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Experiencing a Masterpiece, Experiencing The Sound of Music

It was a refreshing experience last night for that is my first time to see The Sound of Music on stage.  My closest experience on it is only through my DVDs.  Though the musical is not one of my favorites, many will agree that it is one of the best musical ever made in history.  From the geniuses behind Oklahoma!, Carousel and Cinderella, I'm glad that The Sound of Music once again graced the Philippine theater scene through Resorts World Manila.

For the sake of those who still don't know the plot of the show, Basically The Sound of Music is a story about Maria Rainer (Ampil/Villonco), a young postulant who's appointed to be a governess of the 7 children of Captain Georg von Trapp (Gemora/Joven/Feist).  Through Music, Maria won the hearts of the seven but unfortunately she also ignited something inside the Captain's cold and stern heart.  Faced with an unexpected temptation, she left the house and went back to the Abbey to seek more guidance.  With the help of Mother Abbess (Marquez/Francisco), Maria finally saw the light and accepted her true calling.

To some who already know the story may find it less interested about it but the music alone is immortal and will definitely captivate you no matter how many times you listen to it.  Richard Rogers and Oscar Harmmerstein II's compositions are magnificent.  Completely timeless and very indulging.  As performed by the 2011 Manila cast, I'm honored to see and hear such great array of talents performing on this excellent show.  Watching Audie Gemora (Sweeney Todd), Joanna Ampil (West Side Story), Marvin Ong (Sweeney Todd), Miguel Faustman (Shakespeare in Hollywood) and the rest of the cast on that stage is one of the best honor I will ever have.

Mio and a Scale Model Design of the Von Trapp Manor Interior

One of the best thing this staging brought to the audience is to show a magnificent set designed by the one and only Mio Infante.  Like what most of us expected, Mio created highly detailed designs that breath life to The Sound of Music's scenery and architectures.  He literally transformed NPAT's big stage to dazzling sets that are absolutely Broadway worthy.  Add to that is Paul Soriano's breathtaking animated backdrops projected on NPAT's massive LED screen giving the audience a unique theater execution combining cinematic and live theater experience on stage.

But having a gorgeous set design paired with a big stage and animated backdrop has its disadvantage too.  Yes it is true that the production design is excellent beyond expectations but it is too good that it almost stole the spotlight.  I suggest that the performers should work extra hard to own the big stage and maximize the use of space.  Also the gap on every scenes are too long.  The set change is too slow in my standard.  In some shows it works good but with The Sound of Music, it kills the momentum.  I understand that there are a lot of set pieces needed to be placed on the stage but it is not enough reason to stall the show.  I hope it can be improved.  And lastly, not really an expert on stage equipment but last night the sound system doesn't sound very good.  I feel that the actors are struggling to sing with a poor sound quality.

No that's not Captain Von Trapp.  That's me with Maria (Joanna Ampil),
the Von Trapp Children and Rolf (Marvin Ong)

Though the show suffers some technical issues, I may say that I'm happy with what I saw last night.  It is a dream come true to see this legendary musical that I only saw on the comfort of my home on a TV screen.  A must watch for everyone specially to this generation who never saw this one of a kind masterpiece before.  Thank you to Resort World Manila for giving the Filipino people such an opportunity to see The Sound of Music on the top class Newport Performing Arts Theater on a very very very (yes I'm saying that 3 times) affordable price.  I want to hug you guys now.

Show starts today, October 15, 2011 and will run until December 11, 2011.  Celebrate the Holiday season with the Von Trapp family and experience Rogers and Hammerstein's  The Sound of Music.  For ticket reservations and inquiries, visit any Ticketworld outlet or the Resorts World Manila Box Office. Visit Resorts World Manila's official site for more information.

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