I’ll admit I had my doubts. How alive could those hills look in a stage production? The lush Austrian landscape was one of the stars of The Sound Of Music movie – how would it translate to the stage?
The answer is very well. From the opening scenes a mixture of mist, lighting and set design transport you to the much loved hills and if you still had any doubts they are cast away as soon as Maria (played by Amy Lehpamer) opens her mouth.
Following its record-breaking run at the London Palladium, The Sound Of Music is now playing in Sydney and coming soon to Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide too. This critically acclaimed production tells the true story of the von Trapp family’s flight across the mountains and brings to life a movie I for one have watched a gazillion times.
The cast include some of Australia’s favourite stage performers; Cameron Daddo as Captain von Trapp, Marina Prior as Baroness Schraeder and Lorraine Bayly as Frau Schmidt, and they all received a very warm welcome applause on the opening night performance I watched. Playing the lead role of Maria is relative newcomer Amy Lehpamer and she does an incredible job. I can imagine it must be frightening for any actress to step into the shoes of Julie Andrews but Amy matched her famous vocals so well it was uncanny. As someone who has watched the movie many times it was a joy to see Amy play Maria just as I remember her. In fact, the humour the writers have injected into the stage script made me love her even more.
Giving the whole theatre goosebumps at the end of Act 1 was Jacqui Dark as Mother Abbess. Her incredible performance of Climb Every Mountain was the stand out song of the show for me – I may have swiped away a few tears at the end of it.
The von Trapp children are a joy to watch too. As they mimed a cuckoo clock, danced their way through Do-Re-Mi and so longed/farewelled us I couldn’t help but admire their talent. I could have gladly watched 2 hours of Maria and the children singing in clothes made from curtains but there was a story to tell.
The production does a very good job of abridging an incredibly long movie into a stage show, although it felt like some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s fantastic songs were cut a little short. It’s captivating to see such memorable songs performed on stage though, I mouthed my way through My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, The Lonely Goatherd, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, and of course the universally recognised title song The Sound of Music.
Whether you’re an adult who has watched the movie a million times or a child who is being introduced to the songs for the first time, The Sound Of Music will definitely appeal. Now playing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre tickets to this show would make a great present for grandparents or grandchildren – perhaps you can convince them to come in costume to up the fun factor!
I loved my evening at The Sound Of Music; I’ll be singing the songs to myself for at least a few weeks more!
Find out more about The Sound Of Music Australia tour here.
This post was written in conjunction with Nuffnang and The Sound Of Music. All opinions are my own.