Stars of the international tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC Jill-Christine Wiley as Maria Rainer, Trevor Martin as Captain von Trapp, and Lauren Kidwell as Mother Abbess are currently in Manila to talk about the brand new international production which is set to be staged at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater in Circuit Makati.

One of the most popular Broadway musicals in the international marketplace, THE SOUND OF MUSIC is celebrating its 65th birthday in 2024, having won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and the GRAMMY Award for Best Show Album, for its original run. It has since entertained generations of audiences in live productions across the world, as has the classic film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, which won five Oscar Awards, including Best Picture.

Given the iconic stature of the show, asked the three actors if there is any kind of pressure to do the material as people remember it versus giving it a fresh take and making it your own.

Lauren Kidwell admits, “There’s definitely pressure because it is iconic. There’s pressure to do it right and to live up to just the show itself. We wanna make sure that I’m constantly in good health, and that I’m doing the best performance to the best of my abilities. But the character itself, Mother Abbess normally is played by somebody a little bit older and the relationship with her and Maria is more like mother and daughter. Whereas, with this production, they wanted specifically somebody a little younger so that they could view that relationship as kinda like sisters. Their relationship is possibly something that Mother Abbess has gone through and she chose the church to be a nun, and she now sees this dilemma that Maria is going through, and she sees herself in her. I think that is a completely new and fresh take on the character that relieves me of the pressure of having to live up to any other standards that we have and I hope I do a good job”.

Jill-Christine Wiley says, “Filling the shoes of such an iconic role and character, I don’t think of it so much as pressure but I think of it as an exciting challenge. I also want to remember Maria as a real person so I want to bring the most human experience night after night”. She adds, “Anytime I’ve been reviewed and compared to Julie Andrews, oftentimes it’s always ‘She’s not Julie Andrews but she does her own thing with the role’ so that’s always been exciting for me to know. Okay, I’m making it my own cause I would never want to try and replicate something that is done so beautifully by here because what will be the point of it, right”?

Trevor Martin on the other hand shares, “In my mind, the show changes as we go through the course of time, and for me, yes those movies and also the people – I’m standing on their shoulders to be able to be here and performing this today. But the show is as fresh today as much as it was 70 years ago. The themes about family and grief, loyalty, bravery, finding love again both with your family and with romantic love, all those things apply to today just as much as they have for any other time period. And I’m sure other captains in the past have found that freshness as well and for me getting to find that every single time on stage is just a beautiful thing. I get to come on stage in one mood and with one background and just go on that emotional journey, hopefully, take the audience with me. So if I can do that every night then it’s fresh every time and hopefully authentic and sincere”.

Produced by Broadway International Group, the international tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC with book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse highlights original direction by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien. It will run in Manila from March 7th to March 26th, 2023. Tickets are available at TicketWorld.

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