Recently, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic movie musical, The Sound of Music, aired on ABC in its entirety, with limited commercial interruptions. The timeless film based on the true life story of a woman whose intention to become a nun dramatically changes when she is placed as a nanny in the home of a handsome widower with seven children.
Featuring songs that have become a nearly ubiquitous part of both movie and musical culture, the film’s star, Julie Andrews, who first debuted on Broadway at the age of 19, has four films in the pipeline for this year and next, for which her talents will be used as a voiceover performer. This, despite the fact that the talented Dame had a vocal nodule surgery mishap in 1998 that significantly damaged her 4-octave singing voice. For New England area fans eager for a dose of The Sound of Music, the von Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont can provide fans with a familial connection to this more than familiar film.
Owned and operated by direct descendants of the real von Trapp family, the lodge is both a classic New England getaway, with ski trails, hiking, horse drawn carriage rides, and picturesque views, as well as a quaint connection to Austrian culture, and the family’s famous musical background. Regularly featuring sing-a-longs, the lodge also plays host to wine tastings, arts and crafts, and history tours that discuss both the similarities and differences between the factual portions of the family’s story and those events that were purely the creation of the filmmakers.
Last month, the first winner of “American Idol”, Kelly Clarkson, celebrated her 7th anniversary of that life-changing night at the Champlain Valley Fair in Vermont. The always outspoken star, who most recently chimed in on the Kanye West incident at the VMAs, has grabbed her own headlines these past months, with the release of her latest album, All I Ever Wanted, and ongoing media battles over her weight. Her performance at the Champlain Valley Fair featured a mix of both old and new favorites, plus a variety of covers that spanned genres from rock, to country, to blues, showcasing her wide-ranging vocal abilities.
While the new season of “American Idol” won’t premier on Fox until January of 2010, everybody’s already a-buzz with anticipation with the recent naming of Ellen DeGeneres as replacement judge for the now departed Paula Abdul. She’ll be joining Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, and Maine’s Kara DioGuardi. They’ll all be judging the next crop of Hollywood hopefuls, some of which are very likely to come from New England. Back in June and again in August, the “American Idol” phenomenon hit the area, as auditions were held in Foxboro, MA and a second round later in Boston, with special guest judge Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice).
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