S is for Simply Superb, Sound of Music

Wendy Shen
Gala Premiere ~ The Sound of Music

It’s not easy to describe this musical without collapsing in a heap of fawning superlatives: magnificent, uplifting, enthralling, riveting, immersive. You could add addictive to that list, because this jewel of a show is a nostalgia trip that you’ll never want to end. The stage show is a magical, sumptuous production that brings to life the story of how governess Maria, played by Bethany Dickson came to teach the von Trapp children, rekindling in them a love of music that would eventually save their lives. Bethany Dickson delivers her performance with gusto and charm (and a voice to match), making it hard not to fall in love with her character Maria who makes the nuns laugh and who softens the heart of a man in permanent trauma, armed with her carpet bag and guitar.

With the lovely Dr. Loretta Chen

James Borthwick brought effervesce to the already lively character of Max Detwieler, the uncle who pretends not to care, but cares the most of all. Look out for a cheeky, yet gleeful reference in his dialogue which he delivered with only the comedic timing of a master.

Janelle Visagie deserves special mention as the Mother Abbess. Her voice cut crisply through the theatre air and settled in our hearts where all our childhood memories of The Sound of Music once lay dormant. She does a spine-tingling take on Climb Ev’ry Mountain – I challenge die-hard fans not to bat away tears. She reaches seemingly impossible notes with her powerful voice, delivering a showstopper, owning the moment and the show!

Wendy Shen
Mother Abbess played by Janelle Visagie 

Climb Ev'ry Mountain

The real stars of the show are the von Trapp children, whose roles are alternated among three sets of actors between the ages of 7 and 14. Without skipping a beat, the kids execute some pretty complicated dance moves, while singing their hearts out.

The real STARS of the show ~ the von Trapp children

The creative choreography left us enthralled, from the heart wrenchingly adorable children frolicking around each other to the wealthy socialites displaying impressive ballroom dancing. The affection that grows between Captain von Trapp, convincingly played by Andre Schwartz with great suaveness and his family throughout the story is particularly endearing, with the cast relaying the emotions well.

Captain von Trapp ~ Edelweiss during the Nazi 'anschluss'

The best part about the musical is the songs – the memorable lyrics and the infectious melodies have proved to be timeless and the cast handle them with aplomb.

Do Re Mi...

The Sound of Music is a universally-beloved musical: so many have grown up with “My Favortie Things” and dreamed of playing a von Trapp child. Expectations are understandably high when going to watch a production with an unforgettable soundtrack that has been famous since the 1965 Hollywood film, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, won five Oscars, including Best Picture, and quickly became the highest-grossing film in history. Even today, The Sound of Music remains the most successful movie musical in history. The cast and crew of The Sound of Music more than delivered in their objective to bring the screen hit to life on the stage!

The von Trapp Family

Seeing the theatre performance is likely to leave you immersed in Maria’s world for days after the curtains have closed and the cast has taken their bow. In addition, the theme of the strength of love and a close family in times of struggle, makes this a perfect family bonding moment.

The Sound of Music is presented by Base Entertainment Asia, currently showing at the Grand Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands until 10 Aug 2014 you definitely want to add this to your list of ‘Favorite Things’. For ticketing details please click HERE.

Wendy Shen chatted on with the leads Bethany Dickson in the role of Maria and Andre Schwartz as Captain von Trapp.


Bethany can you share with us how you have gone about realizing your character "Maria"?
Alot of it just happen naturally, I have alot of great Directors and a wonderful creative team that helped me discover my own version of Maria. Alot of hardwork, thought and the journey through the rehearsal process really helps you to find yourself in the show and into the character.

For those more accustomed to the film version, how would you say the stage version differs to the beloved motion picture classic?
The Sound of Music is the best production ever! All the songs and characters people love, just brought to you live in-front of your eyes on the glorious stage is like reliving the memory of a piece of the movie in which alot of people are familiar with. They are both very similar but there are differences but I think what makes this production so spectacular and so special is the fact that it remains very true to the story that the movie tells.

Wendy Shen
The beautiful & demure Bethany Dickson



Andre tell us how do you manage to juggle your time between being a stage performer, running your own business (Andre runs a marketing firm called "Andre Schwartz Marketing") and being a recording artist?
One of the most important thing that they always say is give something to a busy man and he will get it done. And I think that's what basically is about. I always found that in my life the busier I am the more am able to do and I think alot has got to do with time management and also having wonderful support system. In my business I have fantastic people working with me whilst I'm here. We actually did a whole campaign page for one of our big clients and everybody just worked and got together so I think its wonderful people surrounding me, just keeping focus and knowing that if you are busy with this at the moment you must forget about that. I can't go on stage and think 'oh I should have sent that email to so and so' so I think its all about focus.

You have just released an album what are your plans?
When I'm back after the Sound of Music tour I have a few concerts lined up in South Africa and I'll be marketing that CD for awhile. I probably record another one as am busy writing and it will probably happen the middle of next year.

What can the audiences look forward to with this production?
When the Sound of Music opened in Cape Town it was amazing to see how the audiences just embrace the show. Its got something in there that everybody identifies with and resounds with. I think we all forget on how many levels this musical is written, I mean you have got the beautiful love story, you got the wonderful kids, a break-up of a relationship and all of these happens against the background of an eminent Nazi invasion in 1938 there are so many levels of tension that is played off during it. I think that is what captivates the audiences and of course the children are the star of the show they are fantastic!

How do you relate to the character "Captain von Trapp" do you find yourself resembling him?
The character is so different from what he is at the beginning and what he becomes towards the end is so different. At the beginning he's this rigid military man, does not relate to his kids and does not understand them all because his heart was broken by his wife dying. But eventually when he reunites with his children he becomes this very self contented man. There is alot about this man that one can relate to.

Wendy Shen
The Suave Andre Schwartz


  1. Wow I'm truly intrigued Wendy thanks for sharing am definitely rounding up the family whilst they are here for hols to go catch this!