A BIt of Bikel
Here's a lovely little video I stumbled across on one of my YouTube treasure hunts.
As you may know -- or not -- in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music that starred Mary Martin, the role of Captain Von Trapp was played by Theodore Bikel. While there's a wonderful cast album, there's no video footage of that 1959 production. However, I just came across a video of of Theodore Bikel from four years ago singing "Edelweiss." It's not the same, but the next thing, 51 years later..
Nice, too, is that Bikel, who is a longtime folk singer, performed his own guitar solos in the Broadway production -- and of course does so here, making it even more of an effective re-creation. What's lovely about this, as well, is that halfway through he just naturally signals the audience to join in, which somewhat duplicates the moment in the film when the Captain gets the audience at the talent show to sing along with the family and build up support and emotion for his country, after having been told by the Nazis that he had to join the German Navy after this performance.
By the way, a few years ago I heard an interview with Bikel and he spoke about The Sound of Music, and why the show was so meaningful for him. He was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1924 and said that he recalls as a young boy when a Nazi army paraded through town and saw Hitler ride by. It was long before Bikel was able to escape from the country.
12/5/2014 07:05:23 am
Bob -- I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Theo Bikel. I'm glad to see him still alive and vibrant, as I would have bet even money that he had passed on by now. Why? Because he was one of my parents' favorite performers, and somehow my juvenile mind interpreted that he was older than they. Which brings me to this story about my parents and Mr. Bikel.
12/5/2014 08:56:35 am
Ha. Fun story. Thanks. I had a chance to meet the fellow once -- happily I was on time... -- and since I have some other videos of him upcoming, I'll post the tale there.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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