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Over the Alps and behind the scenes with the 'Sound of Music' children

by AirTalk®

Larry Mantle in studio with Duane Chase, Heather Menzies and Nicholas Hammond who played Kurt, Louisa and Friedrich in The Sound of Music. Mae Ryan/KPCC

In 1964, director Robert Wise created a family that the whole world fell in love with – the von Trapps. Or, to be more precise, re-created it. For his film “The Sound of Music,” Wise looked for “real kids,” not seasoned actors (although several of the children had film and TV credits).

In the course of making the film, the children had a ball singing, dancing and biking their way across the Alps with stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, dressed in sailor suits and play clothes made from curtains. As adults, they’ve remained as close as brothers and sisters, appearing at events like the Hollywood Bowl’s annual “Sing-a-Long Sound of Music.”

Nearly 50 years later, the film about a family singing group that flees the Nazi regime still inspires crowds to raise their voices and sing “Do-Re-Mi.” Now a new book, “The Sound of Music Scrapbook,” collects personal photographs, souvenirs, letters and artwork to show us the making of the film through the eyes of its young cast. It tells the story of Wise’s search for the perfect seven children, the auditions, the thrilling experience of filming on location in Salzburg, Austria and Bavaria, Germany and the gala Hollywood premiere.

Where are Liesl, Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and Gretl today? Three of them will be joining Larry in the studio to reminisce about making one of the best-loved musicals of all time.


Heather Menzies (Louisa)
Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich)
Duane Chase(Kurt)

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