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My friend Mon once told me that I should watch The Sound of Music at least once before I die because it is a classic. I guess I can die anytime from today because yesterday I caught the production at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, in Resorts World Manila (across NAIA 3), Pasay City. My sister, my mentor, and I had a grand time!
This was my first time to ever watch a play live and after seeing The Sound of Music, I now understand why I do not like watching movies. The production ran for three hours and going in, I was actually worried that my patience, or the serious of lack of it, may be a problem but I hardly noticed the time. It was spectacular.
I guess we were lucky to catch Joanna Ampil (Maria Rainer) and Audie Gemora (Captain von Trapp) go at it. They were brilliant. I first learned of Joanna Ampil from Storyline and then I thought she was fascinating. After watching her on stage, all I can say is that the lady is… a star. There is really no other word that comes to my mind. Watching her live and do her craft passionately is utterly transporting. It was a real treat.
The entire cast was brilliant too. The heavenly voices of the nuns of the Nonnberg Abbey was out of this world. The opening scene was spot on! I personally enjoyed the portrayal of Debraliz Valasote (Frau Schmidt) and Robbie Guevara (Max Detweiler). They made me laugh. Audie Gemora, well, he is Audie Gemora, what more can you say to that? I did not catch Atasha Muhlach though, but the young actors and actresses who played the von Trapp kids were all very entertaining. Shanti Gleason (Gretl) was so charming.
There are two scenes that stand up to my memory. The first one was during Act 1 when there was a thunderstorm and all the kids poured in Maria’s room. It was really memorable not because of the acting but because my mentor started to cry as the kids started to merrily sing and jump up and down. It was really funny. She said watching it was very nostalgic for her. I guess she felt the same way like when people eat something and say that that is their childhood on a plate. The only difference is that my mentor’s childhood is on a stage, can you believe that?
The other scene was on Act 2 when Captain von Trapp and Maria admitted they were in love with each other. They kissed! Christ, I think I need more practice watching people kiss live. My mentor and my sister laughed when I pulled my souvenir program up to my face. I think they kissed three times – with sounds. Guess, that is what you get in theater huh? 😀
The stage was also so grand! The backdrops from the LED wall screen and the stage set up were highly impressive. They truly make the experience complete. You know what bacon does to all other food items? That is the effect of this set up. It was so cool. The music was performed live by a 20 piece orchestra – the Manila Philharmonic orchestra!
If you have time, the production runs until Dec. 30 (it has been extended, tickets here) and dress code is smart casual. (I had a nightmare thinking I had to wear a dress just to catch a play). Bring your kids, bring your friends, bring your family. It is a worthy treat in time for the holidays. 🙂