Saturday, April 24, 2010

Betty Goes to The Theatre

Venetia Araminta Cassandra Dawlish Graham Darling always prefers to going to The Theatre as opposed to The Cinema. We are often treated to our heroine going to see stage productions of current (to her) musicals. It's always musicals. Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and let's not forget the classic Starlight Express. Boy did La Neels have a thing for Andrew Lloyd Webber music.

I too occasionally enjoy stage productions of musicals - I've gone to several over the past few years... The production values vary widely, talent - ditto, but there's one thing I know I can count on. It won't set me back more than $8 a ticket. Dr. van der Stevejinck and I go to the biggest cultural event of the year here in our small town...the high school musicals (I'm sort of kidding...but not completely).

We've never been a "drama" family. The closest that we've come to having someone in the show was the year Nathan, husband of The Zombie Bride, ushered for Lil' Abner. He may have gotten extra credit or something. Even though our family members haven't been in the shows, we always seem to know at least a few of the kids that are in them.

Last night we spent three hours voluntarily sitting on high school auditorium chairs so that we could watch this year's production of The Sound of Music. The talent pool this year seemed a bit shallower than usual...with the exception of the von Trapp children - some of them seemed to be able to not only carry a tune, but also to sing in harmony (we Hanna Bettys do not cast stones at those who are musically challenged - those stones would probably turn into boomerangs and come back to smack us in the face).
There is something to be said for live entertainment...what stage productions have you gone to (musicals or otherwise)?


  1. I was in the pit orchestra for 'The Music Man', have enjoyed a touring Les Mis, highschool versions of 'How to Succeed' and 'Guys and Dolls' and a very good university production of 'Brigadoon'. That's all I can think of just now.

  2. We sound great together because we are all off by just the same amount to make it sound almost purposeful. Others would sound off when singing with the Hanna Bettys.

  3. Barbara here--
    With a mixed comment. Whilst I was in high school I went to my school's spring musicals, of course. And as a young married lady living near Washington DC in the early/mid 1970's (yes, I know, the veritable Dark Ages) I went to a number of touring shows at the National (and other) theaters (and no, I've never actually seen a musical on Broadway).
    But my most infamous musical moment is from my youth. I was a child growing up in Hawaii (yeah I know--a tough life!) and I wanted to join my parish's youth choir. And a Genuine Member of the Von Trapp Family was going to direct said choir. And she (Hedwig, a child of Maria and the Captain) told me my voice was so bad I could only be in the choir if I LIP-SYNCED!!!!!
    Okay fellow Bettys, have any of you ever been dissed by a famous person??

    1. Hedwig von Trapp – Titles, Titles and Torpedoes

      Betty Barbara dissed by Hedwig von Trapp! Wow!!! I am impressed. Perhaps it will make you feel better to remember that Hedwig von Trapp was one of Georg’s daughers by his first wife Agathe.

      Hedwig’s mother was – no, wait. Sit down. And before you continue reading you had better ask Buckle to bring you a nice cup of tea along with a few scones, perhaps, or one of Mrs Buckle’s fruit cakes. Hedwig’s mother, Georg’s first wife Agathe von Trapp, was born Agathe Whitehead, daughter of Sir James Whitehead, British Ambassador to Austria, by his wife Marian Cecilia Brodrick, daughter of William Broderick, 8th Viscount Midleton (1830 – 1907). 8th Viscount Midleton is descendant through Capel and Manners and St.Leger from Edward III(1312-1377), among other royal descents.

      But wait, there is more.

      Hedwig’s great-grandfather William Broderick, 8th Viscount Midleton was the son of Reverend William John Brodrick, 7th Viscount Midleton, Dean of Exeter and Chaplain to Queen Victoria, son of the Right Reverend the Hon. Charles Brodrick, Archbishop of Cashel in the Church of Ireland who was the fourth son of the 3rd Viscount Midleton & Albinia Townshend, sister of Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney, (1733 – 1800), whose most enduring legacy is probably that the cities of Sydney in Nova Scotia, Canada, and Sydney in New South Wales, Australia are named in his honour, in 1785 and 1788 respectively.

    2. But wait, there is still more.

      The fifth daughter of William Brodrick, 8th Viscount Midleton (1830–1907), and his wife, Augusta Mary (née Fremantle), daughter of Thomas Fremantle (1798 – 1890), the 1st Baron Cottesloe (in an aside: His younger brother was Admiral Sir Charles Howe Fremantle GCB RN (1800 – 1869), a British Royal Navy officer. The city of Fremantle in Western Australia is named after him.) – As I was saying...
      The fifth daughter of William Brodrick, 8th Viscount Midleton, and his wife Augusta Mary was Gobnait Ní Bhruadair, born the Hon. Albinia Lucy Brodrick, an early supporter of Sinn Féinn.
      Gobnait Ní Bhruadair (17 December 1861 – 16 January 1955) was one of the foremost Irish republican women of the twentieth century. A lifelong radical, Gobnait campaigned passionately for causes as diverse as the reform of nursing, protection and promotion of the Irish Language and the freedom of Ireland from British rule.

      She named herself Gobnait Ní Bhruadair. Ní Bhruadair is a translation of her English surname Broderick; it’s the female form, Ní = daughter, Bhruadair = of Broderick.
      Why Gobnait? I don’t know. Anybetty out there who does?

      But wait, there is still a little more to come.

      Back to Hedwig von Trapp’s mother’s family. Agathe Whitehead’s paternal grandfather was
      Robert Whitehead (3 January 1823 – 14 November 1905), an English engineer. He developed the first effective self-propelled naval torpedo.

      Robert Whitehead‘s daughter Frances Eleanor married Louis Hassenpflug, son of Ludwig Hassenpflug and
      Charlotte Grimm, "Lotte", beloved sister of the Brothers Grimm.

    3. Robert Whitehead‘s daughter Alice married Georg, Count of Hoyos, Freiherr zu Stichsenstein in 1869. Their daughter, Marguerite, Countess of Hoyos, was married to Herbert, Prince of Bismarck (né Nikolaus Heinrich Ferdinand Herbert von Bismarck) (28 December 1849 – 18 September 1904), the oldest son of ChancellorOtto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg (1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), simply known as Otto von Bismarck.
      Marguerite’s brother Alexander, Count of Hoyos, Freiherr zu Stichsenstein was an Austrian-Hungarian diplomat. Not saying he started WW I, but... On 24 April 1913, he married Edmée de Loys-Chandieu (1892–1945) in Paris, the daughter of Henri, Marquis de Loys-Chandieu, and the couple had four children. His daughter Melanie, Countess of Hoyos also married a member of the Bismarck family, her cousin Count Gottfried von Bismarck-Schönhausen (9 March 1901 – 14 September 1949). He started out as a Nazi but later he made contact with other members of the German aristocracy who were working against the Nazi regime. In 1944, after the failure of the July 20 plot his connections were discovered, he was expelled from the SS. In August, he was arrested. In October, he was acquitted of the charges against him by the People's Court, but was nevertheless sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where he was relatively well treated. He was liberated by Soviet forces in April 1945. In September 1949 he and his wife were killed in a car accident... – these things happen in the real world too, not just in Betty Neels novels – leaving behind three children. Vendeline (* 1937), Barbara (* 1939), and Andreas (1941–2013), the father of Stephanie zu Guttenberg that’s short for Stephanie Anna Charlotte Freifrau von und zu Guttenberg (born 24 November 1976) who is the wife of former German Federal Minister of Defencetake a deep breath, we‘re almost done – Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, that’s short for Karl-Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und zu Guttenberg (born on 5 December 1971).

    4. To think that Betty Barbara's Hedwig was related to all of these people, some of them highly influential...

    5. Did you know there was a group called The von Trapp Children (wikipedia)?

      The von Trapp Children - Homepage

      After many years of extensive touring, the four siblings have lately relocated to Portland, OR...

      "Portland, Oregon?", you will say. "That Portland, Oregon?"

      Portland, OR - Home of the Brave, Home of the Bonny, Home of the Betty

      Would one of the residents at Casa van Voorhees care to make a statement?

      Betty A. keeping her fingers crossed that it won't be the youngest of The van Voorhees Children.

    6. The other day, I looked for posts and comments on our blog where The Sound of Music was mentioned. I was reading up on the history of the von Trapp family. Dates and placenames varied from source to source. The more sources I read, the more versions of their story I had. Good thing I wasn’t trying to do any scientific research.
      Here are the two links I enjoyed reading most.

      The Real Story of the von Trapp Family

      The Story of My Family, daughter Maria von Trapp

      Perhaps you were wondering why I looked up mentions of The Sound of Music on TUJD –

      "No, I wasn’t!"

      "I heard that, Betty von Susie!"

      I did it because while looking at the pictures of a photo gallery on the internet I had seen a couple wearing tracht. Now, seeing people wearing tracht is nothing unusual in itself and would not normally make me think of TUJD or The Sound of Music. I see them frequently on television – criminal detective series, music programmes (some part travel guides) shot in Bavaria or Austria. At present, the local C&A carries dirndl dresses, seeing the Oktoberfest is nigh. What made me think of The Sound of Music and that it was mentioned on TUJD was the fact that the pictures were taken in

      "Oh, look, Betty von Susie, there is a socking great Bentley flying past your window!"

      U _ th _ _ z _ n.

      "What? You didn’t see it? Aw, too bad. Maybe next time... "

  4. Barbara: I'm laughing out loud - only because I'm pretty sure that that would have been my fate also. I love to sing, but have no illusions as to the quality of my voice. I sound great only when singing with my sisters...and there's not much call for groups of ladies that only sound good while singing such classics as the theme song to Gilligan's Island.

    1. I was once The Third Tart in a community theatre production of Big River when I was a young college professor. I always wanted to be in the chorus of a musical so one summer (after lecturing all morning) I did it. Turns out that although I can carry a decent soprano tune and can take a couple of decent steps in a row--at the same time? Not so much. Harder than it looks. I did get to wear a trashy black-and-red dress above fishnet stockings with giant holes in them. My colleagues liked to have never stopped laughing....

    2. Betty JoDee, you will always be First Tart to me.

  5. I'm partial to musicals, myself. Haven't been to the theater in ages, but some of my favorite productions back in the day were "Les Miserables" performed in Fort Worth, a touring company performing "Big River" in my college town, and "Madame Butterfly" in downtown Houston, but that's just the tip of the iceberg, because my college major was theater/television and I can't even remember all the shows I've seen. (Even spent a summer performing "Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "St. Joan" in repertoire in a barn down on the Guadelupe River).

    I always love Betty's forays into the theater world, although as you say she is awfully fond of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

  6. Don't you think the heroine goes to the theatre or opera with the RDD (or hero du jour) but goes to the cinema with the hapless houseman Archie who just wants to talk about his girlfriend back in Canada?

  7. The cinema is also used as a blind a lot--as in: "I can't go out with you. I've promised to go to the cinema with a bunch of other nurses."