It's a show of staying power, and loyalty, and gotta-go-back-ness, that many SoCal people, when they hear the name "The Sound of Music," immediately follow that up with "oh, the sing-along"?
They're referring to the annual everyone-sing party at the Hollywood Bowl, a night that's as popular as an Alp slope is laden with snow. But the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic isn't simply the movie, nor an audience warbling along with Maria: It's a lederhosen-lovely, climb-every-mountain-major stage musical as well.
And the newest iteration celebrating the adventures of the drapery-donning Von Trapp kids, their whistle-wielding father, the divine Baroness, her BFF Max, and "a lady who... will never be a nun" -- Maria, of course -- is kicking off its big tour right here in Los Angeles.
Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music" is on the big stage, at The Ahmanson Theatre, through the final day in October, and with that big stage comes the bigness of the vibrant love story well-told and well-sung.
Nope, you are not singing along to this one but rather enjoying the inestimable talents of Ashley Brown as the Mother Abbess (Ms. Brown played Mary Poppins on Broadway), Paige Silvester, Ben Davis, and Kerstin Anderson as the can-do and can-do-re-mi governess.
Ms. Anderson and the word "newcomer" are getting paired up a lot these days, given that she's on break from her college studies to travel in this plum production in a plum role. It fits, sweetly, when one considers the character Maria, and her newness to Captain Von Trapp's large home and family, so let's call this casting a delightful dovetailing of real-world and Austria-fable.
Of course, the story is based on true stories and people who weathered the coming of World War II. This fact has a way of heightening the pathos found within what is normally deemed a pretty plucky presentation.
Adding to the charm of this run, beyond Los Angeles serving as the tour's numero uno stop? Kendall's Brasserie, located below the Music Center Plaza, has a special group of "Sound" dishes made just for young theater goers. Schnitzel and such? You'll find it on the menu. For more info, and a peek at Alpsian edibles, throw your arms wide and twirl this way.