1 The von Trapp family really existed
For anyone who is a fan of The Sound of Music, this will come as no surprise. It was all based on a true story, though certain parts were changed in the film and musical. For instance, Maria was only actually a tutor to one of the children in real life, but this extended to all of them in the musical and film.
2 The von Trapp story had already been told
Although the von Trapp story has been immortalised by the film and musical, the story had actually been told before in two German films called The Trapp Family and The Trapp Family in America, based on Maria von Trapp’s memoirs.
3 The musical came before the film
A famous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music opened its doors to the public for the first time on Broadway in 1959, on November 16 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, moving the following year to the Mark Hellinger Theatre and lasted 1,443 performances on Broadway, showing its sustained success. It was also shown at the West End and at Melbourne well before the film was released in 1965. These musical productions were also a success.
4 It was the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein
Affectionately known as ‘the man who owned Broadway’, Oscar Hammerstein II died shortly after the first showings of The Sound of Music, and never actually got to see the film. He died in 1960, and so never wrote another musical with Richard Rodgers again. With Hammerstein as lyricist and Rodgers as composer, the pair collaborated on other classics such as Oklahoma, The King and I and Carousel.
5 A top 20 film
The Sound of Music comes in at number 18 on the IMDB top 100 films of all time. Fanatics will find it hard to take that it isn’t higher, but there are also some fantastic films both above and below it. The film won five Oscars, including Best Picture and remains one of, if not the most, popular musical of all time.
6 Blown over by the helicopter
Julie Andrews’ immortalised scene in the film where she sings ‘The Hills are Alive’ was actually a rather blustery affair. The shot had to be taken from a helicopter, which created such strong winds that she kept falling over and meant they had to perform several takes.
7 The von Trapps created the X-Factor
Ok, so this one isn’t actually a fact, (or true at all), but it’s a quirky theory that we believe (kind of). The family all went to a singing contest, won it and thus at the same time gave us the concept of mass music competitions. Simon Cowell has the von Trapps to thank. Unfortunately, they ran away from Austria during the war and were unable to go up on stage.
8 Coming out from the wilderness
After last being shown in 1961, the musical made a grand re-entrance to the West End in 1981 with none other than Goldfinger’s very own lady of mystery, Honor Blackman, taking up the role of the Baroness and Petula Clark playing Maria. There was another revival at Broadway in 1998 and in London in 2006, the latter headed up by none other than Andrew Lloyd Webber.
9 So how do you solve the problem of Maria?
Christopher Plummer (Captain von Trapp) once described working with Julie Andrews (Maria) as ‘getting hit over the head with a Valentine card’. With that in mind, it is obvious that getting the perfect Maria is no easy task. In 2009, Lloyd Webber agreed that the person to play the role would be decided by the public, coming from the TV talent contest How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria. Connie Fisher won the show; problem solved!
10 Film crew reunion
Seeing the actors who played Liesl, Friedrich, Luisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and Gretl as grown ups was quite a shock when the cast recently met up for a reunion, 45 years after the film was made. All of the children, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer all made an appearance.
Dates for the diary
The show will last approximately 2 hours, 40 minutes.
From QR250, November 26-29, Qatar National Convention Centre, performances 7pm every night, also at 2pm on November 28-29. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.tickets.virginmegastore.me.