17 Malaysian kids chosen

PETALING JAYA: After a gruelling audition involving more than 400 candidates over two days, 17 children from Malaysia were chosen to be part of The Sound of Music musical that will be shown in Kuala Lumpur in December.

The show, to be presented by Base Entertainment Asia and produced by Broadway International Group, is the first international musical to grace the Malaysian stage since Covid-19 hit the country’s entertainment industry.

Last Thursday, the presenter introduced the 17 who made the cut for this evergreen piece that has fans all over the world.

“There was an abundance of talent, but because of specific requirements for each role, it turned out that for one of the boys’ role, there weren’t enough candidates who met the requirements,” said Base Entertainment Asia chairman Datuk Jared Lim, who was accompanied by Chantal Prudhomme, group CEO of Tremendous Entertainment, at the event.

Previously, the Kuala Lumpur production advertised that it was looking for 18 children in Malaysia aged between six and 14 to play the roles of six of Captain Georg von Trapp’s seven children in the musical: Friedrich (second child after Liesl), Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and Gretl.

The local cast will be separated into three groups so that they can get some rest during the shows slated to run for three weeks beginning Dec 27 at Kuala Lumpur’s Istana Budaya.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we want to present something that’s uplifting for everyone, and The Sound of Music is just perfect as it tells the heartening story of how love and music changed the lives of Captain von Trapp and his children, and on overcoming adversity,” said Prudhomme.

She added that by incorporating local talent, this brand new production of The Sound of Music hopes to take arts and live entertainment in Malaysia to another level by bridging local and Broadway talent.

Prior to The Sound of Music, Matilda the Musical, scheduled for June 2020 at Istana Budaya, was shelved due to the pandemic.

The Sound of Music is one of the most acclaimed musicals of all time, with the original version that premiered in 1959 winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

The adaption of this work by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II into a film starring Julie Andrews in 1965 won five Oscars, including Best Picture.

Set in pre-World War II Austria, the musical tells the story of Maria, a spirited governess who brought cheer through music to the von Trapp household.

The musical was last shown in Malaysia in June 2011, featuring a London cast.

Tickets are on sale now, with details at https://tinyurl.com/esenrrbe.

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