Apr. 25, 2012 - Issue #862: The Real Deal
The Sound of Music
Until Sun, May 27 | Citadel Theatre
Director of the production and Citadel artistic director Bob Baker says the movie made the story into an iconic story of family, which holds true as a classic for all ages, but does injustice to what the play and story truly is.
"I think the movie's kind of romanticized it and made it a fairy tale," he notes. "The play takes place in 1938 in Austria when Germany is taking over Austria at the beginning of the Second World War, and that is given a candy coating in the movie. When you think about it, you can't candy coat the rise of the Third Reich and the play itself shows, I think, with more threat, this political part of the story."
Relating to the events of the Second World War, as well as the truth behind the Von Trapp's story, may be hard to grasp on 2012, notes Baker, but he says the emotional power of the story is something for audiences to stop and think about.
"It's not just a love story. It's not just a cute show for kids. It's not just a piece of music," Baker says. "It's got stories that have heartbreak and then great joy in them."
It's not all serious, however. The live production still emphasizes the familial element of the story that has made it a classic that appeals to multiple generations. Baker describes it as telling the story of three families, with the first being the Von Trapp's, with the captain shutting down from his children following his wife's devastating death.
"His story and his family is about him learning to love himself and learning to accept his wife's death, learning to trust his love of himself and find his children," Baker adds. "That's a story that any human being can relate to because there's a lot of pain in there and there's a lot of joy when he finds his love for his family."
The second is Maria's uncontainable spirit causing her rejection from the nunnery and the family she thought she would find there before finding her place with the Von Trapps. Rounding out the trio is the country of Austria being taken over by the German fatherland. Baker relates the three stories merging together with other iconic stories such as A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The production also marks the end to what Baker describes as an amazing 2011/2012 season for the Citadel: due to The Sound of Music's immense popularity, it's been extended for a fifth week.
"It's very uplifting, the music is fantastic, so it's well worth it," Baker says. "Even if you've seen it, see it again, see it live, see this version, see these actors on stage with a real orchestra."
Until Sun, May 27 (7:30 pm; 1:30 pm on Sun, Apr 29 and each Saturday in May)
Directed by Bob Baker
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