The Broadway Musical

Idea and formation

In the 1950’s, musicals were booming in the USA and productions such as "My Fair Lady" and "Guys and Dolls" ran on Broadway for years with authors and composers always looking for new stories.

It then came as no surprise when, in 1958, the successful team of Rodgers and Hammerstein came across Maria von Trapp's memoirs and began working on a new musical, "The Sound of Music". 




Rodgers (left) and Hammerstein (right) during samples at  St. James Theater

The Broadway Muscial

Broadway premiere, success and awards

The Broadway production premiered in 1959 and ran successfully for three years with 1443 performances and then in 1960, it won five Tony Awards in the following categories:



  • Best Musical: shared with “Fiorello!” 
  • Best Actress: Mary Martin
  • Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Neway
  • Best Set Design: Oliver Smith
  • Best Conductor and Musical Director: Frederick Dvonch
  • It was also awarded a Grammy Award in 1960 for Best Musical Show Album (Music Recording).
  • In 1998, the film was entered in the American Film Institute’s (AFI) list of the 100 Best
  • Films of all Time in 55th place and in 2007 it climbed to 40th place.
  • Two songs made it onto the AFI list of 100 Best Movie Songs (“The Sound of Music” in 10th place and “Do Re Mi” in 88th).
  • Then, in 2006 the film also made it into 4th place on the AFI list of 25 Greatest Musical Films of all Time.




Other major productions

Around the World

The production of the musical in London's West End was launched on May 18th 1961 and has been performed in the Palace Theatre. The musical “The Sound of Music” reached there 2.386 performances.

The German-language version was first performed at the Municipal Theatre in Hildesheim under the title "Die Trapp Familie" on March 9th  1982.


All current held performances can be viewed on the website of Rodgers and Hammerstein.




Sound of Music Musical

The Plot

Maria Rainer (the show uses Rainer instead of Kutschera), a novice, is employed as governess to educate the supposedly difficult children of the retired Austrian Navy lieutenant-commander Baron von Trapp.

With her natural intuition and, above all, with her music and singing she soon wins the children's trust of the affection of their father, even though he is already engaged to another woman.

The rise of the National Socialism casts a shadow on the family's happiness, with Baron von Trapp not willing to confirm to the new political situation.
A long-planned concert given by the von Trapp family choir at the Salzburg Festival eventually opens a window of opportunity to escape from their native Austria.

Music by: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by: Oscar Hammerstein

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