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Culture\Music and Theater

New version of 'Sound of Music' set for comeback

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-18 07:28

The upcoming tour will see actors, including 11-year-old Beijinger Qiu Jiahao and 5-year-old Liang Xiaoxian, play the seven children in the family.

Fu Zhenhua, a graduate of the Shanghai Theater Academy, and Dang Wenwei, a graduate of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, will play the roles of Captain Georg von Trapp and Maria Rainer.

Joseph Graves, the artistic director of Peking University's Institute of World Theater and Film, who is the director of the Chinese version of the musical and the artistic director of Seven Ages, says: "The approach to working with children is a bit different from working with adults in that they are not used to working long hours, and children have, of course, far less experience (the children in the cast range from 5 to 14 years).

"Children also cannot focus for long, extended rehearsals, and yet they often bring an energy and creativity to the rehearsal process that is inspiring to me as a director and to the adult actors with whom they are working."

Graves, a veteran Broadway director, who has spent most of his adult life acting, directing and writing for theater and films in Britain and the United States, has lived and worked in China since 2002.

"As the story of the Von Trapp family is already so well known in China, we kept very close to the original script," he says.

The first time he saw the musical was at a US cinema when he was about 8 years old. A year or two later, he saw a stage version as well.

"My favorite aspect of this musical is the way it takes a look at various kinds of love we experience as human beings: romantic love, familial love, the love between friends, the love of country, the love of things spiritual and unexplainable. So many different forms of love are explored through the words and gorgeous music. And that is what I like most about The Sound of Music-it really is the sound of love," Graves says.

After Beijing, the musical will be staged in Shenzhen in December and Shanghai next January.

If you go

7:30 pm, Aug 18-Sept 3. Poly Theater, 14 Dongzhimen Nandajie, Dongcheng district, Beijing.


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