Favorite Zings

The hills are alive with the sound of hecklers.

Sing-A-Long Sound of Music Palace Theatre, 1519 Euclid Avenue Tuesday, January 28, through Sunday, February 2, $17.50 (tickets for a January 28 benefit performance are $25 to $50); call 216-241-6000.
A doe. A deer. And a pile of goat poop? Those are just a few of the costumes to be found at Sing-A-Long Sound of Music, a Rocky Horror-style, audience-participation screening of the classic Julie Andrews film, which comes to town Tuesday, January 28.

The show, which debuted in London in 1999, originally attracted folks dressed as Maria, the von Trapp children, and nuns. It has since taken a more conceptual turn.

"People are now [dressing up] as lyrics" from the 1965 musical, says Charmian Carr, who played Liesl von Trapp in the movie and who will lead an AIDS Taskforce benefit performance on opening night. "There are so many possibilities." Which sorta explains the aforementioned turd, a play on the song "The Lonely Goatherd."

Props, or "magic moments packs," are handed out to audience members as they enter the theater, but more astute participants know that the best of them aren't sanctioned; they're made at home. Which is only appropriate for the word-of-mouth show, which has played in cities from San Francisco and New York to Melbourne and Oslo.

"This isn't like most musicals, where you may know the words to one or two songs," Carr says. "These audiences know the words to all of the songs."

Carr never made another feature film after The Sound of Music. She quit the biz to start a family and spends her time these days running an Encino, California-based interior design company. It was while on a tour promoting a book she co-authored, about The Sound of Music's undying popularity, that Carr hooked up with the Sing-A-Long producers. "It's like therapy," she says.

"It's a PG-rated Rocky Horror Show. It's more of a theater-type experience than a movie-type experience. We want people to talk back to the screen."

Just stay away from the talking turd.

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