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On its Broadway anniversary, adaptations of ‘Sound of Music’

By / Published on Wednesday, 18 Nov 2015 23:41 PM / No Comments / 30 views
17599. FEB. 1, 1965 FILE PHOTO.Anonymous/AP

Julie Andrews’s Maria in the 1965 film adaptation brought “The Sound of Music” and the Von Trapps into mainstream culture.

On this day in 1959, “The Sound of Music” opened on Broadway for the first of its 1,443 performances.

Starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical tells the story of Maria, a nun who takes a job as a governess for the von Trapps, and finds herself fleeing Austria to escape Nazis.

The production received nine Tony Award nominations and won five, including Best Musical.

From the show’s success, “The Sound of Music” has been revived, remastered and redone dozens of time on the stage, on the big screen and on TV. Here are a few of the most memorable adaptations:

“The Sound of Music”

In 1965, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer starred in the film adaptation of the musical to raves.

The top grossing movie of 1965, “The Sound of Music” also surpassed “Gone with the Wind” for the highest-grossing film in history.

The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture and Best Director, as well as winning two Golden Globe Awards (Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Motion Picture Actress – Musical or Comedy).

“How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?”

When Andrew Lloyd Webber, the king of musical theater, decided to revive “The Sound of Music” in 2006, he took a different route for casting after negotiations with Scarlett Johansson fell through.

English broadcasting network BBC One hosted an eight-episode talent search, hosted by Graham Norton and judged by Webber, David Ian, John Barrowman and Zoe Tyler, to search for the next Maria.

Ten contestants performed live for six weeks on “How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria?” and were voted on by the panel and the public.

Twenty-three-year-old Connie Fisher was declared the winner and took the lead in the production.

The show ran at the London Palladium ran from November 2006 to February 2009 and was followed by a cast recording and a national tour.

“The Sound of Music Live!”

NBC began a pattern of live TV musicals when it staged “The Sound of Music Live!” in December 2013 with Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Chrstian Borle.

The production had its critics but was generally well-received, with 18.62 million viewers tuning in for the first night.

The Daily News’ David Hinckley reviewed the live performance here.

“The Pacifier”

The 2005 Vin Diesel movie “The Pacifier” found its funnier moments in its “Sound of Music” jokes.

Tasked with caring for the children of a a dead government operative, Navy SEAL Shane Wolfe (Diesel) goes from thinking eldest son Seth (Max Thieriot) is a neo-Nazi to producing the local theater company’s musical.

“Glee”

To no one’s surprise, Ryan Murphy’s high school musical comedy covered “The Sound of Music.”

In the season three holiday special, “Extraordinary Merry Christmas,” Blaine (Darren Criss), Kurt (Chris Colfer), Mercedes (Amber Riley) and Rachel (Lea Michele) sing “My Favorite Things.”

Academy Awards

Known best for her outrageous outfits, Lady Gaga stunned the audience at the 2015 Academy Awards with her voice.

For the 50th anniverary of the movie, Lady Gaga performed a medley of its songs, including “The Sound of Music,” “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.”

“Moulin Rouge!”

Baz Luhrmann’s tragic love story is a musical itself, but it frequently referenced “The Sound of Music.”

The most obvious was the absinthe scene, during which the Green Fairy (Kylie Minogue) sings a few lines from “The Hills are Alive.”

“Pushing Daisies”

In the second season premiere of “Pushing Daisies,” Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth) has been hiden away at a convent to hide her secrets.

The opening scene of Chenoweth running up a countryside hill is almost a perfect recreation of Maria doing the same in “The Sound of Music.”

Gwen Stefani, “Wind It Up”

Pop princess Gwen Stefani’s 2006 single “Wind It Up” took full advantage of “Sound of Music” popularity.

The song featured yodeling and lyrics from “The Lonely Goatherd” and the music video alluded to multiple scenes from the musical, including the bedroom curtain dresses and the thunderstorm.

kfeldman@nydailynews.com

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