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
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.
A filmed production of the musical 'Miss Saigon' for its 25th anniversary, performed live at London's Prince Edward Theatre, in London's West End. Including the 2hr 20minute production and a bonus 35-minute "25th Anniversary Gala" which included stars of the original cast, Jonathan Pryce, Lea Salonga and Simon Bowman.
Jon Jon Briones,
The musical is based on a true story about the von Trapp family who famously escaped the occupation of Austria by the Nazi's at the start of the Second World War. The von Trapp's were an ... See full summary »
On returning to the house from the abbey, the children dance round Maria. Marta trips over a guitar case and Maria ad-libs in the live broadcast by clutching her to her asking whether she is all-right. See more »
In his "absolutely fabulous" ten-star review, David Kravitz said that "never once" did he yearn for Julie Andrews or Christopher Plummer. I didn't yearn for them once either; I yearned for them (especially Andrews) from beginning to end. Not that this was a bad production— far from it—but it paled before the 1965 film. By coincidence, I had watched the DVD of the film just a few days before seeing the new BBC production, so I had a dramatic contrast of the two productions. Much of the superiority of the film was due to it being a film and being 30 minutes longer. One can't justifiably downgrade the stage play for lacking the magnificent Austrian scenery or the expensive 20th Century Fox sets (e.g., the beautiful ball room), or the wonderful photography, from the jaw-dropping opening sequence to the romantic "Something Good" number and the Vermeer-like quality in "Climb Every Mountain." And in fact this stage production was better than the one I saw years ago in L.A. starring Florence Henderson. But although one can't blame the BBC production for lacking what only a film can provide, those and other factors make the film a much better audience experience than the stage show—better writing, improved sequence of songs, more dramatic scenes and sufficient length to bring the audience into greater identification with the characters, e.g., the romance between Maria and the Captain made more sense in the film than in the stage play, where it sort of came out of the blue, and the "I Have Confidence" number (new for the film) provided much deeper appreciation of Maria's character. Likewise, with the omissions in the film, e.g., the relatively mediocre songs that were cut, the better timing for the first singing of "My Favorite Things" rather than the ludicrous song-and-dance duet with Maria and the Mother Abbess. What made the film so superior was the acting, and this despite the excessive cutesiness of Plummer and the film children. Julie Andrews brought real depth to Maria, whereas Kara Tointon's Maria was relatively workman-like and lacking much emotion (and lacking anything but a run-of-the-mill voice). Julian Ovenden certainly has a better voice than Plummer but lacked the stature of Plummer and came across as rather boring. Likewise, Eleanor Parker and Richard Hayden, because of both a better script and their own acting, made those characters much more than the perfunctory throw-ins in the BBC production. If the BBC production had been my introduction to "The Sound of Music," I'm sure I would have become a fan of the show. But the film was (and still is) transporting.
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