Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Hollywood Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music

Saturday evening we went down to the Hollywood Bowl for the Sound Of Music Sing-A-Long. What a hoot.

We left at 3:00 pm to drive down to the L.A. Zoo where we would take a shuttle to the Bowl. On the way down, the wife practiced her Harmonic. What you say? The Harmonica? Here's the story. When she teaches the Grapes Of Wrath, the wife talks about the harmonica to her students. One student, who happens to have a dad who plays the harmonica, gave her an harmonica and a lesson book. The wife was determine to learn how to play "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria" by the time we got down to the Bowl. By the time we got to the parking lot my ears were bleeding ... Just kidding!!! She actually was pretty good for someone who had never played before and did not have the sheet music for the song she was trying to learn. Unfortunately she hasn't got the breathing thing down yet and had a headache by the time we arrived. The harmonica didn't make an appearance at the bowl.

We arrived at the Bowl and the wife got in her nun outfit with her glow in the dark rosary (I don't dress up - against my religion). Before we reached the ticket takers she was asked by a lady and a camera man if she would give an interview. Great way to start the evening! Whoo Hoo! The lady turned out to be an Austrian Documentarian. She was doing a documentary on the Sound Of Music phenomenon and how the movie, filmed in Austria, is hardly known there at all. She gave us a postcard with a Blog address but the address was wrong or hasn't been set up yet. I googled the site and found the correct address Here.

We went in and sat at our box seat. We were right near the stage. A large movie screen was set up in the mouth of the Bowl. We ate some supper and I went around taking pictures. You could see the Hollywood sign from the bowl. At 6:00 pm sharp they started with some organ music and the Master of Ceremonies, Melissa Peterman, came out and started the ball rolling. She went through the goodie bag that was distributed to everyone when that entered the bowl. You had the Edelweiss you waved when the Edelweiss was sung, the piece of curtain material that you waved when Maria was trying to find material to make play clothes for the children, and a party popper that seem to be set off whenever Julie Andrews was kissed. The popper was by far the funniest as some of the audience had excellent timing. There were also gestures to make when singing Doe A Deer.

Next, the MC introduced a German band from Georgia who were pretty good though their attempts at humor were a little corny. Then again, we were at a Sound Of Music Sing-A-Long - how much more corny could they be.

After the music they started the costume parade. The MC was joined on stage by Charmian Carr - the actress who played Liesl von Trapp in the movie. The wife got in line before realizing that it wasn't just a parade and that they would actually talk to her ... in front of 16,570 people (The official count). Her costume went from Mother Superior to Nun on vow of silence. I know exactly how she feels. I couldn't talk in front of a crowd that size either (I used to clam up in front of my class just reading book reports). The other parade participants were hard core. You had the pine cone on the chair, the "My Favorite Things", and many more. Unfortunately the majority of the pictures I took didn't come out due to lack of lighting and lack of image stabilization. My next camera will have image stabilization. Prizes were given out. First place was a cruise. The winner's costume was a giant hand catching a moonbeam (From the song, "Maria"). My picture of him did not come out - dang nab it.

After the parade the movie started. When there was a song being sung, the lyrics were subtitled. Everyone joined in. It was hilarious. When the Baroness appeared, everyone Hissed. When the Nazis appeared everyone booed. When cute little Gretal appeared everyone said "aaaawwwww". Eventually people brought out their laser pointers and zapped the Baroness and the Nazis - often in the ear, nose, or crotch. There was commentary and yelling at the screen from a lot of the audience. The coolest part was when the Captain Von Trapp sang Edelweiss (The song we danced to at our wedding). Everyone flipped open their cell phones and waved them in the air. The image of all those lights was really cool.

Overall, a wacky fun time. I was almost sorry to see it end. The only down side is that the day after I have the songs stuck in my head. Pictures are here. Thanks to the "J" for suggesting this to us.

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