Sound Of Music

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”. Details of the history of the von Trapp family were altered for the musical.

The original Broadway 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 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The Sound of Music was the final musical written by Rodgers and Hammerstein; Hammerstein died of cancer nine months after the Broadway premiere.

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 Kingdom. The broadcast would be part of an emergency timetable of programs designed to “reassure” the public in the aftermath of the attack.

The Sound of Music is set in 1930’s Austria. A young woman named Maria is failing miserably in her attempts to become a nun. When the Navy captain Georg Von Trapp writes to the convent asking for a governess that can handle his seven mischevious children, Maria is given the job. The Captain’s wife is dead, and he is often away, and runs the household as strictly as he does the ships he sails on. When Maria arrives, she is initially met with the hostility, but her kindness, understanding, and sense of fun soon draws them to her and brings some much-needed joy into all their lives–including the Captain’s. Eventually he and Maria find themselves falling in love, even though Georg is already engaged to a Baroness and Maria is still a postulant. The romance makes them both start questioning the decisions they have made. Their personal conflicts soon become overshadowed, however, by world events. Austria is about to come under the control of Germany, and the Captain may soon find himself drafted into the German navy and forced to fight against his own country.

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