Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why I love L.A. #37: The Sound of Music Sing-a-Long

Saturday night I joined my friends and the myriad of other Angelenos willing to don a deer outfit (or lederhosen, cellophane to create a gazebo, or the winning costumes, tea with jam and bread) and hiked up the hill from Hollywood and Highland to the Hollywood Bowl. Here are some highlights and tips for rookies so that you can be in on all the action.

(Just another night in Hollywood.)

We dressed as the song notes to "Do, Re, Mi." I was Fa, a long, long way to go. Not my most inventive costume ever, but I did have to use painter's tape on my socks, since I couldn't find any old-school tube socks with the stripes, a sad commentary on the state of fashion.

We joined a sea of people swarming up the hill to the Bowl, unpacked our picnic onto our laps and enjoyed a happy hour as the sun set on the parade of costumes up on the stage.

It was lovely eating outside, under the star. A few more came out as the lights went off for the movie to begin.

I don't know a night that I've had more fun en masse. The feel of community was strong, as everyone cheered and then sang along to the opening song, "The Hills Are Alive With the Sound of Music."

Those in the know had a few more cues on what to say, when to react, though we quickly caught on to the boo & hiss whenever the Baroness or the Nazis were on screen. Because I'm terrified of clowns, one of our favorites was when the nuns (and audience) were singing "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria." "A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!" and the audience screams! Fear of clowns is real, people.

The Bowl passed out goodie bags, complete with fake edelweiss and poppers. The regulars (a club we will be in next year) hold on to the poppers til the scene in the gazebo, where Captain Von Trapp tells Maria that he will not marry the Baroness, and The Kiss. Here's a video shot that night (it's hard to see the movie, but the best part is the audience reaction).

Silence is not golden here - it's hysterical to hear all the commentary and watch different people interact with the film. When the Captain first introduces the children with his shrill whistle, a group of people dressed in the kids' uniforms marched down the aisle of our section, lit by audience flashlights. Our group bobbed up and down to our respective notes during "Do, Re, Mi," though it was kind of frantic at the end, (Mi fa fa, do re re!) especially after a couple plastic cups of wine.

Tip for newbies: People bring the aforementioned flashlights and shine them at the screen when the Nazis are at the Abbey, using their flashlights to search for the Von Trapp family. I love that a man two rows in front of us, about a bazillion rows from the screen, was concerned that his flashlight wasn't working properly. Not making that much of a difference buddy, though the lucky people up front dimmed the scene with their lights. Some people save their poppers for when Rolf stays behind and threatens to shoot Captain Von Trapp.

And in our non-smoking state of California, the whole Hollywood Bowl waves cellphones when the song Edelweiss is sung, which is actually quite beautiful.

Join us next year?


Sue Chipperton said...

Love it! Love it! Love it!

Joni said...

I loved this article, Rebecca! I've always wondered what went on at this event and now I can be prepared if I ever go. I'm a huge fan... great post! Joni

Rebecca Snavely said...

Sue - so fun to see you there! You're right, this is one of the best events ever.

Joni - Thanks! You would LOVE this, especially if you're a huge fan of the musical. Definitely go next year.

Kari said...

If you ever need those kind of socks in the future I know that American Apparel has a thigh-high version. They probably have knee-high too, but I prefer the thigh highs. When I wear sock I like to go all the way.

aurelia said...

Love it! You had me cracking up about the guy with the flashlight, so true! But he was awfully cute for trying. Super fun, can't wait till next year!