Review Scene: The Sound of Music, National Theatre, 3rd March 2024, by Clinton Dean

On Saturday, March 2nd, Theatrical presented the opening night of its season of “The Sound of Music” at the National Theatre, St. Kilda.

This 1959 Broadway show, by Rodgers and Hammerstein, regularly features on lists of the greatest musicals of all time. It is the celebrated story of the Von Trapp Family singers and their decision to leave Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938.

At the centre of every production of this musical is the role of Maria Von Trapp, first as a novice in the abbey and then as governess to the children. In this pivotal role, Tayla Dwyer gave a faultless performance. Beautifully sung and acted, her warm personality was ideally suited to the part. Also outstanding was Amanda Stevenson as the Mother Abbess. Her thrilling rendition of “Climb Every Mountain” drew an ovation from the audience, and is the finest I have ever heard.

So much of the appeal of this musical depends on the seven children in the cast, and none of them disappointed. Their acting, singing, and dancing skills were exemplary. Sets, lighting, and costumes were all of a high standard.

For those who are only familiar with the 1965 film of this musical, I strongly recommend seeing this stage production. Much enjoyment is to be had from the many additional scenes and songs that were omitted from the film. Highly recommended.

Photo: Nicole Cleary

The Sound of Music
National Theatre Melbourne
20 Carlisle St, St Kilda

Rising musical theatre company Theatrical is thrilled to present a new production of The Sound of Music, at National Theatre Melbourne opening this Saturday 2 March.
The production is the first of three crowd-pleasing new musicals to be staged at the historic 783 seat theatre as part of Theatrical’s 2024 season, with The Boy From Oz premiering in July, and A Chorus Line to grace the St Kilda stage in September.
The Sound of Music features a 16 piece orchestra led by musical director Kent Rossand a 43 person cast directed by Karen Shnider, including 12 young talents who share the roles of the Von Trapp children.
Audiences are invited to sing along to anthemic hits such as Climb Ev’ry MountainMy Favourite ThingsDo Re MiSixteen Going on SeventeenMaria and of course, The Sound of Music. Tickets are selling fast via
“The Sound of Music is one of the true classics: the melodies, the songs and the story are timeless. Our production will give audiences the opportunity to enjoy all the iconic song and dance numbers from our vibrant cast, as well as the story of prejudice, hope and survival which remains so relevant today,” says director Karen Shnider.
The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein, The Sound of Music is based on the ​​1949 memoir of Maria von TrappThe Story of the Trapp Family Singers. The musical premiered in 1959 and won five Tony Awards, with the 1965 movie going on to win five Oscars.
Tayla Dwyer (nee Thomas), who was a show stopping finalist in The Voice 2018, will star as Maria. Crowned by The Voice judges as a ‘Disney Princess’, Tayla began her professional career in Hong Kong as Elsa and Rapunzel in Broadway-style production ‘Mickey and the Wondrous Book’. She went on to perform with Hi-5 and play leading roles in Shrek the Musical, Legally Blonde,Theatrical’s Little Women and many more musical productions.

“The Sound of Music was one of my late nana Marjorie’s favourite things. She dreamt of this role for me and now I’m living the dream for both of us. I couldn’t be happier to be coming back to Theatrical to play Maria,” says Tayla.
More premiere musical productions are due to be announced at National Theatre Melbourne, further reinvigorating the underutilised and charming performing arts venue which was originally built in 1920 as a 3000-seat cinema.
“I am thrilled that we are part of the journey to revitalise the National Theatre, offering audience-favourite musicals outside the CBD theatres. At a time where every cent counts, we are happy to be able to offer the escapism of musical theatre at an affordable price point, with tickets selling for no more than $68,” says Executive Producer and Theatrical founder Andrew Gyopar.
“St Kilda is such a destination for the performing arts, and we are proud to be collaborating with the St Kilda Festival this year.”
The Sound of Music will take to the Alfred Square stage at St Kilda Festival at 12.15pm on 18 February, offering a sneak peek at some of the song and dance numbers from the musical. St Kilda Festival is Australia’s largest free music festival.
Theatrical is a not-for-profit and registered charity from former 3RRR radio personality and Executive Producer Andrew Gyopar(Spring Awakening, Dogfight, Rock of Ages, Seussical, If/THEN, Freaky Friday, American Idiot). The independent musical theatre company has a mission to combat social isolation by encouraging inclusion, social connections and creative expression through theatre, while promoting diversity and positive mental health and wellbeing. | @theatricalinc