Grace's Mosaic Moments

Saturday, June 18, 2022

A Tale from The Sound of Music


Susie, in South Carolina, reporting this is her idea of "having a great time"!


Below, Willow is being challenged for the "Cute Kitty" award.


Kitten on the Keyboard


And from Carol Kotilainen, daughter of my high school best friend . . .

Arizona Sunset

 A Tale from The Sound of Music

 While writing about my daughter's hopefully unique experience while performing "Maria" in West Side Story, I recalled a memorable theatrical moment of my own from way, way back in the 60s. 

I was in my first adult play at age six and somehow never got over the theatrical bug. After five years of teaching elementary school music in Connecticut, I finally took the plunge and moved to New York City, where I auditioned for musicals. To my surprise, I almost immediately landed a chorus job in the National Company of The Sound of Music. I was also engaged to play piano for rehearsals while on the road, train replacements, and direct the off-stage music performed by our sixteen "nuns." (A representative of the Rodgers & Hammerstein office took me to Local 802 in New York, where we sat at the boss's desk while he wrote out a check for my dues, so I could play piano with the Union's approval.)

When we went into rehearsal, the most challenging music we had to learn was an 8-part, all-female intricate contrapuntal chorale (in Latin) that opens the stage production of The Sound of Music. The Powers That Be wanted to have the "echo effect" of singing in a large cathedral, so we recorded the song in a studio in New York and never performed it "live" again.

We opened on a Saturday afternoon in Detroit. (FYI,we traveled the country by train, each cast member with his/her own Roomette.) I should add that a skeleton crew also  traveled with the cast. Stage Manager, Head Electrician and Assistant, Orchestra Director & First Violinist are the ones I recall. All other crew and musicians were hired locally.

We were in an immense auditorium in Detroit (sadly, I've heard it's now gone to ruin). All were excited; a few of the girls managed to peek through the curtain and reported that the auditorium was absolutely stuffed with families with children and, to our surprise, a great many nuns in full habit.

The opening scene of The Sound of Music is played before the curtain. Novices from the convent pantomime early morning chores while the ethereal music we recorded in New York plays over the speaker system. All went well; the last novice scurried off-stage. And Sammy, our Stage Manger, gave the signal to open the curtain.

Nothing happened. Again, Sammy gave the signal. The curtain didn't move. At which point, Sammy roared, "God damn it, open the curtain!" And of course the speakers used to broadcast our beautiful 8-part Latin song were still open, and Sammy's angry voice soared out to the matinee audience of children and nuns.

What a way to start our tour of the whole U. S. of A!

~ * ~

 I am happy to report that all four books of the Blue Moon Rising series are now available on Smashwords, as well as Amazon. Rebel Princess, Sorcerer's Bride, and The Bastard Prince are already available through Smashwords' many affiliates. Royal Rebellion should join them shortly.

In the final book of this SciFi Fantasy tale of Adventure and Romance, the children of a pacifist king and their gifted spouses come together to finally defeat an evil empire.

Grace note: The Crucible Kingdom is Book Five in the series, but is a spin-off, the plot only vaguely connected to the four-book saga of the fall of the Regulon Empire.

 ~ * ~

   For a link to Blair's website, click here.

 For a link to Blair's Facebook Author Page  click here.


Thanks for stopping by,

Grace (Blair Bancroft)


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