High on a hill
A study in contrasts. That’s what I observed last Saturday night. I was sojourning over the weekend in Sydney with a great friend of mine (who owns my dog-children, the rough collies whose photos often appear on this blog). My friend threatened me with The Sound of Music, the cringe-worthy musicial film starring Julie Andrews. I think I first saw this when I was about 8 or 10 years old and I’ve never seen it since. All I could remember of it was men and boys in embarrassing lederhosen, some Nazi dudes and goats high up on the hills.
So I wasn’t totally enthused at the suggestion that we go to the State Theatre in Sydney to see the film. But….it turned out this was a sing-a-long. And apparently, people go dressed up as characters from the film. At this point, it started to get interesting – as I once rocked up to a Star Trek convention complete with Spock ears.
In the foyer, I found people dressed up as nuns, one Nazi dude, and a plethora of little kids costumed as one of the seven von Trapp children. Then thirty minutes before the film kicked off, a host warmed up the crowd by demonstrating what you had to do with all the bits and pieces in the fun pack you were given. She also took us through voices and actions we’d have to do during the film.
Now, for those who know me well, I’m a pretty quiet, serious type of person with the occasional bursts of humour. So here I was wondering how on earth I would go “Roof Roof” (pronounced like woof, woof) when the Nazi dude appeared on screen or utter a nasty, hissing sound when the Baroness wandered on screen.
But it was a great deal of fun. We judged the costume parade and then the film started. Thankfully, the lyrics for the various songs were subtitled otherwise I’d have had no hope participating. In the complimentary pack, we had a piece of edelweiss (to wave around during the song, Edelweiss); a piece of material for the “making clothes out of curtains” part of the film; cards with a question mark, a picture of Maria, the word flibbertigibbet and a picture of a will-o’-the-wisp to wave around during the song “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?”; an invitation to the The Captain’s Ball; and a bon bon that we set off when Maria and Captain von Trapp had their kiss-fest.
I say it was a study in contrasts because the theatre was packed, everyone was singing and laughing, no-one was drunk, doped up, tripped out or whatever. Lots of kids were there with their parents for a good family night out. In the middle of the biggest financial hissy fit since the 1930s, there we all were having a great time and everyone left the theatre on a natural high…only to be met with…..
…crowds of people on Sydney’s streets in various states of drunkeness and undress. My friend said “welcome to the carnage of Sydney on a Saturday night”. Now, I live in the bush so I don’t get to see Sydney at night too often. Granted it was also Mardi Gras night so that might explain the dudes wandering the streets in an inebriated state and the young girls who seemed to have lost their skirts. My happy mood immediately took a nose dive. I think my friend and were relieved to get to the car and get out of there.
So…a study in contrasts – how to obtain a natural high as opposed to an artificial high from drinking and drugs. Which makes you happier? I’m going for “high on a hill was a lonely goatherd Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo”. And BTW: who knew that Christopher Plummer was so HOT?!