The Bud was alive with the Sound of Music
I have long been a fan of The Sound of Music as a movie, and have passed on that love to my 10-year-old daughter. We both love the story and the music. I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to see the Broadway in London production of the play this past weekend at Budweiser Gardens in London, an opportunity that was made even more special because I was able to bring my daughter with me.
My husband, our daughter, and me -- with a special appearance from Berry the cat.
We took our seats and braced ourselves:. Me, for the promise of an amazing show. My daughter, for the inevitable fact that her mother was, without a doubt, going to sing along to the iconic songs in the show.
Jill-Christine Wily as Maria Rainer. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
From start to finish, the show was a standout. The set design was perfectly evocative, transporting us to Austria in the 1930s. One of my favourite scenes was the one in which the von Trapps host a party in their home. The dancing, the costumes, and the atmosphere made me so desperately want to be there, sipping champagne in a fancy dress alongside the Austrian elite. And when those Nazi flags tumbled down from the rafters during the von Trapp family's singing performance, the image was so powerful I got chills.
Mike McLean as Captain von Trapp and the von Trapp family. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Those iconic songs were all there, too, from "My Favourite Things" to "Maria," "Climb Every Mountain" to the title song. (And yes, I did sing along. shamelessly and without reservation, much to a certain someone's eye-rolling tween chagrin. She secretly loves it, deep down. Way deep down. I just know it).
The role of Maria was played by Jill-Christine Wiley to perfection. Wiley brings the perfect mixture of sweetness and spunk to the role, breathing the character to life just the way one would hope. In my opinion, there's definitely no "problem like Maria" to solve here at all :)
Keslie Ward as Liesl and Chad P. Campbell as Rolph. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
The von Trapp children were all brought to life beautifully by the youngest members of the cast, with one particularly notable performance. Birgitta, played by Valerie Wick, stole the show more than once, with her cheeky nature and matter-of-fact way of looking at the world. My daughter and I both agreed with Keslie Ward, who played Liesl in the show, would make a wonderful Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
Jill-Christine Wiley as Maria, with the von Trapp children. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
One of the most standout performances of the impressive cast was that of Lauren Kidwell as The Mother Abbess. I cannot even express to you how absolutely incredible this woman's voice is! I am not exaggerating one bit when I say that her singing voice gave me goosebumps on more than one occasion during the show. Her powerful voice could have lifted the roof right off of the RBC Theatre! At the end of "Climb Every Mountain" I actually said "Wow!" aloud. That kind of a voice doesn't come along every day and she earned every bit of the ovation she received at the end of the show.
Making memories with my family, theatre, and subjecting the public to my terrible singing -- these are a few of my favourite things. Thank you very much to Budweiser Gardens for giving me the opportunity to take in all of these things in one unforgettable night! Special thanks go out to the amazing staff at Budweiser Gardens who were exceptionally helpful and caring in the face of my mobility issues, making every possible effort to accommodate me and to ensure that our visit was a memorable one. I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!