Thursday, November 26, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving! We didn't have Thanksgiving in the Philippines, were I grew up, but I'm well-versed in traditions. One tradition my family had was visiting my grandmother and aunt every Sunday and hunkering down in my aunt's dark, airconditioned bedroom after lunch, eating potato chips (which my parents never allowed) and watching movies on the VCR (it was a Betamax back then). For a long, long time my aunt owned only 2 video tapes: Star Wars and The Sound of Music.
So I guess you could say The Sound of Music is a family tradition. I'd have to say it's my favorite Broadway musical, not just because of the precious childhood memories I associate with watching the movie, but because the story is touching and the music is wonderful. I own the cd soundtrack of that movie, but I don't need to listen to it to sing along, because I already know all the songs by heart. Really, I do. Test me if you want.
So It's kind of weird for me to realize that none of my kids know the song Do-Re-Mi. They have never watched the movie and never learned it in school. They don't take music lessons so they don't know what Do-Re-Mi is. Thankfully, I was asked to review the original Broadway cast recording cd of The Sound of Music, as well as The Sound of Music: A Classic Collectible Pop-Up, so I've been able to rectify this glaring omission in their musical education.
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary, Sony Music has released the 50th Anniversary Special Edition of the Original Cast Recording: The Sound Of Music along with Simon & Schuster’s beautiful The Sound of Music: A Classic Collectible Pop-Up. The 50th Anniversary cd features the original Broadway cast, starring Mary Martin as Maria.
Let's start with the pop-up book. If your child hasn't watched The Sound of Music movie yet, this book is the perfect way to introduce her or him to the story. The pop-ups are a feat of engineering! It's amazing -- a paper Maria twirls round and round while singing in the hills around Salzburg, and the architecture of the Salzburg cathedral is rendered in amazing detail. Seeing the pictures pop out in 3D really brought the story to life for them. Each page has a huge, intricate pop-up, and each page has an attached mini-booklet (where the story text is read) that contains simpler pop-ups.
The lyrics to the songs are included in the book, and they appear in the text right where they would have been sung in the play. Instead of just reading the lyrics out loud to my kids, I sung the songs to them, which they really enjoyed. Do-Re-Mi is so catchy and easy to sing that all three of them were able to stumble along to the words and tune. By the time we got around to the Lonely Goatherd, they all insisted I get the cd and play it. Rodgers and Hammerstein's music has proved as irresistible to them as it was to me! They want to watch the movie now, and it won't be long before they'll be able to sing right along with me, continuing the family tradition.
And what about the cd? Comparisons with the better-known movie version are inevitable. The movie versions are so firmly etched into my mind and heart that it felt almost disloyal listening to this broadway version. Obviously the voices are different, the accents are different (Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer have English accents, while Mary Martin has an American Accent and Theodore Bickel has a German accent). Even the phrasing and rhythm of the songs are a bit different since the artists are different. But once I let go of my loyalty to the movie version, I realized that this version is just as good! Mary Martin's voice is amazing, and when I listen to her sing I can almost see her on stage, guitar in hand, strumming and singing to the Von Trapp children. I'm quite happy to have both versions, especially since the broadway version has some songs in it that weren't included in the movie version.
I have nothing bad to say about The Sound of Music. Nothing. And I warned Alfie, who hates musicals, that saying I hate The Sound of Music is not allowed in our household.
The Bottom Line
The Sound of Music is a timeless classic, and two great ways of passing that tradition down to your children are to get the 50th Anniversary edition of the oiginal Broadway cast recording, and new pop-up storybook. It's a guaranteed family winner: because if you love the sound of music, you've got to love The Sound of Music, right?
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win a copy of the Original Cast Recording: The Sound Of Music cd. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me a few of Maria's favorite things.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following, (you can only do each entra entry once; please leave a separate comment for each extra entry):
1) Grab my blog button and post it up on your blog (leave a comment here with your blog URL).
2) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(leave a comment with your Blogger profile name).
3) Tweet this giveaway (leave a comment with a link to your tweet). Here is a sample tweet you can copy and paste:
Win a Sound of Music original Broadway cast recording cd from @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/yd5jmvy
Maximum of 4 entries per person. This giveaway ends at midnight PST on December 10, 2009; I will draw a winner at random on December 11 and post the winner's name on the comments section as soon as the winner confirms acceptance. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
I received a sample book and cd download in order to review this product, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.