Tag Archives: musicals

Our Sound of Music on New Year’s Day!

I couldn’t resist. When I saw that The Sound of Music was going to be on tonight, I knew that no matter how hard I might try to resist, I was going to watch it. Not just because it was on, and I had nowhere else to be, but because I wanted to watch it. That I had to go through the whole Sound of Music experience all over again. Immerse myself fully.

Miss outside the Brent Street Studios where the auditions were held.

Besides, Sound of Music brings back some very special memories of of my own. When my daughter was about nine, she came home from a dance class with a torn out strip of paper in her hand. On it were written the details to audition for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of the Sound of Music in Sydney. A scrap of paper wasn’t an auspicious beginning, and I must admit I was rather unenthused. My grandmother had been a child prodigy concert pianist, and I’d had expectations thrust on me at an early age. However, the desire was coming from her, not from me. Moreover, she’s very hard to say no to. Before I knew it, I was filling out the application form and sending off a photo. It was only then that I bought a copy of the movie, and saw how much our daughter looked like the original Marta, and wasn’t surprised when she scored an audition. The first thing she had to do was pass the height test. Then came the singing audition, and then onto dance.

These days, Miss doesn’t do a lot of singing. However, back then she’d performed in quite a few large choral performances at school, including School Spectacular. However, she’d also been diagnosed with vocal nodules and was struggling to speak let alone sing, and had been seeing a speech therapist. However, why let a small thing like that get in the way of your dream? Moreover, if you know us even just a little bit, you know we don’t give up that easily.

Persevering with the keyboard while on the nebuliser. I only need it a few times a day so not a big deal.

Just to complicate matters further, I ended up with a major chest infection, asthma and needing to go on the nebuliser in the week leading up to her audition. I wasn’t about to let that stand in my way either. Anything short of a near death experience, and I was getting her to that audition myself. Call us daft in hindsight, but once the juggernaut is in motion, it takes a hell of a lot to make it stop.

Miss playing the keyboard.

So, there we were a fine pair in the week before the audition. Miss with vocal nodules and me on the nebuliser. Yet, we prepared and practiced the songs. It had been years since I’d touched a keyboard, but I pulled out this gizmo I’d bought out at a market for the kids…a rollout electronic keyboard which could go on the kitchen table and it didn’t matter if we wrote the notes on it. It was hardly my mother’s precious Steinway grand. I also wrote the songs out with the corresponding letters because she coulddn’t read music. However, while learning the songs on the keyboard was sparing her voice, she couldn’t see the point of it all, and when the horse resisted, I pulled back. In hindsight, it was all probably a bit too much, but I meant well.

Converting the musical score into “Miss-Speak”. I really worked hard to help.

By the way, there was a rather comical twist to her audition. The night beforehand, we were able to stay with a friend in the city to make things easier. As it turns out, my friend was a Major in the Army Reserve and just happened to be in uniform when he dropped us off at Brent Studios. So, as you can see, she had a proper military escort to her audition.

Miss with the Major

We were kind of grateful when she didn’t make it through to the callbacks. I don’t know how parents magically “make it happen”, but we’d have been bending over backwards and inside out to pull it off. Yet, we would’ve done it.

Miss is now 15 going on 16. So tonight as I rewatched the Sound of Music, she was now almost the same as Liesl, the eldest of the Von Trapp children, but fifteen going on sixteen instead. Of course, this isn’t all smooth sailing, and she was the only one of us who was out and about last night.

If you would like to find out more about the original Von Trapp family, this is a good quick read: https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2005/winter/von-trapps-html

In the meantime, with covid at large and management in NSW in complete disarray, it might be an opportune time to catch up with a few other movie classics. The Blues Brothers was on NYE along with Can’t Stop The Music with the Village People. I’ve watched that after midnight for probably the last five years but it was on before midnight this year and I missed it. I’m also trying to start reading Amanda Lowrey’s book: The Labyrinth (along with getting through a massive book pile). Gee, along with wanting to enjoy the outdoors and sort out the house, top of my wish list for 2022 is nine lives.

Best wishes,

Rowena

My daughter and I a few months ago after getting our post lockdown haircuts.

Coffee With Love!

Welcome to another Weekend Coffee Share and Happy Valentine’s Day. At least, it’s already Valentine’s Day here in Australia.

I don’t know what’s happened to me over the years. What now seems like many, many moons ago, I could’ve been the patron saint of Valentine’s Day and now I’ve become a cynic.

Indeed, I’ve even called for the demise of Cupid…the little rascal (and that’s being polite!)…Shooting Cupid.

What’s happened to me? Is romance really dead? Or, was I just having a bit of fun now that I’m older, wiser and not to mention married?

Most likely, it’s the fact that my husband and I will be spending Valentine’s Day driving our kids all over the countryside, instead of spending a romantic day together. I’ll be taking our daughter to a birthday party at a bowling alley and later on we’ll be taking our son to scouts for a few hours. So much for being wined and dined in some fancy, schmicko restaurant. Didn’t any o these folk realise Valentine’s Day was sacred. Or, at least it used to be!

So, what did we get up to last week?

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Rowena & Miss at Matilda

Last Sunday, our daughter and I went off to see Matilda the Musical in Sydney. It was absolutely sensational. As you could imagine, I couldn’t help casting my daughter as Matilda as we watched the performance. After all,  she is very much like a real Matilda…small, incredibly gutsy, smart and musical. I really loved how the musical talked up being small and how it doesn’t stop you from standing up for what is right or from pursuing your dreams…becoming who you really are. You can read more here..

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After Matilda, we walked back to Town Hall Station via Darling Harbour and the Queen Victoria Building. We ran into some friends and ended up having sumptuous Iced Chocolates at the Lindt Cafe at Darling Harbour. This wasn’t the location of the December 2014 terrorist attack but it still crossed my mind. How could something as yummy as Lindt ever become connected with terrorism?

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Chinese New Year Lantern Sculpture, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney.

Walking through the Queen Victoria Building, we stumbled across some striking Chinese New Year decorations. You can join us on our walk here at Sydney Harbour…A rear End Perspective.

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The Tiger was one of the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac brought to Life around Sydney.

After going to Matilda, the rest of the week was a blur of routine. I also had fairly nasty nausea and really didn’t feel well and slept a lot. I started getting concerned about what was going on and then just wondered if it was a standard virus. I seem to be getting back on deck now but I certainly freaked myself out.

The kids are enjoying their new schools and we’re working hard to establish a routine and some kind of order at home.

One afternoon, our son returned home from school really excited. He had learned how to herd pigs. I have heard the story of the Prodigal Son so many times that as much as I love pigs, the thought of my son going to school to herd pigs was a bit conflicting.

At the same time, I think the ag plot is a great ice breaker for the kids and I’m sure bonding with the animals must diffuse a bit of teenage angst. However, the ag plot is an active farm…a business. So, this meant that he was herding the pigs up for them to go to market. The next day, they were herding the pigs up for other activities, which should also improve the bottom line. He’s certainly getting an education!

Meanwhile, on Friday when I went to pick our daughter up from the station, she was lugging a black case…the Baritone Horn. She has joined the school band. She wanted to learn the trumpet but they were all taken so she’s learning the Baritone instead.

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As you may appreciate, the Baritone is not a small instrument and being Mum, I couldn’t help wondering about the logistics of this instrument. How was Miss going to lug that thing to and from school on the train? Evidently, she could lift the thing but I was starting to equate it to a suitcase and I well remember the International luggage limit of 20kg. Alright, so I exaggerate. You know I’m good at that! The horn doesn’t weigh that much but it’s still heavy.

Anyway, out comes the Baritone. She plays it and I’m struck by the size of the thing versus the size of the girl and while she says it sounds like an elephant, her brother says it sounds like something else. Yes, of course, I laughed. The bad mother laughed. Just like my mother’s family laughed when her clarinet squeaked and she never played it in public again. Family might build you up but they can just as surely bring you down!

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You can see some of our framed family portraits reflected in the Baritone. Looks quite intriguing and something to work on.

I’ve since photographed our budding Baratonist and discovered a new toy. I have always loved photographing reflective surfaces and the Baritone could well be a lot of fun. I know you’re probably supposed to photograph a brass instrument without reflections but they were so intriguing.

So, it’s been quite an intriguing week. I never quite know where Mum’s taxi will take me but it’s certainly been an incredible ride!

How has your week been? What have you been up to? I’m looking forward to popping round and catching up!

Thanks so much for joining me for coffee!

This has been part of the #WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly linkup hosted by Diana at Part-Time Monster.

xx Rowena