The lavish London Palladium production of The Sound of Music is set to grace Brisbane stages this month.
Held in the Lyric Theatre at QPAC from 11 March, The Sound of Music brings to life the true story of the von Trapp family’s flight across the mountains.
The acclaimed production of the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein musical first premiered in 2006 at the London Palladium in the West End, where it celebrated a record-breaking 954 performances seen by over two million people, before going on to enjoy sell-out season internationally.
The Australian production stars Amy Lehpamer (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Once and Rocky Horror Show) as Maria Rainer and Cameron Daddo (Legally Blonde and Big River) as Captain Georg von Trapp alongside Marina Prior, Jacqueline Dark, Lorraine Bayly, Philip Dodd and David James.
Amy Lehpamer says it’s a dream come true to be cast as Maria Rainer.
“It’s wonderful! It’s such a special role and it means a lot to so many people,” she says.
“People have such an idea about Maria, she represents a lot for a lot of different people so it really is an honour to play her.”
The Sound of Music was one of Amy’s favourite films growing up, so much so, she would often pretend to be the characters and sing along to the musical numbers.
“You don’t really analyse it when you’re a kid, but the film just gives you this great feeling,” she says.
“Being in my older years and watching it and revisiting it now, I found it to just be a beautiful film. As a piece of filmmaking it’s extraordinary; it looks gorgeous, the performances are beautiful and it’s just really timeless.”
“I‘ve always loved and always responded to how organically the songs come through in the story as well, they don’t feel like they’re just shoved in there. I think that’s what the audience really love; it’s quite intoxicating that you’re surrounded by this beautiful music. It’s quite seamless.”
Amy says playing Maria can be very demanding at times.
“As a character, Maria is very energetic and she has a lot of life in her and part of my job is to keep that energy alive and keep that true to her. It’s quite demanding but it’s a challenge I really enjoy having,” she says.
To prepare for her role, Amy says she had to discover more about what made Maria tick.
“Maria is such a musical character, the music really soars through her and her connection to her faith is really important too, so it was important for me to look into what made her tick,” she says.
“There is a beautiful clue within the show in the song How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, which is all about Maria’s various qualities, good and bad. That was a good place to start with her.”
Amy has had an incredibly successful career in musical theatre, having been nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award in 2014 for her role as a con artist in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, as well as receiving Helpmann and Green Award nominations for her role as Sherrie in Rock of Ages — not to mention being cast in a long list of productions around Australia.
Amy says she’s always loved theatre, but never thought she’d actually get into it as a career.
“I thought I was going to be a lawyer or something sensible like that,” she laughs.
“But things keep pulling me towards the theatre and in the end when I started auditioning for shows and started getting into them and had more success, I just had to keep working at it.”
Amy says when she’s up on stage performing she really feels like herself.
“I feel like I’m involved with every part of my being, and it’s kind of like a light gets switched on and it all makes sense,” she says.
“You really get to develop a lot of friendships along the way too. It’s a very cordial happy work environment, especially doing a show like this, with so much hype and love in it.”
Amy says although the film is great, you have to see The Sound of Music live on stage, because it’s a whole different experience.
“The film is such a rite of passage from childhood and most of us have seen it. Seeing it live on stage is an incredible experience, just hearing the songs with a live orchestra and seeing the real people singing them,” she says.
“I think it’s a beautiful thing to share, too. The story is full of love and joy and the kids will literally break your heart, they are so wonderful.”
“It’s a lovely thing to pass on from generation to generation. See it as a part of creating a family legacy of something you can share in and continue to for years to come.”
The Sound of Music will play at the Lyric Theatre at QPAC from Friday 11 March. For tickets visit www.soundofmusictour.com.au