The Sound of Music National Tour
Whether you are a fan of the film or have attended a previous stage production, you have never seen the beloved story of the von Trapp family like it is being presented on the national tour of The Sound of Music.
As Europe hovers on the brink of World War II, Austria remains for the time a peaceful place. However, that does not mean that everyone’s life is chaos free. The nuns in a small abbey in the mountains are trying to solve a very specific problem: a girl named Maria. The young woman is devoted to her faith, but tries the Mother Abbess and other inhabitants of the abbey with her antics. And though Maria has the best of intentions, she is simply unsure whether life as a nun is her true calling.
To help with the decision, Mother Abbess suggests Maria take a position outside the abbey for a time, and sends her to the house of a widower. The man, Captain Georg von Trapp, lives with his seven children and runs his house with the efficiency that his time in the armed forces would suggest. When Maria first arrives at the home, Captain von Trapp summons his sons and daughters with a whistle and the group quickly files into the room military style wearing matching uniforms. The captain explains each child even has an individual whistle call that Maria will need to learn. The free-spirited governess is appalled by the strict lifestyle and makes no secret of the fact that she will have a hard time complying with the rules.
Once Captain von Trapp leaves, Maria takes the opportunity to acquaint herself with the younger members of the family. The well-trained brood is skeptical of her methods and initially resists her efforts to introduce fun into their rigorous schedule. However, the group slowly warms to their new governess, and Maria begins to teach them the basics of music, leading the family in song.
However, not every member of the von Trapp family is a child. Liesl, the oldest of the group, has become a young woman under her father’s nose and often sneaks off to meet with Rolf, a young man who delivers telegrams to the home frequently. The two meet up after dinner one night and steal a kiss as Rolf tries to convince Liesl that he is the man for her. When a rainstorm breaks out, Liesl sneaks back into the house through a window, soaking wet, where she is caught by Maria. The governess reassures the girl that she will keep her secret, forming a bond with the eldest von Trapp child.
Liesl is not the only one of the family who is navigating a complicated relationship. After Maria has spent a month with the family, Captain von Trapp brings home his fiancee, Baroness Elsa Schrader, and friend, Max Detweiler. While the marriage is a wise decision for both members, Elsa admits that it seems that the captain does not truly love her. However, she puts her doubts aside and visits the home, where she encounters the children dressed in casual clothes running around playing. Captain von Trapp is upset by the undisciplined behavior, and orders Maria back to the abbey. But as the captain rages at the governess, the children assemble and began to sing for a delighted Elsa. Von Trapp is temporarily caught off guard, but then joins in the singing. Realizing that Maria has returned music to his home that had been silent for too long, the captain apologizes and asks her to stay.
Though her position is secure, Maria’s future is far from decided. As she struggles over whether to embrace the religious life of a nun, the relationship between Maria and the captain becomes more complicated, leaving her future with the family in uncertainty.
The Sound of Music is based on The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, the memoir of the real life Maria. The show originated as a live stage performance with music and lyrics by the renown team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, before being made into a film in 1965 starring Julie Andrews in the role of the warm-hearted governess. Though other live versions have since developed, the iconic movie has cast a shadow that many subsequent versions have found hard to escape.
However, the current national tour of The Sound of Music has critics raving over the fresh spin that director Jack O’Brien has put on the beloved show.
The current North American tour began in September 2015. One of its most anticipated stops is the upcoming performances in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House, where it will be staged from June 13 through July 16, 2017. Other stops on the tour include Sacramento, California; San Diego, California; Tucson, Arizona; Louisville, Kentucky; West Palm Beach, Florida and many more.
While the tour plays at the Kennedy Center Opera House, patrons can choose from approximately 2,300 seats divided between orchestra, box, first tier and second tier sections.
Critics have given the national tour rave reviews for its fresh take on a classic show. The performance of its lead actress, Kerstin Anderson has been particularly singled out for praise:
“This is a tour — a union tour with Broadway veterans — of notable quality.
It lands very deftly in the sweet spot of this show: enough traditionalism to deliver the full Sound of Music monty (Alps, conveniently prepared backpacks and all) but also a sense of fresh eyes and enough irreverence to cut the Nutella.” – The Chicago Tribune
“The melodies are beautiful, the songs often joyful and several have become part of the vernacular — ‘Do-Re-Mi’ is, indeed, the A-B-C of music. The heart of the story, love found and a family united, is one for the ages. The Sound of Music also doesn’t let us off the hook about the dire backdrop in which events unfold, and that is its soul.” – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Buoyant without being saccharine, Anderson projects an appealing gamine quality, and even distinctive traces of screwball comediennes like Carole Lombard. Her bell-clear voice and loose-limbed approach help to liberate the notoriously stiff-jointed ‘Sound of Music.’ Anderson’s Maria matures before our eyes from a genuinely gawky and flighty girl — a “flibbertigibbet,’’ as one of the other nuns sings while they’re pondering how to solve a problem like Maria — to a poised, calmly confident woman who is equal to the challenges that confront her.” – The Boston Globe