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Film: hot ticket

By STEVE PERSALL, Times Film Critic

© St. Petersburg Times
published January 31, 2002

The sound of your music

Raindrops on roses are nice, but one of our favorite things is The Sound of Music. Robert Wise's 1965 Academy Award-winning musical kept moviegoers humming for years. Now we get the chance to actually harmonize with Maria, Captain von Trapp and all the little von Trapps.

Sing-A-Long Sound of Music has been an interactive hit in England since 1990, adding karaoke-style subtitles to Rodgers and Hammerstein's memorable musical numbers. Viewers are encouraged to participate with voices, wisecracks and timely props, just like The Rocky Horror Picture Show with nuns' habits instead of lingerie.

Some moviegoers even dress irreverently for the occasion, with contests featuring people dressed as characters in the film, or even -- as one Tampa Theatre employee displayed at a news conference -- a hill with a Julie Andrews doll on top.

The phenomenon is spreading to the United States, and one of the first stateside venues for Sing-A-Long Sound of Music is Tampa Theatre, where an 11-day engagement will begin on Feb. 14. You can get a jump on the action tonight at 7:30 p.m. with a screening to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. All tickets are $25.

Charmian Carr, the actor who portrayed eldest sister Liesl in The Sound of Music will attend tonight's performance. Carr was Sixteen Going on Seventeen in the movie, but today she's 59 going on 60, an interior decorator living in California and occasionally appearing on behalf of the film.

We'll give you the scoop on Sing-A-Long Sound of Music in the Feb. 14 issue of Weekend, including an interview with Carr, easy as Do-Re-Mi.

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