The Austin Chronicle

The Sound of Music: Sing-a-Long

By Sarah Hepola, July 28, 2000, Screens

"When you know the notes to sing

You can sing most anything."

-- Rodgers & Hammerstein, "Do Re Mi"

Despite almost two decades spent pretending otherwise, I still remember the lyrics to The Sound of Music. I couldn't tell you where I parked this morning, and I still stumble over my home phone number, but I do know this: "Doe, a deer, a female deer/Ray, a drop of golden sun ..." What am I reciting for? You know the rest. Precious few have escaped the juggernaut that is The Sound of Music, and really -- are they to be trusted? Most of us have seen the 1965 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, directed by Robert Wise, at least once. Hell, The Sound of Music is near religion for some, and for the rest of us, it remains a vivid reminder of a less self-conscious time, when cornball musicals were OK, when singing in public was OK, when dancing around the living room was OK.

And you know what? It still is. Case in point: The Sound of Music: Sing-a-long hits Austin this Saturday. Started as a one-time-only benefit for the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the event's popularity snowballed, and it soon turned into a Sunday tradition at London's Prince Charles Theatre. It is exactly what it sounds like -- part Rocky Horror call-and-response, part karaoke, part drag show -- wherein patrons don appropriate costumes and do-re-mi through the songs they (mostly) remember. In this, the singalong's second U.S. appearance (Boston narrowly beat us), Zachary Scott artistic director Dave Steakley is putting together a local cast to enhance the show and give it that special Steakley zing, but don't think the performance stops there. "We're encouraging all people to participate in acting out the characters," explains Project Transitions media coordinator Lonny Stern. "If we're missing some children, we'd like someone dressed as that child to join in."

Of course, if you're a little, um, shy, you can enjoy the proceedings from your own seat. Programs will feature the full libretto, so that you may belt out "The Lonely Goatherd" as well as "My Favorite Things." A goody bag will be distributed for those bold enough for a little audience participation (directives include eating Captain Crunch cereal everytime Christopher Plummer says, "You may call me Captain.") Actress Charmian Carr, who played Liesl, will be on hand to judge the costume contest and to answer questions during intermission. With all this -- plus a few more surprises -- it's guaranteed to be a whole new Sound of Music experience. Terrifying, perhaps, but different.

The Sound of Music: Sing-a-long is a benefit for Project Transitions and the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival. Sat, Jul 29, 8pm, Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress. $20 ($10 students w/ ID). Reception & command seating, $35. Reserved seating, $100. 454-8646.

Copyright © 2021 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.