The interactive "Sing-A-Long Sound of Music" takes its first official bow in New York City Sept. 6 with popular TV hostesses Rosie O'Donnell and Katie Couric in attendance, along with several of the film's children and...real goats and sheep. Charmain Carr (Liesl), Daniel Truhitte (Rolf) and Kym Karath (Gretl) will be on hand for the green carpet premiere.
A sell-out success at London's Prince Charles Cinema and in a tour throughout Britain, this special "Sound of Music" gives audiences the chance to do what they've always wanted to do during the sugary sweet Julie Andrews flick: dress up as nuns, wave edelweiss and sing along to the Rogers and Hammerstein tunes to the rhythm of the bouncing ball. A complimentary interactive pack accompanies the movie (a plastic nun is among the goodies) with a mystery host leading a vocal warm up, introducing a comprehensive list of shouted comments and gestures (a la "Rocky Horror") and judging the costume contest.
That final part of the evening has resulted in the most creative aspects of the "Sing-a-Long Sound of Music." Any costume, aside from those nasty Nazis, is welcome, and they have ranged from the usual (the Von Trapp children in their curtains) to the bizarre (goats -- with and without Lonely Goatherds -- to a young man in a gold lycra catsuit (give up? He's Ray, a Drop of Golden Sun)).
"The Sing-A-Long Sound of Music" makes its U.S. debut in tandem with the 35th Anniversary release of "The Sound of Music." This special "Five Star Collection" DVD edition features interviews with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, commentary from Oscar winning director Robert Wise, and six hours of bonus programming.
The running time for "Sing-A-Long Sound of Music" is three and a half hours. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students. Performances run at the Ziegfeld Sept. 15-28. For reservations, call (212) 239-6200. The Ziegfeld is located at 141 West 54th Street. "The Sing-a-long Sound of Music" hopes to find both a permanent home in New York City and to tour on to other U.S. cities in 2001. For further information, visit the website at http://www.singalonga.com.
Both Austin and Boston have hosted AIDS charity nights that featured sing-a-long "Sound of Music"s. Austin's was held at the Paramount Theatre on July 29, Boston's several weeks earlier. While Boston featured headgear along the lines of Tea With Jam and Bread, Austin let the Nazis into the boxes, where they carried on a war with the nuns in the box across the auditorium. Charmian Carr, the movie Liesl, also attended the Austin event.
Neither of these nights were associated with the Prince Charles' Cinemas "Sing-a-long Sound of Music."
-- By Christine Ehren