Antwerp, Belgium’s train station musical surprise: Everyone does The Sound of Music

Not since Improv Everywhere’s Food Court Musical have I been so pleased by a surprise musical number in a public place. This time the setting is Central Train Station in Antwerp, Belgium and the vehicle is Julie Andrew’s voice singing “Do A Deer” from The Sound of Music over the loud speaker. First, just a man and a young girl start to dance as if drawn in by the song. Gradually, the few become a crowd that exudes joy.

Although this singing and dancing number might have been inspired by Improv Everywhere’s antics, particularly Frozen Grand Central, this stunt is part of an ad campaign for a reality TV show. Regardless, the result is superb. This starts out slow and then builds as more and more people join in. I dare you to not hum a few bars.

Sound of Music family’s Vermont lodge and ski resort still going strong

Certainly any kid who imagined him or herself a singer pictured what it would be like to be dressed in a play-suit made of curtains leaping about Salzburg, Austria with the von Trapp children as they sang “doe a deer.” I certainly did.

When the von Trapps escaped from Nazi-ruled Austria during World War II, they eventually landed in Stowe, Vermont as the Trapp Family Singers who made money by performing and opening a ski resort lodge. After the movie “The Sound of Music” came out in 1965, the real family and their ski resort and lodge gained even more notoriety.

I read in this New York Times article that Sam von Trapp, the grandson of Maria and the captain, immortalized by Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, is the newest von Trapp to take over the business. He’s happy to do it since, from what I understand, no one asks him who he was in the movie. A generation of distance from tinseltown fame helps.

Recognizing that “The Sound of Music “connection is one that brings business, Sam is running commercials advertising the Trapp Family Lodge on tonight’s showing of the movie on ABC. He also plans to bring back holiday singalongs like the good old days.

The one song I can sing reasonably on key is “Edelweiss.” If you’re ever at the singalong, see if that’s on the list of options. If you want to sing the song along with the movie von Trapp’s, click here.

Sleeping over at the von Trapp’s house

I never really fell in love with the Sound of Music. But other people did, and I am sure that those people will be excited to know that the original von Trapp family house is being turned into a hotel.

If you’re having trouble remembering the true story that the movie was based off of, there was an aspiring nun (played by Julie Andrews) who did a whole lot of singing and somewhere between “do” and “fa,” won the hearts of Baron von Trapp and his seven children.

The von Trapp family lived in the house from 1923 to 1938 when they fled Austria during the Nazi takeover; eventually they made their way to the US where the youngest of the children operates a Vermont lodge. Now Salzburg will get the von Trapp touch, and starting this sumer, visitors to Villa Trapp visitors will be able to sleep in family members’ former bedrooms or even choose to exchange vows in the chapel. Located just outside of Salzburg, Austria, the hotel will open sometime in July.

Building a hotel that capitalizes on the fame of a movie really isn’t that crazy and sometimes hotels even star in movies themselves. Salzburg tourism officials say that actually 40% of overnight stays are made by fans of the Sound of Music. So if you are one of those fans, now you too — for only 100 euros a night — can practice your singing skills right in the von Trapp household.