One of the most-watched films of our childhood is undoubtedly The Sound of Music. Even today, it is etched in our memories as Julie Andrews’ best performance. It was our initiation into the beauty of musicals as well as the ugliness of Nazism. Right from the story to the music, there was nothing in the film that a child in India could relate to, but we loved it nonetheless. The Sound of Music has now been revived by Ace Productions, courtesy Raell Padamsee, and is currently running shows at the Tata Theatre in NCPA. If you have loved watching this musical in your childhood, this beautiful rendition of the timeless classical is unmissable.
What's The Sound of Music About:
Maria (played by Meher Mistry), a free-spirited nun-to-be, is finding it hard to fit into her life at the Abbey. The other nuns mock her wilful nature, and in order to help Maria realize the importance of duty and her purpose, Mother Abbess sends to the house of Captain Von Trapp (Arunoday Singh), to be the governess to his seven children. The Von Trapp children lost their mother at a young age, and their father was a strict disciplinarian. Maria breathes life back into the house with her generous nature and love for music. Her charms catch the attention of the Captain, and they begin to fall in love with each other. All of this has been set in Austria during the early stages of World War II, when Nazism was spreading throughout Europe.
Tata Theatre is one of the perfect venues to stage this musical, which depends heavily on the abundance of space, digitally created backdrops, and of course, acoustics. The setting is mainly established through these visuals, as stage space is occupied by the large cast. Besides the actors, children from several NGOs associated with Ace Productions make an appearance in the musical. The songs have all been sung live on stage by the actors, and none fail to impress. While the plot of the musical follows that of the film, certain liberties have been taken, especially with the music. The sequence of the songs change, but it does not hamper the progress of the story. Meher Mistry captures hearts, not only with her lovely voice but also her endearing performance. All eyes are on her and even Arunoday Singh’s raw charm cannot take away from that. Meher also shares brilliant chemistry with her co-stars – be it the nuns from the Abbey or the Von Trapp children. Kunal Vijayakar makes a brief appearance as Herr Detweiler, and is perfect for the part. Even the other actors perform their bits well, but only Marianne D’Cruz Aiman as Mother Abbess floors with her singing, other than Meher herself.
What Could've Been Better:
The quick progression of events in the musical may not have hampered the story itself, but it barely leaves any room for the audience to sympathize with Captain Vop Trapp. The lead stars miss out on the opportunity to develop a convincing relationship.
Why You Should Watch:
It is our favorite musical of all time, so there’s no reason not to catch the last four shows of this magnificent spectacle. This is also the perfect way to initiate your own kids (if you have any) to this musical. Even if you haven’t seen the film, The Sound of Music is a treat to witness live and you will never watch anything this heartwarming.