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Head to the Hills: The Sound of Music

On Now

For nearly 50 years, nothing has captured the hearts of audiences quite like the touching story of the von Trapp family and their irrepressible governess. Whether twirling on hills, standing at attention, falling in love or breaking into song—the memorable characters of The Sound of Music bring warmth to the chilly winter. The rejuvenated version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final and most beloved musical has been brought to this city by some of the biggest names in theatre, including Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Toronto’s David Mirvish and David Ian. Featuring an extensive cast and breathtaking sets at the Princess of Wales Theatre, the show has already garnered high praise and racked up smashing box office numbers since its October 2008 premiere.

The Sound of Music follows Maria, a novice nun in late-1930s Austria who takes a job as governess for the seven difficult children of a widowed naval captain. Soon enough, the cheerful yet sagacious caregiver causes the von Trapps to reevaluate their familial bonds, while the approach of World War II fosters political soul-searching. The story’s emphasis on the power of hope over history is just one reason why it endures, refreshing as ever, to this day.

British Columbia native Elicia MacKenzie plays the musical’s lead role, originated by Mary Martin on Broadway in 1959 and made famous by Julie Andrews in the 1965 film adaptation. The ingénue was chosen by a Canadian television audience after competing in last summer’s CBC reality show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? See the showstopper—who beat out 48 other Maria hopefuls with her captivating charm and impeccable vocals—sing enchanting standards like “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things” and, of course, “The Sound of Music,” and discover why Torontonians won’t be saying “So Long, Farewell” anytime soon.

Princess of Wales Theatre (300 King St. W.), Tuesday to Saturday 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 1:30 p.m., $26 to $120; call 416-872-1212 for tickets.


Pair a refined meal with your trip to the theatre, pre or post curtain call. Hot Pots for two or Japanese-style black cod prepared three ways by chef Guy Rubino at Rain are always a good way to start a night out. The daily sushi sampler at Funé will satisfy your appetite before the show, too. After the applause, spice things up by ordering chicken vindaloo and warm naan at 309 Dhaba Indian Excellence. For an encore, Chez Victor offers classical French cuisine and an award-winning wine list.


Dig up some history by browsing Toronto Antiques on King home to numerous seasoned vendors of furniture, estate jewellery, fine art and myriad other collectibles. Or go for some modern retail therapy by walking north to Queen Street West, where you’ll find many trendy boutiques like Rudsak, Due West, The Adidas Store, M.A.C. Cosmetics and Umbra.


Music lovers can find more melodious majesty by attending a performance of the lauded Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall. Or, take a short jaunt south to the CBC Museum, where visitors can discover 70 years of Canadian broadcasting history—from the Marconi Mark II TV camera to the show that brought us our current Maria. Of course, a visit to Toronto wouldn’t be complete without a trip up the CN Tower. From its 447-metre-high Sky Pod, you can see the Theatre District—and everything else within the city limits and beyond!

—Andrea Grassi

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