With songs I tried really hard not to sing along to in public but failed miserably.
It’s actually super hard to not sing along to all the songs in the Sound of Music if you’ve watched the movie as many times as I have – twice I caught myself being both a lonely goatheard AND sixteen going on seventeen, but thankfully before anyone but my kid could hear me.
Last week Biggie and I frocked up for her first night at the theatre, on opening night of The Sound of Music at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre, no less. We stood and watched the celebrities arrive on the red carpet (I recognised Patti Newton and pretty much nobody else, I need to get out more), which was actually a bit of a treat because normally, like Maria, I’m always late for everything, except for every meal. I’m the kind of person they have to usher in after the first big number because the road to anyplace I’m going on time is paved with good intentions and bad traffic.
If there was a bingo card for “Australian comedians in the 90s” mingling among the crowd, I’d have won in the first five minutes. I could also tick off 2/3 of “People Who Host Masterchef” bingo (if you followed along on Snapchat, I helpfully drew nice arrows to them in the crowd), and chatted with Gary Mehigan while on my way to the bar. I had actually asked him a question years ago and was concentrating so much on not bringing that up that I couldn’t form a complete sentence and he likely now thinks I’m insane. Also yes, Matt Preston really is that tall.
When the lights dimmed after we took our seats, my squirmy five-year-old finally sat still, in awe of the spectacle before her. Theatre is such a sensory experience, it’s in front of you and around you and such a different environment than watching it on a screen. And if Julie Andrews’ voice usually leads you to shed a quiet tear, you can imagine what it’s like when so many amazing singers are performing live, perfectly, right before you – it’s total lump in the throat territory.
Every character was expertly cast: Amy Lehpamer is fantastic as Maria – slightly bumbly, good-hearted, cheeky and awkward af, and Marina Prior was phenomenal as Baroness Schraeder. Eighties me had Neighbours flashbacks when Lorraine Bayly appeared as Frau Schmidt, a part that she performed so well. Like a nice but sassy nanna. And can we talk about the kids? Honestly, they were all so fabulous, no-one put a foot wrong. Their So Long, Farewell gets 10/10 from me, I loved it so much.
You can imagine my confusion when songs were sung in the wrong order – My Favourite Things was sung in the Abbey (I know! Singing in the Abbey!), The Lonely Goatherd helped the children take their minds off the storm, and Edelweiss (my favourite) was performed right at the end, with Cameron Daddo doing such a lovely job he serenaded my little girl to sleep. But it didn’t really distract from the story of how Maria came to be part of the von Trapp family, and how they managed to stay together when the country was on the verge of being torn apart by the Nazis.
I’m so glad I went with Biggie, I love knowing that I’m creating memories for her that she’ll never forget, and hopefully fostering in her a love of the arts. I also love doing something a little bit different – as much as I love food, dinner and drinks do get a bit stale after a while. Why not go see a performance of some sort AND have dinner and drinks? It’s not every day you get to frock up so it makes a nice change. I also think it makes a fun experience for the younger set (maybe catch a day show? Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday have afternoon performances), or even a treat for the whole family.
If you’re in Melbourne or will be over the next few months until the end of July, you should definitely go and make a night of it. Especially if you loved the movie, but it’s entertaining enough if you’re a complete novice. You can grab tickets here (BYO celebrity bingo card), and let me know if you do see it so we can DISCUSS ALL THE THINGS!
Until then, my heart will be blessed with the sound of music, and I’ll sing once more from the comfort of the couch in front of my own TV with the doors and windows shut.