Sunday, February 23, 2014

R.I.P. Maria von Trapp: Just Not THAT Maria von Trapp

Trending on Facebook last night...
The passing of Maria von Trapp, "who inspired the musical 'The Sound of Music.'"
Sorry Facebook, but no.

Maria von Trapp, who was played by Mary Martin on Broadway and Julie Andrews in the film, bid the world "So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight..." in 1987.

The Maria that passed yesterday was the Baron's youngest daughter with his first wife, known in the musical as "Louisa," presumably to prevent confusion.

From The Sound of Music's Facebook page...
"Known as Mitzi, Maria was the youngest of the original seven von Trapp Family Singers, who emigrated with their parents to America. Join us wishing her family well today as we celebrate her long and extraordinary life."
As a young bloggling, I met the senior Maria when I was eight-years-old. She gave a talk at my school. Fascinating lady. Boy did she have some stories!

Some of the fiction in the play/movie was written to make it more interesting.

Fiction: In the musical, the family escapes the Nazis by slipping out of a concert, followed by an epic Nazi chase scene.

Fact: The family did what they always did, every Sunday afternoon. They took a hike. The difference? This particular Sunday, they packed their backpacks with everything that fit. Then they hiked until they had hiked, safely, out of the country. They were in Switzerland before the Nazis knew they were gone.

Some was changed because no one would have believed the true story!

Fiction: The family's talent was discovered by a family friend.

Fact: The kids were singing in the yard when a passing talent agent happened to hear them.

See what I mean?

My favorite story...

The Baron always wore his Austrian military uniform. Grey flannel with gold buttons and epaulettes, a stripe down the side of the trousers. When they arrived in New York City for their first American concert tour, they were in the lobby of The Ritz when a tourist couple set their bags down at the Baron's feet. They had mistaken him for a bellhop. This must have horrified the proud military man. But, Maria thought it was the height of hilarity.

As of this writing, there is no evidence that NBC's production of "The Sound of Music: Live!" contributed to Mitzi's death.

I don't know. Too soon?

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