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The Sound of Music is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. Many songs from the musical have become standards, including the title song "The Sound of Music", "Edelweiss", "My Favorite Things", "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and "Do-Re-Mi".

The original Broadwaymarker production, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, opened in November 1959, and the show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals since then. It has also been made into an Academy Award-winning 1965 film musical. The Sound of Music was the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Hammerstein died of cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.


After viewing The Trapp Family, a 1956 Austrian film about the von Trapp family, and its 1958 sequel, The Trapp Family in America (Die Trapp-Familie in Amerika), stage director Vincent J. Donehue thought that the project would be perfect for his friend Mary Martin; Broadway producers Leland Hayward and Richard Halliday (Martin's husband) agreed. The producers originally envisioned a nonmusical play that would be written by Lindsay and Crouse and that would feature songs from the repertoire of the Trapp Family Singers. Then they decided to add an original song or two, perhaps by Rodgers and Hammerstein. But it was soon agreed that the project should feature all new songs and be a musical rather than a play.

Details of the history of the von Trapp family were altered for the musical. Georg Ludwig von Trapp lived with his family in a villa in Aigen, a suburb of Salzburgmarker. The real Maria von Trapp was sent to be a tutor to one of the children, not a governess to all of them. The Captain's oldest child was a boy, not a girl, and the names of the children were changed (at least partly to avoid confusion: the Captain's second eldest daughter, the third of the seven, was also called Maria). The von Trapps spent some years in Austria after Maria and the Captain married – they did not have to flee right away – and they fled to Italymarker, not Switzerlandmarker. Maria von Trapp is said to have been unhappy with the movie's portrayal of her husband as having been cold and stern prior to her arrival, which she and their children strongly dispute.

During the Cold War, the BBC planned to broadcast The Sound of Music on radio in the event of a nuclear strike on the United Kingdommarker. The broadcast would be part of an emergency timetable of programs designed to "reassure" the public in the aftermath of the attack.


Act I

In Austriamarker, just before World War II, nuns from Nonnberg Abbeymarker in Salzburgmarker, Austriamarker are singing the Dixit Dominus. One of the postulants, Maria Rainer, is missing. On the mountainside near the abbey, Maria expresses her regret to leave the beautiful hills ("The Sound of Music"). She returns to the abbey after the gates are locked; the next day, the Mother Abbess and some of the other nuns consider what to do about her ("Maria"). Maria explains that she was raised on that mountain and apologizes for singing in the abbey garden without permission. The Mother Abbess joins her in song ("My Favorite Things"), but later tells Maria that she should spend some time outside the abbey to help her decide whether she is ready for the monastic life. The seven children of widower Captain Georg von Trapp need a governess, and Maria will act as their governess until September.

At his villa, von Trapp, a decorated Captain of the Austro-Hungarian Navy, informs Franz, the butler, and Frau Schmidt, the housekeeper, that a new governess is coming and that she will not be able to walk out as did her predecessor. He also instructs them to prepare for his return from Vienna with two guests. Maria arrives, and the Captain explains her duties. He then summons the children with a bosun's whistle, and they march in, clad in Navy-like uniforms. He introduces the children (Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta, and Gretl) and teaches her their individual signals; but she openly disapproves of this militaristic approach. When alone with them, she breaks through their wariness, and after learning that they do not know how to sing, she teaches them the basics of music ("Do-Re-Mi").

That evening, Rolf, a young messenger, delivers a birthday telegram to Franz and then meets with Liesl outside the villa. Rolf lets slip that a colonel from Berlin is staying with the Gauleiter and asks Liesl not to tell her father. He claims he knows what is right for her because he is a year older than she is ("Sixteen Going on Seventeen"). They kiss and Rolf runs off, shocked by his boldness. As Maria prepares for bed, Frau Schmidt gives her material to make new clothes, as she had given all her worldly possessions to the abbey for the poor. Maria asks for more material to make play clothes for the children, but Frau Schmidt refuses on grounds that they "march, not play". As Maria says her evening prayers, Liesl slips through the window, soaking wet from the thunderstorm. Maria agrees to keep her secret. The other children run in, frightened by the storm. To comfort and cheer them, Maria sings "The Lonely Goatherd".

Captain von Trapp arrives a month later with Baroness Elsa Schräder and Max Detweiler, and they wonder why the children are not there to greet them. When the Captain goes to look for the children, Elsa tells Max that something is preventing the Captain from marrying her. Max opines that only poor people have the time for great romances ("How Can Love Survive"). Rolf enters, looking for Liesl. Surprised by the Captain, he greets them with "Heil". The Captain orders him off the property, maintaining that he is Austrian, not German. Maria and the children leapfrog in, wearing play-clothes made from the old drapes in Maria's room. Infuriated, the Captain sends them off to clean up and change. Maria firmly tells him that the children need him to love them, and he angrily orders her back to the abbey. As she apologizes, they hear the children singing "The Sound of Music", which Maria had taught them, to Baroness Schräder. The Captain joins in, and at the end he embraces the children. Alone with Maria, he asks her to stay, thanking her for bringing music back into his house. Elsa is suspicious of Maria until Maria explains that she will be returning to the abbey in September.

The Captain gives a party to introduce Elsa to his friends, and some of the guests argue over the Anschluss. Kurt asks Maria to teach him to dance the Laendler. She demurs, but he insists, and she attempts it. When he is unable to negotiate a complicated figure, the Captain steps in to demonstrate. Maria and the Captain dance until they come face-to-face, and Maria breaks away, embarrassed and confused. When Max arrives at the party, the Captain realizes that he needs another woman to balance the dinner table and asks Maria to fill this role. Max tells him that he cannot expect his guests to dine with a nursemaid, but the Captain ignores the objection. Maria and Brigitta discuss the expected marriage between Elsa and the Captain, and Brigitta tells Maria that she and the Captain are in love with each other. Elsa asks the Captain to let the children say goodnight to the guests with a song. The Captain resists; but Elsa nevertheless starts them off singing "So Long, Farewell". Max is amazed at their talent and decides that he needs them for the Kaltzberg Festival, which he is organizing. After the guests leave for the dining room, Maria unhappily slips out the front door with her luggage.

At the abbey, Maria tells the Mother Abbess that she is ready to take her monastic vows; but the Mother Abbess realizes that Maria is running away from her feelings. She tells Maria that she must return to face the Captain and discover if they love each other, and that, by actively searching for it, Maria must find the life she was meant to live ("Climb Ev'ry Mountain").

Act II

At the von Trapps' home, Max teaches the children how to sing on stage, but does not tell the Captain that he has done so. When the Captain enters and tries to get them to sing with him, they complain that he is not doing it as did Maria, and Elsa and Max leave the family alone. The von Trapps try to figure out why Maria left, and the Captain reveals that he has asked Elsa to marry him. The children try to cheer themselves up by singing "My Favorite Things", but are unsuccessful until they hear Maria singing on her way to rejoin them. When Brigitta reveals the wedding plans, Maria decides to stay only until the Captain can arrange for another governess. Max and Elsa argue with the Captain about the imminent Anschluss, trying to convince him that he must compromise, because it is inevitable ("No Way to Stop It"). Elsa tries to persuade him; but when he refuses, Elsa decides to break off the engagement. Alone, the Captain and Maria finally admit to their love, desiring only to be "An Ordinary Couple". As they walk down the aisle, the nuns reprise "Maria" against the wedding processional.

During the honeymoon, Max prepares the children to perform at the Kaltzberg Festival. Herr Zeller, the Gauleiter, arrives and demands to know why they are not flying the flag of the Third Reich now that the Anschluss has occurred. When the Captain and Maria return early from their honeymoon, Brigitta tells them that they are in time to hear them sing at the Festival. The Captain refuses to allow the children to sing, and when Max tries to convince him that the children would sing for Austria, the Captain points out that Austria no longer exists. Maria and Liesl discuss romantic love, and Maria assures Liesl that in a few years, she will probably be married like Maria ("Sixteen Going on Seventeen (Reprise)"). Rolf enters with a telegram for the Captain. He is cold to Liesl and refuses to give Maria the telegram, but hands it to Franz. The telegram offers the Captain a commission in the German Navy. He asks Maria if he should accept in order to keep his family safe. She tells him that his decision will be hers, and he decides that they must secretly flee Austria. German Admiral von Schreiber soon arrives to find out why the Captain has not answered the telegram. On learning that the Captain has just returned from his honeymoon, he congratulates him and explains that the German Navy holds him in high regard, offers him the commission and tells him to report immediately to Bremerhavenmarker to assume command. Maria says that he cannot leave immediately, as they are all singing in the Festival concert, and the Admiral agrees to wait until after the concert.

At the concert Maria, the Captain, and the children sing an elaborate version of "Do-Re-Mi". After they finish, Max brings out the Captain's guitar, and he sings "Edelweiss", in which Austria's national flower becomes a declaration of loyalty to Austria itself. Max prevents them from leaving the stage, asking for an encore and announcing to the audience that this is the von Trapp family's last chance to sing together for a long time, thanks to the honor guard waiting to escort the Captain directly to his new command. While the judges decide on the prizes, the von Trapps sing "So Long, Farewell", leaving the stage in small groups. Max then announces the winners, stalling as much as possible. When he announces that the first prize goes to the von Trapps and they do not appear, the Nazis start a search. The family hides at the Abbey, and the Nazis do not find them until Rolf comes upon them. He calls his lieutenant, but on seeing Liesl, he reports that he has found no one. He leaves, and one of the nuns tells them that the borders have been closed. The von Trapps decide to flee over the mountains, and they leave as the nuns reprise "Climb Ev'ry Mountain".

Musical numbers

Act I

Act II
  • "No Way to Stop It" – Max, the Captain, and Elsa
  • "An Ordinary Couple" – Maria and the Captain †
  • "Processional" – Nuns
  • "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" (reprise) – Maria and Liesl
  • "Do-Re-Mi" (reprise) – Maria, the Captain, and the children ‡
  • "Edelweiss" – The Captain, Maria, and the children
  • "So Long, Farewell" (reprise) – Maria, the Captain, and the children
  • "Finale" – Nuns

  • The musical numbers listed appeared in the original production unless otherwise noted.
  • † Sometimes replaced by "Something Good", which was written for the film.
  • ‡ Replaced by "The Lonely Goatherd" in the 1998 revival.
  • In some productions, "My Favorite Things" follows "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" in the thunderstorm scene, while "The Lonely Goatherd" is shifted to another scene.
  • Many stage revivals have also included "I Have Confidence" and "Something Good", which were written (music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers) for the film version.
  • Although many people believe that "Edelweiss" is a traditional Austrian song, in fact the song was written for the musical and did not become known in Austria until after the film's success.
  • The Ländler dance performed by Maria and the Captain during the party is only loosely based on the traditional Austrian dance of the same name.

Stage productions

1959 Broadway production

The Sound of Music opened on Broadwaymarker at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 16, 1959 (moved to the Mark Hellinger Theatre November 6, 1962-June 15, 1963) and ran for 1,443 performances. The director was Vincent J. Donehue and the choreographer Joe Layton. The original cast included Mary Martin (at 46) as Maria, Theodore Bikel as Captain Georg von Trapp, Patricia Neway as Mother Abbess, Kurt Kasznar as Max Detweiler, Marion Marlowe as Elsa Schraeder, Brian Davies as Rolf, and Lauri Peters as Liesl.

The production shared the Tony Award for Best Musical with Fiorello!. It also won for Best Actress in a Musical (Mary Martin), Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Patricia Neway), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Oliver Smith), and Best Musical Direction (Frederick Dvonch) and was nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical (both Theodore Bikel and Kurt Kasznar) and Best Director of a Musical (Vincent J. Donehue). The entire children's cast was nominated for Best Featured Actress category as a single nominee, even though two children were boys.

Martha Wright replaced Mary Martin in the role of Maria on Broadway in October 1961; Jeannie Carson succeeded Miss Wright in July 1962; and Nancy Dussault succeeded Miss Carson in September 1962. Jon Voight, who eventually married co-star Lauri Peters, was a replacement for Rolf's part. The national tour starred Florence Henderson, and opened at the Riviera Theatre, Detroit on February 27, 1961 and closed November 23, 1963 at the O'Keefe Center, Toronto. Miss Henderson was succeeded by Barbara Meister in June 1962.

The original Broadway cast album sold three million copies.

1961 London production

The Londonmarker production opened at the Palace Theatremarker on May 18, 1961, and ran for 2,385 performances. It was directed by Jerome Whyte and used the original New York choreography supervised by Joe Layton and the original New York sets designed by Oliver Smith. The cast included Jean Bayliss as Maria, followed by Sonia Rees, Roger Dann as Captain von Trapp, Constance Shacklock as Mother Abbess, Eunice Gayson as Elsa Schraeder, Harold Kasket as Max Detweiler, Barbara Brown as Liesl, Nicholas Bennett as Rolf and Olive Gilbert as Sister Margaretta.

1961 Australian production

The Australian production opened at Melbourne's Princess Theatre in 1961 and ran for 3 years. The production was directed by Charles Hickman, with musical numbers staged by Ernest Parham. The cast included June Bronhill as Maria, Peter Graves as Captain von Trapp, Rosina Raisbeck as Mother Abbess, Lola Brooks as Elsa Schraeder, Eric Reiman as Max Detweiler, Julie Day as Liesl, and Tony Jenkins as Rolf. A touring company then played for years, with Vanessa Lee (Graves' wife) in the role of Maria.

A recording was made in 1961. It was the first time a major overseas production featuring Australian artists was transferred to disc.

1981 London revival

In 1981, at producer Ross Taylor's urging, Petula Clark signed to star in a revival of the show at the Apollo Victoria Theatremarker in Londonmarker's West Endmarker. Michael Jayston played Captain von Trapp, and Honor Blackman was the Baroness. Despite Clark's misgivings that, at age 49, she was too old to play the role convincingly, Clark opened to unanimous rave reviews (and the largest advance sale in the history of British theatre at that time). Maria von Trapp herself, present at the opening night performance, described Clark as "the best" Maria ever. Clark extended her initial six-month contract to thirteen months. Playing to 101 percent of seating capacity, the show set the highest attendance figure for a single week (October 26–31, 1981) of any British musical production in history (as recorded in The Guinness Book of Theatre). This was the first stage production to incorporate the two additional songs (Something Good and I Have Confidence) that Richard Rodgers composed for the film version. The cast recording of this production was the first to be recorded digitally, but, as of 2008, the recording has not been released on compact disc.

Later productions

The 1988 Takarazuka (Japan) version:In 1988, the Snow Troupe of Takarazuka Revuemarker performed the musical at the Bow Hall (Takarazuka, Hyōgomarker). Harukaze Hitomi and Gou Mayuka starred.

1990 New York City Opera production:A 1990 New York City Opera production was directed by Oscar Hammerstein II's son, James. It featured Debby Boone as Maria, Laurence Guittard as Captain von Trapp, and Werner Klemperer as Max Detweiler.

1993 Stockholm premiere:In the original Stockholm production, Carola Häggkvist played Maria, Tommy Körberg played Captain Georg von Trapp, Erik Skutnick played Max, and Emilia Brown played Gretl.

1998 Broadway revival:In 1998, director Susan H. Schulman staged the first Broadway revival of The Sound of Music, with Rebecca Luker as Maria and Michael Siberry as Captain von Trapp. It also featured Patti Cohenour as Mother Abbess, Jan Maxwell as Elsa Schraeder, Fred Applegate as Max Detweiler, Dashiell Eaves as Rolf, and Laura Benanti, in her Broadway debut, as Luker's understudy. Later, Luker and Siberry were replaced by Richard Chamberlain as the Captain and Benanti as Maria. Lou Taylor Pucci made his Broadway debut as the understudy for Kurt von Trapp. This revival opened on March 12, 1998, at the Martin Beck Theatre, where it ran for 15 months. It then went on tour in North America. This production was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

1999 Australian revival:An Australian revival of The Sound of Music played in the Lyric Theatre, in Sydneymarker, New South Walesmarker in 1999. Lisa McCune played Maria; TV personality Bert Newton was Max; and John Waters was Captain von Trapp. The children's cast included Nikki Webster. This production was based on the 1998 Broadway revival staging directed by Susan Schulman and choreographed by Michael Lichtefield. The show was produced by the Gordon Frost Organisation and Sports and Entertainment Limited. The production also toured Melbournemarker, Victoriamarker, Brisbanemarker, Queenslandmarker, Adelaidemarker and Perth, where Rachael Beck replaced Lisa McCune as Maria and Rob Guest took over as Captain von Trapp.

2005 Vienna Production:The first full-scale Austrian production opened on February 26, 2005 at the Volksoper Wienmarker. It was directed and choreographed by Renaud Doucet, with designs by André Barbe. The production is still in the repertoire of the Volksoper with 12-20 performances per season. The cast includes Sandra Pires, Martina Dorak and Johanna Arrouas as Maria, Kurt Schreibmayer and Michael Kraus as Kapitän von Trapp and Heidi Brunner, Gabriele Sima and Ulrike Steinsky as Mutter Oberin (Mother Abbess).

2006 London revival:An Andrew Lloyd Webber production opened on November 15, 2006, at the London Palladiummarker and ran until February 2009, produced by Live Nation's David Ian and Jeremy Sams. Following failed negotiations with Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson, the role of Maria was cast through a UK talent search reality TV show called How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? The talent show was produced by (and starred) Andrew Lloyd Webber and featured presenter/comedian Graham Norton and a judging panel of David Ian, John Barrowman and Zoe Tyler.

Connie Fisher was selected by public voting as the winner of the show. In early 2007, Fisher suffered from a heavy cold that prevented her from performing for two weeks. To prevent further disruptions, an alternate Maria, Aoife Mulholland, a fellow contestant on How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?, played Maria on Monday evenings and Wednesday matinee performances. Simon Shepherd was originally cast as Captain von Trapp, but after two preview performances he was withdrawn from the production, and Alexander Hanson moved into the role in time for the official opening date along with Lesley Garrett as the Mother Abbess. After Garrett left, Margaret Preece took the role. The cast also featured Lauren Ward as the Baroness, Ian Gelber as Max, Sophie Bould as Liesl, and Neil McDermott as Rolf. Other notable replacements have included Simon Burke and Simon MacCorkindale as the Captain and newcomer Amy Lennox as Liesl. Summer Strallen replaced Fisher in February 2008, with Gemma Baird portraying Maria on Monday evenings and Wednesday matinees.

The revival received enthusiastic reviews, especially for Fisher, Preece, Bould and Garrett. A soundtrack recording of the London Palladium cast was released. Later assessments continued to be favorable: "Summer Strallen has the look, the style and the depth of character to convince her audience that she is Julie Andrews and delivers her opening songs with the right emphasis and quality.... I was very impressed with Amy Lennox.... Preece... stepped up to the mark." The production closed on February 21, 2009 after a run of over two years.

2007 Stockholm revival:A Stockholm revival began in September 2007 with Pernilla Wahlgren as Maria, Tommy Nilsson as Kapten von Trapp, Ulrika Liljeroth and Emmi Christensson as Liesel, Gert Fylking as Franz, Fillie Lyckow as Frau Schmidt, Malena Laszlo as Baroness von Schröder, Johan Wahlström as Max Detweiler, Jörgen Olsson as Rolf, and Margareta Dalhamn as Mother Abbess. Some of the characters names were translated into Swedish for a better flow, such as three of the children's names: Fredrik, Märta and Greta. The production was directed by Staffan Götestam and the choreography was done by Denise Holland Bethke.

2007-2008 Salzburg Marionette Theatre production:The Salzburg Marionette Theatremarker has been touring their version of the show, featuring the recorded voices of Broadway singers such as Christiane Noll as Maria. The U.S. tour began in Dallas, Texasmarker in November 2007. It opens on May 9 in Salzburg, with performances scheduled through December 2008. The director is Richard Hamburger.

2008 International productions:An Oslo, Norwaymarker revival is scheduled to premiere in September 2008, with Maria Arredondo as Maria, Bjørn Skagestad as the Captain and direction by Trond Lie, who directed the 1993 Stockholm production. In Rio de Janeiromarker, Brazil, a production ran with Kiara Sasso as Maria and Herson Capri as the Captain. A Dutch version of the musical premiered in September 2008 with Wieneke Remmers as Maria, directed by John Yost.

2008 Canadian Production:Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and David Mirvish present The Sound of Music at Princess of Wales Theatremarker in Toronto. The role of Maria was chosen by the public through a television show, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, which was produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian and aired in July and August. Elicia MacKenzie was declared the winner over fellow "Maria" Janna Polzin. Polzin was cast as an "alternate Maria" for Toronto stage production. She is currently playing Maria twice a week (Wednesday evenings and Saturday matinees), while MacKenzie will perform the role six times weekly. The show will lose on January 3, 2010 after a run of 68 weeks.

2009 Brazilian Production
With Kiara Sasso as Maria and Herson Capri as the Captain, it ran in Rio de Janeiro for almost a year and opened in March 2009 in São Paulo. Still running.

2009 Mexican Production: This is the show's third professional production in Mexico (the first in 1976 starring Lupita Dalessio, the second in 1980 starring Miriam Cossio and Héctor Gómez), starring Bianca Marroquin as Maria, who has starred in the Broadway production of Chicago as Roxie Hart.

2009 UK Tour: A UK tour was launched on 26 July 2009 at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, starring original West End cast member Connie Fisher as Maria. The production is scheduled to close on the 20 March 2010 at the Grand Opera House, Belfastmarker. Michael Praed stars as Captain Von Trapp, Margaret Preece as the Mother Abbess, Martin Callaghan as Uncle Max, Jacinta Mulcahy as Baroness Schraeder, Jeremy Taylor as Rolf and Claire Fishenden as Liesl. Kirsty Malpass will star as the Alternate Maria.

2009 Graz/ Austria: Sound of music is performed in the Graz Opera House from September 2009 until June 2010.

Critical reaction

According to the book Opening Night on Broadway by Stephen Suskin, the breakdown of the opening night critics' reviews of the original production of The Sound of Music is as follows: 3 raves, 3 favorables, 0 mixed, 1 unfavorable and 0 pans. The one negative notice came from Walter Kerr in the New York Herald Tribune who wrote, "Before The Sound of Music is halfway through its promising chores it becomes not only too sweet for words but almost too sweet for music. The people on stage have melted long before our hearts do."

Cast recordings

Columbia Masterworks recorded the original Broadway cast album a week after the show's 1959 opening. The album was the label's first deluxe package in a gatefold jacket, priced $1 higher than previous cast albums. Nevertheless it immediately reached the #1 position on Billboard's best-selling albums chart and would eventually sell over 3 million copies. It is currently available on CD from Sony in the Columbia Broadway Masterworks series.

The 1960 London production was recorded by EMI and has been issued on CD on the Broadway Angel Label.

The 1965 movie soundtrack was released by RCA Victor and is one of the most successful soundtrack albums in history, having sold over 11 million copies worldwide, and has never been out of print. Recent CD editions incorporate musical material from the film that would not fit on the original LP. The label has also issued the soundtrack in German, Italian, Spanish and French editions.

RCA Victor also released a cast album of the 1998 Broadway revival produced by Hallmark.

The Telarc label made a studio cast recording of The Sound of Music, with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel. The lead roles went to opera stars: Frederica von Stade as Maria, Håkan Hagegård as Captain von Trapp, and Eileen Farrell as the Mother Abbess. Kunzel cast children from the Cincinnati School for the Creative and Performing Arts in the children's parts. This all-digital recording combined the songs of both the stage and the screen versions and included sections of music that were being recorded for the first time.

The 2006 London revival was recorded and has been released on the Decca Broadway label.

There have been numerous studio cast albums and foreign cast albums issued, though many have only received regional distribution. According to the cast album database, there are 62 recordings of the score that have been issued over the years.

Historical accuracy

The musical presents a history of the von Trapp family, albeit one that is not completely accurate: Georg Ludwig von Trapp, who was in fact anti-Nazi, lived with his family in a villa in a district of Salzburgmarker, called Aigen. Maria and Georg had been married 10 years before the Anschluss and had two of their three children before that time. Georg had actually considered a position in the Kriegsmarine, but ultimately decided to emigrate. The children's names are different, at least part of the reason being that a daughter from von Trapp's first marriage was also called Maria.

While the von Trapp family hikes over the Alps to Switzerland, in reality they walked to the local train station and boarded the next train to Italy, from which they fled to London and ultimately the United States. Salzburg is only a few miles away from the Austrian-German border, and is much too far from either the Swiss or Italian borders for a family to escape by walking. Had the von Trapps hiked over the mountains, they would have in all likelihood ended up in Germany, near the Kehlsteinhausmarker, Hitler's mountain retreat in Berchtesgadenmarker.

Cultural references

Songs from the musical have been covered in popular music (for example, "My Favorite Things" on Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, a double album by the hip hop group OutKast and pastiched in advertising (for example, in TV ads for "New Skoda Fabia" (2007) and for the MasterCard credit card (2007). My Favorite Things is also a 1960 album by jazz musician John Coltrane, containing his interpretation of the eponymous song.

Many television shows have featured characters singing songs or pastiches of songs from the musical. The shows include Seinfeld, Friends, Will & Grace, The OC (episode 313, "The Pot Stirrer"), The Simpsons, Animaniacs (episode 13), and Family Guy. In other television shows, the musical is merely mentioned (e.g., in the Charmed episode, "The Power of Three Blondes"). In Great Britain's 1970s hit television comedy The Good Life (known in the United States as Good Neighbors), the character Margo muscles her way into the role of Maria in The Sound of Music with her neighborhood ladies' musical society (for one night only), succumbs to stage fright, and tanks miserably, even confusing the lyrics of "My Favorite Things" with the lyrics of "Mack the Knife".

The musical features in the plot of films. For example, in the 2000 indie film Dancer in the Dark the main character, Selma, played by Björk, auditions for the role of Maria in a local community theater production of the musical. Similarly, in the 2005 Disney movie The Pacifier, Seth Plummer and Vice Principal Murney are cast as Rolf and the Reverend Mother, respectively, in a high school production of The Sound of Music.


  1. (Show History section)
  2. Article noting that BBC had The Sound of Music materials ready for broadcast in case of nuclear attack
  3. Information from the BBC website
  4. Information from
  5. Website of the Volksoper Wien
  6. Official Season Programme of the Volksoper Wien 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08
  7. Information from
  8. McFarlane, Douglas. "UK Theatre Reviews" (UK, 7 May, 2008
  9. Long, Farewell": London's Sound of Music Closes Feb. 21
  10. New York Times review of December 7, 2007
  11. Review of Dallas opening, November 3, 2007
  12. 2008 schedule of performances
  13. Official website of the Salzburg Marionette Theatre's production
  14. Official website of the Brazilian Production
  15. Official website of the 2008 Dutch production
  16. theatermania article, September 25, 2007
  18. long to Toronto's Sound of Music
  19. The Sound of Music UK, accessed May 18, 2009
  20. Suskin, pp. 635–39
  21. "The Sound Of Music – Original Broadway Cast",
  22. "The Sound Of Music – Original London Cast",
  23. "The Sound Of Music – Broadway Cast",
  24. "The Sound Of Music – London Cast",
  25. "The Sound of Music", database


Further reading

External links

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