*This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and The Sound of Music.
Are you a perpetual fan of the screen classic The Sound of Music? There couldn't be too many amongst us that are not endeared permanently to this most memorable musical of all time.
Most of us have grown up with cherished memories of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein movie version of this musical. If you're one of the many that are addicted to the annual screenings of this popular event on television, then you're in for a real treat with this latest version of The Sound of Music, live on stage.
We were invited along to a night at Melbourne's Regent Theatre last weekend, to enjoy the fabulous first preview of The Sound of Music. It was understandably, a packed house, and it's a show that is every ounce as enjoyable as the original film. Die-hard fans won't need any more convincing - this show is simply fantastic - on screen and stage!
The Sound of Music has arrived in Melbourne straight from it's record-breaking run at the London Palladium. There are a stellar cast of well-known Aussie faces and voices, as well as some beautiful new discoveries. (Particularly in the pint-sized von Trapp performers.)
Captain von Trapp himself is played by the ever-popular Cameron Daddo. His love interest, Baroness Schraeder, is the uber-talented Marina Prior. Together they naturally light up on stage with their well-honed acting talents. Marina's legendary singing voice is pure perfection. In addition, other well-known cast members include Lorraine Bayley as Frau Schmidt and Jacqui Dark as Mother Abbess - both giving equally wonderful performances.
Then there are the von Trapp children. This lot are so delightful and coupled with the famous score, are probably one of the main reasons The Sound of Music is such a lasting sensation. Just like the movie, the show becomes something else entirely with the arrival of the seven von Trapp kids on stage, and it continues to rise higher and higher on the entertainment scale from here.
One particularly stunning voice comes from the eldest of the von Trapp children, Liesl, played by actress Stephanie Jones. The youngest performer, sweet little Gretl, gives a divine performance laced with cheekiness and a talent beyond her years. She's a show-stealer!
Cast in the production's main role of Maria is the multi-talented Amy Lehpamer, who has self-described her performance as Maria, as a dream come true. (In real-life, Amy is an accomplished violinist and television actress.)
In addition to the exceptionally talented performers, both the venue and sets are as extraordinary as one would expect when it comes to a musical as grand and popular as this one.
Melbourne's Regent Theatre is a fitting venue for this musical. Its own elaborate plasterwork and lighting reflect the grandeur of both the von Trapp residence and the mysticism of the abbey. It really does give theatre-goers the opportunity to indulge fully in the feel of the performance, prior, during and after the show.
The sets are beautifully reminiscent of the original movie as well, revolving seamlessly between the various stages as the production moves forward. Even the mountains of Austria are portrayed realistically which given the confines of a theatre setting, is a major feat!
Other memorable moments include the beautiful chorus of the nuns. The show opens spectacularly within the nunnery, and the angelic voices of this group worked a special magic on the audience.
The Sound of Music provides the ultimate escapist experience and we loved every minute of this performance. If you're a fan, be sure to go. If you're looking for an all-ages show to enjoy with your family, then this performance of The Sound of Music is surely it.
Melbourne shows of The Sound of Music are playing from Friday the 13th of May at the Regent Theatre. For further information and tickets visit The Sound of Music website. The production will visit Adelaide and Perth following its Melbourne season.
*Disclosure: Six Little Hearts were guests at the Melbourne showing of The Sound of Music and received payment in exchange for this feature. All opinions expressed are my own and genuine.