Detailed Show Synopsis (Spoiler Alert)
On the eve of World War II at an abbey in the Austrian Alps, a free-spirited young novitiate (novice in a religious order), Maria, is assigned by her abbess to temporarily serve as governess to the seven children of a decorated naval officer, Captain Georg von Trapp. Maria is reluctant to leave the abbey, but the abbess, who is fond of Maria and shares her love of music, reassures her that this experience will help her to better decide whether she truly wants to commit herself to life as a nun. Upon arriving at the impressive von Trapp villa, Maria meets Capt. von Trapp, a stern and stoic man who blows a whistle to direct his children and domestic servants. Maria is then introduced to the children, ranging from five-year-old Gretl to 16-year-old Liesl. Shortly after these introductions, Maria begins teaching the children how to sing—an activity they very much enjoy.
As time passes, the children grow increasingly enamoured of the vivacious Maria–as does Capt. von Trapp, despite his steely façade and initial opposition to them singing and learning music. Meanwhile, Capt. von Trapp courts Elsa Schraeder, a wealthy businesswoman with an aristocratic background. As Capt. von Trapp entertains Elsa and Max Detweiler, a prominent local music promoter, at the villa, the current political situation comes up in the course of their conversation. Elsa and Max seem resigned to complying with the directives of the threatening German National Socialist government, so as not to jeopardize their personal fortunes; but Capt. von Trapp, an Austrian patriot, expresses his strong opposition to the Nazis. Later, he throws a grand party for his guests. The children dance and soak in the romantic atmosphere. They sing charmingly for the attendees, and Max suggests that they perform at the upcoming musical festival that he is organizing. Maria tries to instruct Kurt, one of the older children, on how to waltz, when Capt. von Trapp steps in to demonstrate the dance. There are palpable romantic feelings between them, as evidenced by Maria’s blushing. Later, when Maria tells the children that they ought to be kind to Elsa because she may soon be their “new mother,” young Brigitta interjects, insisting that Capt. von Trapp and Maria are in love with one another. Embarrassed, Maria denies this and returns to the abbey, ostensibly to pledge her commitment to the religious life. The abbess sees through this, however, bringing Maria to admit that she indeed feels strongly for Capt. von Trapp, and urging her to return to him and his children.
As the children practice for the musical festival, they complain that they miss Maria and that singing together just isn’t the same without her there. They do not understand her sudden absence, and they are decidedly unenthusiastic when Capt. von Trapp informs them of his engagement to Elsa. As they sing, Maria returns, joining their song; she then apologizes to Capt. von Trapp and his children for leaving. Capt. von Trapp and Elsa have a tense disagreement regarding the Nazis and his absolute unwillingness to comply with their orders. At an irresolvable impasse, she leaves for Vienna, breaking off the engagement. When Capt. von Trapp informs Maria of this news, they both confess their feelings, kiss, and plan to marry. Later, after Capt. von Trapp returns from his honeymoon with Maria, he is visited by Nazi officers who order him to report at once to a German naval base. Maria tells them that Capt. von Trapp will be performing with her and his children in Max’s musical festival, coming up in two days. The Nazi officers reluctantly allow Capt. von Trapp to perform, but firmly insist that he report for military service after the festival. This buys the family a bit of time to devise a way out of Nazi-occupied Austria. They perform at the festival, winning first prize in the judged competition, but then sneak out immediately after their performance, sending the Nazis in pursuit of Capt. von Trapp. The family hides at the abbey. The abbey’s grounds are searched by a menacing crew of Nazi stormtroopers, but the von Trapps narrowly elude their grasp and leave on foot to walk the short distance into Switzerland.
The Sound of Music
Music by Richard Rogers Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse Suggested by "The Trapp Family Singers" by Maria Augusta Trapp
November 7, 2019–January 5, 2020
STANLEY INDUSTRIAL ALLIANCE STAGE
The hills are alive! One of the most powerful and romantic musicals of all time, The Sound of Music brims with beloved tunes such as “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” and “Edelweiss.” Journey along with the spirited Maria, who takes a governess position with the von Trapp family, falling first for the children and then the widower Captain von Trapp himself, all against the stirring backdrop of pre-WWII Austria.
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