Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Climbed Ev'ry Mountain

Patricia Neway
I have never been a fan of The Sound of Music, and I resist anyone's attempt to drag me to a production.  The film makes my teeth ache, and I really want to smack those children. 
"So long, farewell..." now go jump in that lake.

A nun with a guitar
never gets old.

But I have to admit I may be too hard on the old chestnut.  Olney Theatre has just concluded a hugely successful run of the show, which extended several times and received great reviews.  I did not see that production, but was aware of the catastrophic injury one of its cast members received during the rehearsal period.  Monica is a colleague of mine (we recently appeared together in Olney's Witness for the Prosecution), and her accident made the whole DC theatrical community shudder. 

Monica Lijewski

Monica was slated to play the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, which is probably why Patricia Neway popped up on my radar.  When Neway died last week at the age of 92, it was remembered that she won the Tony for the original production of The Sound of Music, playing the Mother Abbess.
Neway's Mother Abbess advises
Mary Martin to haul ass up that Alp.
Neway's career straddled the worlds of musical comedy and opera, with her greatest success coming with the latter.  She was particularly well-regarded for her appearances in various 20th century operas.  

Neway as Lady Macbeth in
Verdi's opera.

Her performance in The Sound of Music was her biggest success outside the opera world;  in the show, she sang that anthem of hope, "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."  As my friend Monica continues her arduous recovery from her fall, I hope she gets some comfort from the song.

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