No Way to Sing It
On Thursday, as you've no doubt seen from understandably relentless TV ads and this website here, NBC will be broadcasting a live production of The Sound of Music.
Among my many thoughts about the production, in addition to what I wrote the other day, is if this will stick fairly closely to the stage production version. If so (and I hope so), there are three songs in the stage show that never made it into the movie. A couple of them are quite nice, one of which I particularly like.
One problem is that the audience is so familiar with the movie, that they might be a bit put-off not having songs they' know. For instance, Richard Rodgers wrote "Something Good" for the movie, but you couldn't have that and "An Ordinary Couple" in the same production, they're too close in subject matter. I prefer the latter, from the original stage show. Using the more recognizable "Something Good," though, would require a bit of rewriting of the book, because they don't come in exactly the same place. (That said, my understanding is that some stage productions do have the right to incorporate "Something Good," as well as the movie's "I Have Confidence.")
The other two songs though will probably get cut for the same reason they did in the film -- they feature two minor characters: Max and the Baroness. On stage, when you have actors around for a couple hours, you sort of have to give them something to do, particularly if you want good people to agree to be in the show. In a movie, that's less a concern, and movies tend to push the story forward faster, what with cutting and all.
Also, there's a time consideration on TV. With commercials, the show should run about two hours or even a touch less. And that means some things will have to get cut. And that means -- probably -- so long songs with Max and the Baroness.
So, I suspect we won't hear any of the three songs. But I'm hoping. But even if not, we have my favorite of them here.
I was listening to the score a month ago, and realized I should post this -- but forgot about it. Then, as I mentioned earlier, I was going through all my songs, and came across a bunch of wonderful "obscure" songs, and this was one, and I was reminded. (See?! Good things can come from a hellish weekend...) And since the live TV production is just in a few days, I thought this would be a good "obscure" song to start with.
The song is sung by Marion Marlowe, the wonderful character actor Kurt Kasznar and, starring as Captain Von Trapp, Theodore Bikel. I believe the song comes when Max is trying to convince the Captain to perform in the show for the Germans and Austrians, and he's adamant against it. I know that because Bikel was such an accomplished folk singer, he performed the guitar solo during "Edelweiss." There's a guitar solo in this number, though I haven't been able to determine if that's him playing or not. Though it would seem odd if it wasn't. And this photo, which I'm surprised I was able to track down, seems to at least suggest that it could be. Ultimately, I'd bet cash money that it is Theodore Bikel playing.
So, even if it's not performed on Thursday, here now is the thoroughly enjoyable, and even more little-known, "No Way to Stop It."
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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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