Jerry Mulligan is an American striving to make it as a painter in Paris. Following an encounter with a dancer named Lise, the streets of Paris become the backdrop to a sensuous romance of art, friendship and love in the aftermath of war.
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Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna, a British schoolteacher whom the King brings to teach his many wives and children.
Ruthie Ann Miles
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The show had a budget of £2,000,000, employing more than 400 cast and crew and 177 individual costumes. See more »
As Maria and the children collapse into a sofa after singing the Do-Re-Mi song, the front of a camera can be seen moving into the room from the main hallway at the left side of the screen. The next video shot of the group is taken by that camera. See more »
THE SOUND OF MUSIC - LIVE! is a comparative rarity on television these days - a revival recorded in an East London studio but broadcast as live, as if performed in a theater. It recalled those halcyon days in the Seventies and Eighties when both ITV and the BBC videotaped productions originally designed for the West End, Stratford-on-Avon and the Chichester Festival Theatre.
Coky Giedroyc and Richard Valentine's production was a straightforward one, emphasizing the choreography but using the camera to tell the story, as if it were an actor on the stage. Hence this was not a "flat" filming, with the camera confined by the proscenium, but a three-dimensional filming, making use of plenty of close-ups and panning shots. It used televisual techniques to emphasize the emotion of the piece on several occasions.
Although well-known to most viewers, both in its stage and film versions, THE SOUND OF MUSIC still has the capacity to stir the emotions. This is chiefly due to a strong book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, which does not shy away from the sinister political overtones of the story. The songs might be saccharine in places, but the plot certainly isn't.
Giedroyc and Valentine's production brought out the gradual change of character wrought in Captain Georg von Trapp (Julian Ovenden), as he discovered the effect that Maria had on his children. His pliability contrasted with Maria (Kara Tointon), a strong-willed personality who knew that what she was doing was right, even if Von Trapp disagreed with it. Set against this couple was the oleaginous Max (Alexander Armstrong) a slimy character if ever there was one, who willingly accepted the dictates of Nazism without understanding their basically evil purposes.
The singing was, on the whole, extremely good, while the orchestrations (by Michael England) were both lush yet melodic. Critics described THE SOUND OF MUSIC - LIVE! as an example of "event" television, designed to lure jaded viewers away from online service providers and back to terrestrial channels. If this was the purpose, then I can only say that it was admirably fulfilled. I sincerely hope that ITV repeats the experiment.
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