The hills are alive with the sound of my kids coughing

I love living in Austin. This town is chock full of fun things to do, year round.

Every summer in Zilker Park (it’s like Austin’s Central Park, only smaller, and with slightly fewer transients) the Zilker Theater Productions puts on a Zilker Summer Musical at the Zilker Hillside Theater. Are there enough Zilkers in that sentence for you?

Even the eleventy billion degree summer heat can’t keep Austinites down. We may complain, but we still go out and sweat in it. And complain. But I’ve always wanted to attend one of the summer musicals, and this year’s production of The Sound of Music seemed like the perfect opportunity.

And confession: I’ve never actually seen The Sound of Music. I know! Blasphemy.

I was nervous because when I mentioned on Facebook at about 6pm that we were going, several people warned that I might already be too late to get a good seat. The show started at 8:30. WTF? Classic Austin. You have to show up 5 hours early to get a decent seat to anything in this town, and it would be just like us to underestimate how crowded the place would be.

But we met up with our friends, claimed a good spot, and settled in for the long haul. We still had about an hour to go before showtime. Asking three 4 year olds and two 2 year olds to wait an hour is like asking…well, there’s actually no comparison to that. It’s horrible.

sound of music zilker summer musical

There’s a lot of sweat on that hillside.

But we endured, with popcorn, ice cream, and self portraits. And sweated, because at 8pm it’s still wicked hot, and apparently even lightweight, short sleeved cardigans are a bad idea.

sound of music zilker summer musical

Someone please come clean this child’s nose.

Right as the show was about to start, a man came over and asked if we’d like to move closer to the stage. Some reservations had cancelled, and he had a spot front and center. We hesitated, since moving all of our crap would be a hassle with 4 adults and 5 kids, but once the lady next to us piped up to say they would go, we picked up our crap so fast, we left her eating our dust. I’m still not certain we got all of our kids in the haste.

And he was not kidding. We had a clear, unobstructed view of the stage, sitting at the edge of a little half wall. Only the poor man who invited us to move likely regretted it, since Rachel spent half the show coughing in his ear, half remnant coughs from the Summer of Sick and half from some rogue popcorn kernels stuck in her throat. You know those kids you see out in public that you’re sure are spreading the bubonic plague? Us.

sound of music zilker summer musical

The show itself was wonderful. I quickly realized that although I’d never seen the movie with Julie Andrews, I knew all of the songs. My Favorite Things? Do Ra Mi? So Long, Farewell? Yup, yup, and yup. I fell in love with Maria and the Von Trap family. The girls were mesmerized by the action on the stage. Also, there was a large amount of sweat running down my back. Christian urged me to remove my cardigan, but like everyone wants to see my back sweat.

sound of music zilker summer musical

That’s Zoe’s betrothed, topless and sucking his thumb in the background. And her future father in law.

I can only imagine how much those poor actors were sweating in the Texas summer heat under those glaring lights, heavy costumes, and make up. I didn’t see any of their back sweat. Or even front sweat for that matter.

sound of music zilker summer musical

We left at intermission, as did most of the other people with small kids, and that still had us getting home at 11pm, and no, no one fell asleep in the car.

And no, no one slept late in the morning.

But I still can’t wait for next year’s musical. And back sweat.


Tell me what fun thing you’ve sweated through this summer.



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Leigh Ann Torres
Writer, artist, wife, cook, maid, bookkeeper, mom to twins plus one...all around genie in a bottle, except you only get one wish, and it has to be reasonable.
  1. I have always wanted to go to Austin. My best friend was stationed there when her husband was an assistant to some general in the army there and she loved it.
    We just got back from a few days in Vancouver, BC and it was HOT there as well, but even worse – HUMID. We live in the Canadian desert and it gets around 100 F in the summer during the day as well, but it’s a dry heat.
    Vancouver was almost as hot the last few days, but 80% humidity. I was a sweaty mess the whole time, but gotta love Vancouver!

    • Oh yes, the humidity makes it so much worse! We have dry days and humid days, but experience quite a bit of humidity in North Carolina when we visit family. SO hot.

  2. One of my favorite movies!! I could sing the songs all day long. But I can’t imagine how hot the actors were,as hot as you were! Oh my gosh. That’s dedication. (also, love the captions. Lol)

    Thanks for linking up with us!

  3. That’s my aunt’s favorite movie. When we were kids, she had that, Annie and Grease on VHS and so when we would visit, that’s all there was to watch since she didn’t have cable.

    Memorized, girlie. Mem. Oh. Rized.

    And yeah, way too hot for outdoor theatre. Sheeeesh. Love that you snagged the seats as soon as someone else wanted them though. HAHA!

    • Ha! my husband refuses to watch Grease since he had 3 older sisters who may have made him play the part of Danny as a kid.

  4. The Sound of Music is my absolute favorite movie (well, wait, take that back – behind Annie :)). What a cool (ok – hot – but you know what I mean right?) way to watch it in an outside theater. How great that you got to move up closer. With kids I’ve found that the closer we are to an unobstructed view – the better the production is for everyone (me, them, AND the audience)

    • You’re right — I think if were had stayed in our original seats, the kids would have lost way more interest than they did.

      I’m going to have to look into whether or not there are some fall musicals, LOL. Much cooler.

  5. I love the Sound of Music – it’s my favorite movie of all time, and now my girls love it, too. This sounds like it would be fun – minus the heat, back sweat and crowds. So I guess I’ll just watch it on my TV :)

  6. I’ve never seen The Sound of Music, either!!! You are probably the only other person I’ve met who hasn’t seen it. TWINSIES!

  7. Oh, I love The Sound of Music! Lil’ Bit started watching the movie this past Christmas and was mesmerized – at least during the songs. She was impatient with the actual storyline. I think she’s still too young to sit through an entire live production of anything, though. Maybe next year.

    I can’t really think of anything I sweated through this summer – mainly because I tend to stay inside when it’s hot. I guess it could be said that I sweated through waiting for the BWI parking shuttle and curbside check-in as we prepared to fly down to Florida last month. It was 103 degrees at the time, after all. We suffered for that vacation!

    • Kristin, usually if we’re not in the pool, we’re inside. I hate summer more and more, especially now that with the ages of my kids, we CAN’T always sit inside. They’ll kill me!

  8. Oh, my goodness, many a “Grease” ballad was belted out on our fireplace stage. When I visit I will bring a copy so Chris can relive those days….lol Live theater is such an wonderful experience for the girls. Sound of Music spoiler, the butler did it…. just kidding, we will have to watch it so you can have the rest of the songs dancing in your head, The Hill are alive………

  9. How fun are you? I wish we did stuff like this but I am just not brave enough. And as for back sweat- ugh. South Carolina is freaking misery. My husband sweats in 75 degrees. I’m surprised he hasn’t melted yet. But actually, we have done a few things like the Saturday Market, etc and sweat off at least a few pounds there. Not sure what else is on the agenda for the rest!

    • Farrah, this summer has been my motivation to get out more. The kids are getting old enough that it’s not ALWAYS a disaster, and I really want to rediscover my town. I’m tired of being a boring homebody! Is SC as humid as NC? That’s what I remember from our visits there.

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