth mentioning is also the competent live orchestra, which launched with impeccable timing into melodies like ‘Maria’ and ‘Edelweiss’ with timbre and texture which did the classics justice.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC is THE one musical every family must watch and THE musical to start kids off in the musical genre. So go beg, steal or borrow a ticket to watch it before it ends its run here else you’ll have to climb every mountain to catch it on Singapore’s shores again.
|My Favorite Things…|
|Get Tickets here|
11 July 2014 (Friday) to 10 August 2014 (Sunday)
Sat: 2pm & 8pm
Sun: 12pm & 6pm