|We were in the 5th Avenue theatre, an ornate old building downtown
where the touring Broadway plays come — much more comfortable
than the side of the mountain at Sundance, where I did the last Sound of
Music sing along!
|As we walked in, they handed us little bags with everything we’d need
for the sing-along.
|Flash cards for the song “What do you do with a problem like Maria”|
|A fabric swatch. After the Captain turns down Julie’s request for fabric,
she’s at a loss for what to do — that is, until the helpful audience waives their
fabric swatches at her and tells her to just turn around and look at the drapes!
|We were all invited to the fact party that the Captain and the Baroness (hiss)
threw to show off the singing children!
|Party poppers to be popped at the precise moment of Julie and
the Captain’s first kiss (though many smart alecks improvised popping
at other times, which was often hilarious)
|And of course, a sprig of edelweiss, to be waived in the air like a lighter
at a rock concert when the Captain sings “Edelweiss”
Once the lederhosen-clad master of ceremonies had explained the proper use of our props, he quickly covered all the other instructions: These included various noises (hissing for the Baroness, barking for Rolf, booing for the Nazis, cooing for Gretel), movements (hand gestures for the “Favorite Things” song, bowing for the woman who gets third place in the music festival), and cheering (every time Julie Andrews comes on screen). Then we had a costume contest, where the finalists consisted of a family in full von Trapp costume, a couple dressed up like Schnitzel with Noodles, and a bunch of little kids dressed as Do Re Mi Fa So La and Ti.
Singing along to a movie like this, with a crowd like the one we had, is delightful and silly and oh, so much fun! Watching the movie as an adult brings back all those great memories of seeing it as a kid, only this time with a little different perspective. You notice, for example, how awful the song “I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen” is, and just how terrific the Reverend Mother is. And you leave wanting to be more like Julie Andrews and thinking if her Maria character and Cary Grant’s Dudley character (from The Bishop’s Wife) ever had children, they would be unstoppable charmers and so good that they’d probably get translated on the spot.