Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Extreme Poetic License

An obit of Agathe von Trapp, the eldest daughter--though not the eldest child--of Captain Georg von Trapp of Sound of Music fame, sets the record straight about the musical mishpacha:
...She wanted people to know that her father, Capt. Georg von Trapp, a widowed Austrian aristocrat who was played by Christopher Plummer in the film and Theodore Bikel on Broadway, was not cold, unfeeling and distant. She insisted he was a kind and loving father.

"Agathe von Trapp cried when she saw the show at its Broadway opening in 1959. She would have been just as enchanted as the rest of the audience had the characters' last name been Miller. But this was her family's name, and it was not her family's story," the 2003 Sun story said.

Among other changes, the children's first names and sexes had been changed. In real life, Agathe von Trapp had an older brother, but in the musical the eldest child was a girl, Liesl.
As the eldest daughter, Agathe von Trapp had assumed that was her. But as a teenager she never had a boyfriend, much less a telegram-delivering Nazi.
"In those days, people didn't date like they do here, and teenage boys didn't deliver telegrams," she explained in 2003.

Agathe von Trapp said the nun (played by Mary Martin and later Julie Andrews) who became her stepmother was not a governess. She was a tutor for one of the von Trapp sisters, who was too weak from scarlet fever to make a 45-minute trek to school. And the children were quite well-versed in music by the time they met Maria, who went by the nickname Gustl.

Agathe von Trapp said the family did not cross the Alps to escape Austria. They crossed the street and boarded a train...
Next you'll be telling me Maria did not make the kids ugly play clothes out of hideous drapes and that they never put on a marionette goat show for papa and the countess.

Is nothing sacred? ;)

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