My mother and I finally watched our DVR’ed episode of Oprah last night, the one that guest starred the cast from The Sound of Music. Christopher Plummer (who is still as handsome as ever), Julie Andrews, and all the kids – they’ve all grown up, become a little wrinkled and gray, at least one has already been widowed. They’re not kids anymore.
There were scenes played from the movie and the stories behind them, how the children looked out for each other and how the real Maria made an appearance in one scene…way, way far in the background. Julie Andrews shared with the audience just how ungraceful the opening scene was during actual filming – with Maria twirling on the mountain top – as the whoosh of the helicopter blades kept knocking her into the ground as the chopper sputtered around the mountain only to come back around, do another take, and knock her on the ground again. Then the great-grandchildren of the real Captain and Maria, who perform as the Von Trapp Children, sang Edelweiss. You could see Christopher Plummer’s eyes get a little wet. I’ll admit that mine did, too.
The Sound of Music always brings back a flood of memories for me. It was one of the few English-language movies I saw as a young girl overseas. My mother and I used to sing Do Re Mi when she would walk me home from school in Italy, being careful to hug what little of the side of the road there was so we didn’t get hit by any cars. Sometimes my friends and I would reenact the final scene in which the Von Trapp children sing goodnight, poking and popping our heads out from behind one another…auf wiedersehen, goodbye! We all wished for a governess like Maria.
This is my absolute favorite scene:
I wanted a huge marionette theater just like that one. Oh, really – who am I kidding? I still want one!
Watching the whole Oprah show was kind of strange. I mean, you can still tell which actors and actresses played which characters because, while all of them have aged, they still look like their younger Von Trapp selves. The Captain and Maria are obviously much more recognizable and they’ve maintained a life in the spotlight, still starring in films and Broadway shows long after the initial The Sound of Music craziness forty-five years ago.
The only thing missing was Julie Andrews’ voice. Her four-octave voice is gone since her 1997 throat surgery damaged her vocal cords. She can still sing but only in the lower range, meaning that Julie Andrews may never again be able to sing any of the songs from The Sound of Music.