On November 16, 1959, The Sound of Music - the last musical collaboration of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II - made history when it opened at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theater. Masterworks Broadway celebrates that milestone with a special 50th anniversary edition of the musical's beloved original cast recording, starring Broadway legend Mary Martin. The 50th anniversary edition of the original cast recording of The Sound of Music will be released on November 3, 2009. Additionally, 50 years to the day of its Broadway premiere -- Monday November 16 2009 -- THE SOUND OF MUSIC will be celebrated with an original cast reunion, performances and reminiscences at Barnes & Noble (Lincoln Triangle, 1972 Broadway at 66th Street), commemorated by the release of a new children's pop-up book adaptation of the story and signings of the re-released cast album.
Before it became the most successful movie musical of all time, THE SOUND OF MUSIC was first and foremost a Broadway musical, with a Tony Award winning score by Rodgers & Hammerstein, and a Tony Award winning book by Lindsay & Crouse. Based on the true-life story of Maria von Trapp, THE SOUND OF MUSIC opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Broadway on November 16, 1959. It eventually ran on Broadway for nearly 4 years, and won six Tony Awards including Best Musical.
While a larger audience came to know The Sound of Music six years later, when the Oscar-winning film version starring Julie Andrews was released, the musical became a major hit of the 1959-60 season, sharing (with Fiorello!) that spring the Tony Award for Best Musical. It ran 1,443 performances on Broadway, toured the U.S. for several seasons and became an even longer-running hit in London when the first British production (1961) ran twice as long as its Broadway counterpart. It continues to be one of the most popular and enduring musicals of all time.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of The Sound of Music, Masterworks Broadway has restored the original cast recording in a new edition that features three unusual bonus tracks, extensive liner notes about the show's history by Bert Fink of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, and rarely seen photos of the recording sessions, held November 22, 1959, in Columbia Records' celebrated 30th Street Studios.
In addition to the original cast recording, the three bonus tracks on the 50th anniversary edition are:
-- "From Switzerland: The Pratt Family," a spoof of The Sound of Music created for and performed by Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett in 1962 on their TV special Julie and Carol Live at Carnegie Hall
-- A live recording of "Edelweiss," sung in German, from the historic first production (2005) of The Sound of Music in Vienna;
-- A soaring cover version of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," sung in Swedish (as "Sok dig till bergen") by Tommy Korberg, best known to American audiences for his vocals on the concept album of Chess.
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On November 16, 2009 - 50 years to the day that the classic show first opened on Broadway -Theodore Bikel ("Captain von Trapp"), Lauri Peters ("Liesl") and Brian Davies ("Rolf") will talk about the original production, its creators and its inimitable star (the late Mary Martin). The event will take place at the Barnes & Nobel in Lincoln Square in Manhattan. Sharing stories about Maria von Trapp, whose true-life story serves as the musical's basis, will be her grandson, Sam von Trapp. Laurence Maslon (author of THE SOUND OF MUSIC COMPANION) will moderate the panel, which will also include Bert Fink, author of the new children's book adaptation, and the CD's new liner notes. The event will be introduced by Ted Chapin (President of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization).
Theodore Bikel (who will be appearing at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in SHOLOM ALEICHEM: LAUGHTER THROUGH TEARS from November 8-December 13) created the role of Captain von Trapp, and was the first performer to sing "Edelweiss." Lauri Peters and Brian Davies created the roles of Liesl and Rolf, and introduced "Sixteen Going on Seventeen." Half a century after its premiere, and tens of thousands of performances later, with productions currently in Toronto, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Antwerp, Athens, Graz (Austria), on UK Tour and (upcoming) Paris and Tokyo, THE SOUND OF MUSIC appears poised to "bloom and grow forever."
The hills literally come alive in a magnificent pop-up adventure, The Sound of Music: A Classic Collectible Pop-Up (Simon & Schuster), based on the songs by Rodgers & Hammerstein and adapted by Bert Fink from the story of the stage musical. Readers are transported to the lush green hills of the von Trapps' Austria in this heartwarming tale of familial love and growth. With paper engineering and illustrations as unforgettable as each timeless melody, The Sound of Music couples visually stunning pop-ups with words from favorite songs, such as "My Favorite Things" and "Edelweiss." It is sure to become one of this season's favorite things, as well as a phenomenal keepsake to read again-and-again for years to come. (Little Simon; $26.99; 9781416936558; 10/27/09; Adapted by Bert Fink; Illustrated by Dan Andreasen; Paper Engineering by Bruce Foster). Copies are available now wherever books are sold.