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The ‘Sound of Music’ returns to the Negev after COVID-19 delay

CM 22/04/2021 8

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 “Let’s start at the very beginning

A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with do-re-mi…”
That’s Maria in The Sound of Music, not quite starting at the beginning, as she teaches the eight Von Trapp children to sing. Actress Netta Druckman as the governess, and the rest of the cast, are in rehearsals for the revival of the Light Opera Group of the Negev (LOGON’s) production of the popular Broadway musical. The 2020 run of the show, like so many others in the country, was cut short last March when COVID-19 darkened Israel’s stages.
As every year, performances had been booked in nine theaters around the country. But after the third show in Givatayim on March 5, LOGON, along with the rest of Israel’s theater world, had to shut down. The performances had to be re-booked, then re-booked again. At last, the show will be mounted again next month in Beersheba, Modi’in, Ra’anana, Jerusalem, Netanya, and Ness Ziona.
How do you revive a show after a yearlong break? 
“This is a new experience for everyone involved, but it’s all coming back,” says LOGON’s long-time stage director Yaacov Amsellem. All the actors have returned – minus one nun and one novice, who moved away.
The Von Trapp children’s characters in the show range in ages from seven to 17, however the kids have grown in a year. They’ve outgrown their original costumes, sometimes their voices changed. They’ve been “bumped up” a year to eight to 18 (not that the audience knows, but the child actors have internalized the changes.)
“The kids all remember their parts, and now are more self-assured, since they’ve already had the experience of performing in front of an audience,” says Amsellem.

Because Health Ministry regulations still ban mingling of large crowds indoors, the musical had to be pared down so that there would be no intermission, in order to get permission to stage the play.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is known as the world’s most beloved musical. Many of the songs have become standards: “Edelweiss,” “Climb Every Mountain,” “My Favorite Things” and, of course, “Do Re Me.” It’s had numerous revivals since its opening in 1959 and was adapted as a film in 1965 starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
The play is set in 1938, just before – and after – the Anschluss, when Nazi Germany annexed Austria. Maria, a postulant at a nearby abbey, is sent to work as a governess to a large family while she decides whether to become a nun. She falls in love with the seven children, and eventually their widowed father, naval commander Georg von Trapp. He is ordered to accept a commission in the German navy, but he opposes the Nazis. He and Maria, now married, decide on a plan to flee Austria with the children. (“So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye…”)  The story is a true one – up to a point – based on Maria von Trapp’s book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. The family eventually settled in the United States, becoming (with three more children) a popular singing act.
LOGON, which draws participants from the South, has been staging musicals around the country for 40 years. Some of the performers in The Sound of Music are the children and grandchildren of LOGON’S founders.
Note: Tickets purchased last year are valid for the new dates: Beersheba, May 27; Modi’in, May 10; Ra’anana, May 12; Jerusalem, May 19; Netanya, May 23 and Ness Ziona, May 27. An additional show is booked for Beersheba on May 6.
At present ticket holders need to show a vaccination or recovery certificate or a negative corona test result to enter the theaters. However, watch for updates, as these regulations are regularly changing. Additional tickets are now available at www.negevlightopera.com.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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