Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Sound of Music & Laughter

The hills are alive with the sound of... laughter? The celebration of Christmas includes many traditions in our family, not the least of which is a viewing of The Sound of Music. For better and worse, the music from the film reverberates throughout my cerebral cortex non-stop for weeks well into the new year.

Who can forget the wise and kind Mother Superior (Mother Abbess) belting out the motivational anthem "Climb Every Mountain"? The formidable actress who played the inspirational convent CEO was American stage actress Peggy Wood (February 9, 1892 - March 18,1978). Due to her advanced age, she was dubbed (for singing) by Margery McKay, but still garnered an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress.

More than twenty years before she appeared in The Sound of Music, Peggy starred in the New York premiere of Noel Coward's classic play Blithe Spirit, in which she portrayed Ruth, whose husband Charles is hilariously tormented by the ghost of his deceased first wife Elvira.

But the best fact about Peggy Wood? She was a member of the Algonquin Round Table.

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Robert Benchley Society

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