A Very Good Place to Start
Friedrich von Trapp, age 14.
Louisa von Trapp, age 13.
Kurt von Trapp, age 11.
Brigitta von Trapp, age 10.
Marta von Trapp, age 7.
Gretl von Trapp, age 5.
Maria the Nanny.
The governess MARIA stands before the von Trapp children.
MARIA: Let’s sing a song! The hills are alive--
BRIGITTA: What is that you’re doing with your mouth, ma’am?
GRETL: Yes, with all the sounds coming out?
MARIA: With my mouth? I’m singing.
KURT: Singing? What is singing?
MARIA: You’ve never sang a song?
LIESL: Sang? Sing? Song? Are you just making up words?
MARIA: No, not at all. When you combine words with music that creates a song. Now music is made up of a series of notes that represent a different sounds and pitches---
KURT: Who, slow down Miss Beethoven!
GRETL: I’m bored!
MARTA: This isn’t fun!
FRIEDRICH: You’d said there would be fun! Explain yourself.
MARIA: Settle down, settle down…Let’s see if we can make this easier…Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start--
LOUISA: This seems like a scam.
MARIA: -When you read you begin with---
MARIA: Anyone? Reading? The alphabet? Seriously? A-B-C!
KIDS: Oh, right.
MARIA: You kids are like an advertisement against homeschooling. Where was I…?
When you sing you begin with Doh, Ray, Mee.
Then first three notes just happen to be--
LIESL: Just happen to be? So, this is all just totally random?
MARIA: Of course not. The notes are well established and international. Everyone in the world can recognize them.
KURT: Are you a communist?
LIESEL: You’re one of those new-world order people, aren’t you?
MARIA: Let’s try is again…
Doh, a deer, a female deer--
KURT: So, deer sing?
MARIA: What? No, no, deer don’t sing.
BRIGITTA: Oh, if you hit a deer with the car, is “doh” the sound it would make?
MARIA: No, no, not at all!
MARTA: Because father says--
MARIA: Let’s move on to the next note…”ray, a drop of golden sun—”
FRIEDRICH: So you believe the theory that light is a particle and not a wave?
MARIA: Wait, what?
KURT: Eisenstein theorizes that light is particles…
KURT: How do you know about photons?
LIESL: I am 16 going on 17.
FRIEDRICH: Yes, photons, and that they travel in waves, which means light has properties and isn’t just energy…
MARIA: Let’s move on…”Me, a name I call myself!” Any issues there?
FRIEDRICH: (whispering to the others) She’s a narcissist.
LIESL: She probably thinks this song is about her!
MARIA: I heard that. Moving on; “Fa, a long, long way to run.”
BRIGITTA: Is that a New York accent? You’re saying “Fah” like “Idea” where you’re adding an “R” sound, as opposed to “walker” or “helper” where they traditionally drop the “r” sound.
MARIA: I don’t have a New York accent! I’m from Austria!
GRETL: That’s no Austrian accent.
MARIA: Next…is “soh, a needle pulling thread—“
KURT: Wait, we’re sewing now? That’s woman’s work!
LOUISA: Shut up. Man can sew, too.
KURT: We can, we just don’t want to! That’s why we have wives and nannies!
FRIEDRICH: You don’t see father sewing.
MARTA: We don’t see father much at all.
MARIA: “La, a note that follows soh.”
LIESL: Whoa, what a cop-out there.
MARIA: “Tee, I drink with jam and bread—“
KURT: Finally, some snacks! I’m famished!
LIESL: Calm down, Augustus Gloop.
FRIEDRICH: At least Augustus Gloop had an actual German accent.
BRIGITTA: We’re all German. We don’t speak to each other in accents!
KURT: You know, you’re why mother ran off!
BRIGITTA: I am not! Mother didn’t run off! She died!
MARTA: Wait, what? She’s dead? She didn’t run off? Why didn’t father tell me that?
GRETL: Did you say Mother died?
KURT: No, she ran off!
LIESL: Why don’t you die???
Kids all arguing. Marching sounds are heard O.S.
FRIEDRICH: Wait, what’s that sound?
LOUISA: It’s the Nazi soldiers!
MARIA: Over here! The Von Trapp kids are over here!
German soldiers come and take the kids.
MARIA: “Which will bring us back to doh…oh…oh…oh.”
NUN comes up.
Maria looks at the Nun, looks at the audience, looks at the Nun and runs off.