Review of The Sound of Music: Striking the Right Chord

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The Sound of Music Musical Review, Singapore Gala Premiere
15 July 2014

The Sound of Music opened on Singapore’s shores at The MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands on 11 July 2014 with an extended season till 10 August 2014 due to high demand.

Many of us would have watched the five-time Oscar-winning 1965 film musical starring Julie Andrews as Maria. Probably many more so than the original Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1959 Broadway production, which won six Tony Awards. Hence, a comparison to the beloved movie version is inevitable.

The set was nothing short of spectacular. From the realistic Austrian Alps to the majestic halls of the Abbey and the realistically impressive mansion of Captain Von Trapp with a winding staircase to boot, the set strongly supported the charm of how we envisioned The Sound of Music to be.

With the nuns singing and walking right into the audience seated in the front section, the beautiful four-part harmony could not be more moving, pun intended. This opening scene alone brought us to the wonderful realisation of the intimacy of a stage production.

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Audiences are shaken up quite early on that this would not be simply a live act of the popular movie. Mother Abbess breaks out into My Favourite Things while speaking to Maria about her singing in the garden. That left us wondering what other possible song could be sung in the thunderstorm scene with the Von Trapp children and a very unlikely The Lonely Goatherd performance takes place instead.

This supposed swop of the musical numbers is actually a true remake of the original stage production. However, this changes the storyline a little (as we ‘know’ it) and while they seemed to be awkward fits, the deeply captivating voice of Mother Abbess, played by Janelle Visagie, and the endearing charms of the children saved the storm.

Such little deviations took place throughout the musical but they served to pique our interest further. More time, for example, is accorded in this stage musical to the pragmatic Max Detweiler and the likeable Baroness Schraeder, with the two singing two musical numbers. This took away the time needed for the Captain and Maria to develop a believable romance. Yet, together as parents, their chemistry with the children was remarkable.

The children, of course, stole the show from the moment they marched down the stairs. Casting calls were held earlier this year in March and a total of 18 children living in Singapore are playing six of the seven children in rotation. On the gala opening night, Chloe Choo admirably took on the role of Gretl, the youngest Von Trapp. Her sunshine disposition and naturally cute portrayal brought on the smiles. It was also a sweet surprise visually, giving the Von Trapp family a multiracial twist.

While we adults may have watched the movie many times or sung the songs from The Sound of Musicin choir competitions of yesteryears, many of us would appreciate this musical in a new light and be stirred to Climb Ev’ry Mountain. For the children, this would be a fun musical treat and an introduction to an all-time familial favourite.



11 July 2014 to 10 August 2014
Tuesdays to Fridays: 8.00 pm
Saturdays: 2.00 pm and 8.00 pm
Sundays: 12.00 pm and 6.00 pm

Tickets from $65 to $195
(excluding booking fee)
2 hours 20 minutes including a 20-minute interval
MasterCard Theatres – Grand Theatre, Marina Bay Sands

To book, call 6688 8826, visit the Marina Bay Sands Box Offices or surf, or

Note: Children under 3 years of age may be admitted free of charge provided they do not occupy a seat (they must be seated on the lap of a parent or guardian). Children aged 3 years and above must purchase a ticket for admission.

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