Cher Public

an asset to the abbey

Here’s a rousing opening number by the original company of The Sound of Music. At about 3:33 it’s hard to miss a very familiar face.

Stay with the video even after glimpsing our surprise religieuse for an earful of Patrica Neway‘s “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” with more than enough vocal goods to compensate for the “Queen Aggravain” makeup.

This is one of a multitude of video excerpts from Broadway shows compiled at

  • David Utterback

    I once saw a community theater production of TSOF in which the Rolf was obviously jewish! Also, the production utilized a unit set in which the von Trapps living room couch stuck out in front of Alp backdrop as well as the convent arches.

  • brett

    TSOF? The Sound of Flatulence?

  • Ashton

    Hey jimupde thanks for the clarification. I believe with you that there must be more to the story. Perhaps the artist in question (Turner) wanted to give an “official” reason as to why she wasn’t selected. Not being selected for a part is terribly hard in the world of a performer. I wonder what the reason was for losing the film version as well??? And it is perhaps odd that Turner would have known the reason for losing the Broadway SOM. And why could she not have done the national tour or taken over when MM left the cast after two years? Mary Martin was one star who never made gossip columns you never heard of her likes and dislikes on stage, you never heard of feuds or conflict in any Mary Martin show. So I can’t imagine anyone connected with the show saying MM doesn’t want you onstage because your voice is too good. It does seem odd. The husband of MM was a producer of SOM and would have had some say so in the matter. And maybe Mary had casting approval, but I am not 100 percent she did. Rodgers and Hammerstein were pretty powerful to deal with. Anyway, it is quite fascinating what you wrote and I apologize for saying that the sources were mixed up. It is just that there is the similar story for South Pacific and in that story Martin comes off as very self-depracating and humble (which I think she was in real life)

  • David, I don’t get it. Did Rolf have a nude scene?

  • Gualtier Maldè

    More TSOM and opera trivia: Eleanor Steber played the Mother Abbess in a revival after being let go by the Metropolitan Opera. Daniel Truhitte, the movie Rolf is the father of hunkentenor/heldentenor Thomas Rolf Truhitte, a budding Wagnerian. Also, the Wagnerian soprano/Mother Abbess casting was finally achieved when Eileen Farrell recorded the role in the recording with Flicka and Hakan Hagegard.

  • Stella Barbare

    no, la cieca, it was obviously the bagel he was holding…

  • jimupde

    La Cieca, it was not only the bagel he was eating, but he also put on a yalmuke and prayer shawl when he entered the abbey in the last scene. That kinda blew his cover.

  • Lindoro Almaviva

    Thanks for the clarification about the time. At 3:33 I saw what was obviously a soprano and I am thinking, “well, it kind of look like Stebers, but not really. What am i missing?”

    Now I know.

  • royboy

    Boys, boys, boys! Have none of you ever read Noel Cowards diaries and letters? MM could be a full-scale monster, aided and abetted by the henchman husband, Richard Halliday. Sir Noel thought there would be a special place in hell for actresses’ husbands…and hairdressers! I believe that Mary had a financial piece of every show she did in her heyday. She was the one who brought TSOM to R+H. Merman used to envy Martin’s control over her shows, and her financial acumen. As her recent biographer strsses, the sapphically-rumored Martin chose her husband with her head, Merman chose hers with her vagina.

  • Grace Ann

    “Sapphically-rumored?” Martin-- fully capable of tossing out any Neely O’Hara or Claramae Turner that threatened her-- was the original subject of “Dyke, ya know!”

  • Ashton

    Could Royboy quote us an example of the “full scaled monster.”
    I have read one volume of the diaries and Coward is loving in his praise to MM, and very dismissive of her husband. I think he even mentions “hating” him. But I recall no mention of MM as a “monster.” If there is something in volume 2 of the dairies or the latest edition (if it is not called volume 2) I would love a quote. Thank you. In the first diaries volume he writes with great love about her performances in SOM, SP and Hello Dolly. He had some problems working the husband on a tv show that he and MM did together, but he praises her work even then. If you go back to the mid 40s Noel and Mary had a terrible blow up about hat s in a show they did together, Pacific 1860, but after a few years of feuding they once again became the best of friends.

  • Strephon

    Yet More TSOM and opera trivia. The first London Mother Abbess was Constance Shacklock, who sang Brangane to Flagstad’s last ever Isolde on stage at Covent garden

  • Trey Zbirry

    If we’re going to get us to a nunnery, can’t we have some goss on Les dialogues des Carmelites?

  • Fergus

    “Its gay, its amusing…”

    Oh, Ed, you have no idea.

  • jimupde

    I could sing the Mother Abbess tomorrow, but nobody would want to hear it.

  • Wowkle

    Is it just me or do I hear the dulcet tones of Homer Simpson everytime M.M. sings “Doh” ?