The Sound of Music

In the 1965 movie The Sound of Music, what's the name of the oldest child in the von Trapp family?

And the answer: Liesl.    

In the movie, a young woman named Maria becomes a governess, or live-in tutor, to seven children of a retired naval officer. In order of age, the children's names are Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta, and Gretl.

The von Trapp family from The Sound of Music. Image: The San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Sound of Music has long since been a classic, well-loved musical. As the last work of legendary duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, its legacy remains pertinent and celebrated. Interestingly, though The Sound of Music was based on a true story, but there were plenty of differences between Maria Kutschera's 1949 memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers and the film. For one thing, Maria was brought to the von Trapp home to care for one child (who had scarlet fever and was too ill to walk to school), not all seven children.

Photo credit: IMDB. 

Despite the differences, though, the musical was a hit with audiences. The Sound of Music opened on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 16, 1959. Both major New York critics hated it, finding it too sentimental, but producers already had $2 million in advance ticket sales, so they weren't too worried. The play won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and a third Best Actress award for Mary Martin (she already had trophies for South Pacific and Peter Pan). Additionally, the original cast recording of The Sound of Music was nearly as popular as the show itself. Recorded just a week after the show's Broadway premiere and released by Columbia Records, the album was number one on the Billboard charts for 16 weeks.

Learn more about The Sound of Music here.



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