Fantastic ‘Sound of Music’ upholds traditional values
In his recent article castigating “The Sound of Music” at Shea’s, News arts critic Colin Dabkowski stated that “all those nuns triggered something unpleasant about my Catholic upbringing.”
For me, the nuns triggered wonderful memories of Buffalo’s Sisters of Mercy, who taught me at St. Martin’s School and Mount Mercy Academy. These sisters were holy, humble women who faithfully served God through lives of prayer and service to others.
Dabkowski said he “was deterred by the story’s rigid reinforcement of feminine and masculine norms.” He refers to Maria as “a tortured girl” who “discovers her true purpose in life is to ‘rescue’ a wealthy man by caring for him and his children.” Really? The play depicts Maria as a clever, carefree, strong-willed young woman who falls in love with Captain von Trapp after winning the affection of his children.
It should be noted that “The Sound of Music” is based on the true story of the von Trapp Family Singers. Far from being a “hackneyed” plot that needs to be cast aside, the plot is fascinating. Combined with the beautiful music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, it contributes greatly to the musical’s huge success.
It seems to me that the real reason Dabkowski dislikes “The Sound of Music” so much and believes it’s best digested “in pieces” is because it espouses traditional values regarding masculine and feminine roles that clash sharply with is strongly held “progressive” biases.