Showing posts with label Maria von Trapp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maria von Trapp. Show all posts

Friday, January 23, 2015

Favorite Things Friday || Abba Dabba Honeymoon Part 2

If you missed part one, click on this link! ---> Abba Dabba Honeymoon Part 1

I found out that after I wrote part one of this two part photo series looking back at my trip to Vermont this past November, that I really want to go back. Here is the second installment of mountains, and trees, and sky.
 There weren't many leaves left on the trees but everything was in various stages and colors preparing for winter and it was beautiful too look at while taking a break on out 7 mile (round trip) hike.

 The von Trapp's used to run the lodge as a working farm. They would collect maple sap every spring. There were a few stacks of rusty buckets along the trail. I wonder how old they were.

 "SUMMIT, YUP THAT WAY"  Believe it or not, this is the trail on the north face of the mountain. If you can't see a definitive trail, don't worry, neither could we.

The north face was beautiful! Ferns, moss, a little snow. The mountain greenery looked beautiful growing on the brown leaves and the smell of the pine and fir was incredible! The red square on the tree to the left is a trail marker. Those were very, very helpful!!

                                         Photo op in a tree. Another break on the 7 mile hike.

                                                          A sunset that had us singing.
"O beautiful for spacious skies...for purple mountain majesties...America! America! God shed His grace on thee!" - Katharine L. Bates
We explored the halls and common rooms of the lodge our last evening there looking for room 300, Maria's suite when she lived there. There was one room we couldn't walk through because of construction. The next morning my husband realized that the room off of that one was room 300 and we could see it right from our window. It would have been pretty fun if Maria had still been alive and walked out onto her deck!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Carrie Underwood Sound Of Music Review Part 2

Songs and Scenes

As I mentioned in part 1, the reason why I wanted to watch "NBC's Sound of Music Live!" was because, according to Julie Andrews in an interview, this performance was supposed to be the original theatre version of the Sound of Music. There are many differences between the theatre and film versions, not just the songs being "out of order" as my brother described it. 

Because I had to work last night, I missed Reverend Mother singing "My Favorite Things" with Maria, "Do, Re, Mi" occurring much earlier in the show than it does in the film, and "Lonely Goatherd" in Maria's room during the thunderstorm. I was glad that I did make it home on time to see both of the songs that Frau Schraeder sings. (Yep, Frau, not Baroness, but we'll touch on that in the next post.)

"How Can Love Survive?" is one of the songs featuring Frau Schraeder that was cut from the film version. It's very theatrical and basically plays off of stories that poor, struggling people are the ones with great romances  and rich people who have "everything" do not have the time or the means they need to fight for love.

Schraeder's other song in the theatre production is "No Way to Stop It." Where she and Captain von Trapp realize their political differences in a less than subtle way and know that a marriage between them is not meant to be. Very different from the 1965 film scene where she graciously steps aside because she sees that the Captain has fallen in love with Maria. The character equivalent of Schraeder in the German movie Die Trapp Familie (1956) doesn't have any songs, just like in the 1965 Sound of Music film.

Something I noticed that was similar to the movie was when the captain, Max, and Maria are discussing whether or not Maria should have dinner with the party guests the underscoring is "How Can love Survive." In the movie, they use it just a tiny bit later, when Max is talking to Elsa right after Maria has left to go back to the abbey because Elsa said the Captain was in love with her. Which brings me to the next point.

In the movie, Baroness Schraeder tells Maria that the Captain is in love with her and in the play, it is Brigitta who shares this information to Maria. What really happened, according to Maria von Trapp herself in her book The Story of The Trapp Family Singers, is sort of a mix of both stage and screen scenes. Princess Yvonne (Elsa Schraeder ;)) notices the captain admiring Maria. She tells Maria the Captain is in love with her, which surprises Maria and makes her want to leave, but the princess convinces her to stay until the wedding so she can look after the children until they go away to school. Sound familiar? Following a few more events and finally a broken engagement with the Princess, the children ask their father if he will marry Maria so she can stay with them. The captain tells his children he would love to marry her but he didn't think she liked him much. The children then go to Maria and tell her that their father doesn't think she likes him much, to which she replies, "Of course I like him." The children then went back to their father to say Maria would marry him. Of course, when Georg walked Into the room where Maria was cleaning a chandelier, spoke to her about marriage she was surprised yet again. This time Maria did leave. She returned to the abbey, this part is accurately portrayed in the 1956 German film, and asked Reverend Mother if it was the will of God that she marry Captain von Trapp. Of course, we all know what Reverend Mother's answer was.

Okay, now on with the show

Lonely Goatherd or Marco Polo. What was with that? The duet with Uncle Max blindfolded playing with the children in the yard. It was just so strange to use the song in that game, I think the film version with Baroness Schraeder passing the basketball with the children is a much more "normal" scenario.

Soon after that scene Maria returns, looking for her life, and Frau Schraeder leaves. In NBC's Sound of Music Live, the Captain and Maria finally reveal their feelings for each other by singing "Something Good." I was very disappointed by this. Had they really used the entire theatre score they would have sung "An Ordinary Couple." The song "Something Good" was written solely by Richard Rodgers, he composed both music and lyrics in the early 1960s when asked to write a new song for the film for Captain and Maria's duet. Oscar Hammerstein had died in 1960. 

I did enjoy the scene where Liesl introduces Maria to Rolf. This occurred when Rolf, delivers a telegram to the house after Georg and Maria are married. In the 1965 film, there was actually a scene that occurred somewhere around the "Do Re Mi" montage when Maria an the children are in town and Liesl introduces Maria and Rolf. It was thought to slow down the film and was ultimately deleted. 

The last scene in the movie that I both enjoyed and slightly cringed at was the concert scene. I thought it was played very well. I enjoyed the transition from the von Trapp villa to the concert hall was really cool, as I've said before, but the concert itself did not really go as well as the transition into it. First, the brass drowned out all nine actors singing the "Do Re Mi Reprise," Then it seemed like Stephen Moyer could have used a lot more practice on the guitar for "Edelweiss," and finally, at the end of "So Long Farewell," his voice nearly drowned out Carrie Underwood altogether. Obviously whoever ran sound was not hearing what the television audience heard. I know I wasn't the only one to notice this because when I went to work on Saturday my boss mentioned the sound during the concert scene and asked if I thought it was off balance too.

Because I have never seen the actual play and am so familiar with the film version, some of the scenes in Sound of Music Live seemed awkward, or disjointed compared to the relative smoothness of the film. I would give Songs and Scenes a 2.5 out of 5. Some things went really well, but when they didn't go well, they just really didn't at all. Plus the added disappointment in the fact that a film song was used to replace a theatre song. I read in "The Sound of Music: a Critical Review of the Changes Made from the Original Stage Play" by James M. Becher that the Rodgers and Hammerstein Estate is limiting aqusition to the songs which I assume was the reason for the change in this performance.

*Photo: Hirsch, Julia Antopol, "The Sound of Music: The Making of America's Favorite Movie", Contemporary Books, 1993
*Copy and Paste link to go to The review by James M. Becher:

Friday, December 6, 2013

Carrie Underwood Sound of Music Review Part 1

 Just so readers are aware, I have not seen the original, complete, stage version of the Sound of Music. I have read 5 books by Maria von Trapp, Agathe von Trapp's book, and Die Trapp Familie, the German movie that the Broadway show was based on. Also, This review is going to have to be in multiple parts. I am not as concise as a professional critic, and I think I have a lot more knowledge on this subject than the average critic would have, so bear with me here. I want to share some things about Maria's books and "how it really happened" along with some insight into the German movie, what I do know of the original  Broadway show, the 1965 film, and tonight's televised production.

Let's start at the very beginning: Well, actually, I had to work until 8:30 so I saw the show starting at Sixteen Going on Seventeen. We'll start from about there.

When I walked in the house there were commercials on and I asked what everyone was watching. Mom answered, "The Sound of Music." Oh yeah, that special with Carrie Underwood was on tonight,  I almost forgot, but I did want to watch out of, well let's call it slightly less than morbid curiosity. My brother looked at me and said, "The songs are all out of order." They weren't. I knew that they were doing the theatre score/routined version. I heard it right from Julie Andrews in an interview.

Alright, show's back on...

Sixteen Going On Seventeen was pretty good, and I was taking into account the entire time that this was a theatre production, theatre and TV don't usually mix. There is a certain amount of overacting, large gestures and expressions, that have to be done in theatre that just doesn't translate well onto the movie or television screen.  Unless your watching the 1998 London West End production of Oklahoma. *Amazing!!* Anyway...that roll down the hill at the end of Sixteen Going on Seventeen was less than tasteful. However, the show as a whole did not leave me walking away with a jarring feeling and questioning "How could they even do that to this show?!"

The sets and scenery of the show this evening were impressive! There were so many details. From little shrubs in the foreground of 16 Going on 17 to the picturesque mural of the mountains in the background. 

Everything was very beautiful, even the props. The newspaper with the German headline that was about the impending Anschluss (I think) was a nice touch that, along with songs that were cut from the film, added to the intentional political overtones of the theatre version.

 I only have a few qualms about the set, the fountain in the garden of the Trapp estate was slightly cartoony, and the garden in Nonnberg Abbey with giant potted shrubs just seemed so....random. But alas this is the theatre, there are no "on location" opportunities and I have never been to Nonnberg Abbey. I bet they probably do have a garden. And the light projected snow in the final scene. Yes, they're in the mountains, and yes, I could have snowed...I think this was a painfully obvious attempt to add a Christmas feeling given the fact that tonight's airing was competing with NBC's rival ABC on their cable channel, ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas. But maybe I'm being too analytical.

Well done though. 4 out of 5 stars on Props, Set, and Scenery.