Flashing back to the first day of high school in fall 1958, the Pink Ladies sit in the lunchroom, and the Burger Palace Boys sit at the entrance
to the school. One of the Pink Ladies, Frenchy, introduces her new neighbor Sandy Dumbrowski, who had been unjustly rejected from a Catholic
school, to the others (Marty, Jan and Rizzo), as well as Patty. Sandy tells of how she had a brief love affair the summer before, which ended
with unresolved love. Meanwhile, womanizing greaser Danny Zuko is telling the Burger Palace Boys (Kenickie, Roger, Doody and Sonny) the story
of his own summer fling ("Summer Nights"). The Pink Ladies soon after realize that Sandy's summer fling was the same Danny Zuko that attends
Rydell High and arrange for the two to bump into each other at school; the resulting meeting is tense and awkward, as Danny had previously
told Sandy that he attended a private academy and does not want to admit to the Burger Palace Boys that she was the woman he was talking about.
As the Burger Palace Boys leave, Sandy is heartbroken, but the Pink Ladies cheer her up, by inviting her over to Marty's pajama party.
Shortly afterwards, the teenagers gather in the hall as Doody shows off his new guitar and performs a song ("Those Magic Changes").
At Marty's pajama party, the girls experiment with wine, cigarettes, and pierced ears; and talk about boys. The sheltered Sandy goes into shock from seeing blood when the Pink Ladies try to pierce her ears, leading them to mock her when she's not in the room (in some revivals, the song "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" is placed here, mirroring the film). Marty tells about her long-distance courtship with a Marine named Freddy, which is implied she only maintains because of the lavish gifts he sends her from Japan ("Freddy, My Love").
That same night, the Burger Palace Boys are busy stealing hubcaps, unaware that the hubcaps are on Kenickie's car, Greased Lightnin'. Unfazed by the others' skepticism, Kenickie sings of the upgrades needed to make the car a racing-worthy chick magnet ("Greased Lightnin'").
Danny sees Sandy again at her cheerleader practice, and tries to apologize for his behavior. Patty interrupts and flirts with Danny. Patty informs Danny that track try-outs are nearing, and Danny tells Sandy that he will join the track team to prove himself; he leaves as Patty and Sandy practice cheering ("Rydell Fight Song").
As the Burger Palace Boys and Pink Ladies gather at the park, Danny reveals to the rest of the greasers that he has joined the track team, much to their dismay and skepticism. After Roger and Jan bicker about food, drink and religion, she asks him how he earned the nickname Rump; he explains that, as "King of the Mooners," he has a hobby of baring his backside to unsuspecting victims, and in the process, both reveal their affections for each other ("Mooning"). Rizzo teases Danny for falling for a girl who resembles the excessively proper teenage ingénue, Sandra Dee, and the other greasers join in as she makes fun of Sandy, who has not arrived to the picnic yet ("Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee").
Sandy, working on a biology assignment with Eugene, comes in just as the greasers finish making fun of her. She attacks Rizzo in a fit of rage and erroneously assumes Danny is the one behind the mockery. Furious, she tells Danny that she wishes she never met him and storms out of the picnic. Danny shrugs off Sandy's negative response, and the greasers pair off for the upcoming sock hop. Danny teases Marty for not having a date (recommending Eugene), and the greasers all laugh ("We Go Together").
The night of the sock hop arrives ("Shakin' At the High School Hop"). Sandy is at home by herself, listening to the radio and crying over how much she misses Danny ("Hopelessly Devoted to You").
Meanwhile, Kenickie comes into the dance with his date, Cha-Cha DiGregorio, a beastly girl from Saint Bernadette's Academy. Patty tries to pair up with Danny, trash-talking Sandy's cheerleading skills in the process, but is unable to get out of her promise to dance with Eugene despite Rizzo trying to seduce Eugene as a distraction. Kenickie ends up paired off with Rizzo, and Danny with Cha-Cha. The MC Vince Fontaine, a radio disc jockey, begins the hand jive dance contest, and everyone eagerly participates as he tags the contestants out ("Born to Hand Jive"). In the end, Danny and Cha-Cha are the winners. Amongst the awards given to the couple, Danny receives two free drive-in movie tickets.
Sometime later outside of the Burger Palace hangout, Kenickie, Doody, and Sonny run into Frenchy. The boys are armed with an "arsenal" of household items and reveal that, to their surprise, Cha-Cha was the girlfriend of someone in the boys' rival gang, the Flaming Dukes; the Dukes, hearing of Cha-Cha's dancing with the Burger Palace Boys, challenged the boys to a rumble. Danny sprints into the scene wearing his track suit, to the disbelief of the other boys. Danny tells the boys he cannot partake in the rumble because of a track meet and sprints off.
The three remaining boys go into the Burger Palace for a snack before the fight, and Frenchy laments at what to do with her life, having dropped out of beauty school in frustration at failing all of her classes. The heavenly Teen Angel appears with a chorus of back-up singing angels and tells her to return to high school ("Beauty School Dropout").
The three boys exit the Burger Palace, bemoaning Danny's betrayal while only halfheartedly noticing Roger is unaccounted for. They wait for the Flaming Dukes, but the rival gang never turns up. Roger finally turns up with only a broken antenna as a weapon; in response, the other three proceed to strip Roger of his pants and shoes.
At the drive-in, Danny tries to make up for his behavior and offers Sandy his class ring. She initially is thrilled, but pulls back and exits the car when he tries to move beyond a kiss. Danny laments his loneliness ("Alone at a Drive-In Movie").
Several days later, Sandy and the greasers — without Danny — are gathered in Jan's basement ("Rock 'N' Roll Party Queen"). Rizzo, who missed her period, fears she is pregnant and tells Marty (who herself laments that Vince tried to spike her drink at the dance) that the father is a stranger who had sex with her with a cheap, broken condom; word gets back to everyone else. The boys offer support as they leave; Rizzo rejects it, which leads Sandy to ask her why and concludes that Kenickie is the presumed father. Rizzo responds by saying that she is a better person than others make her out to be and that showing weakness is the worst thing she knows ("There Are Worse Things I Could Do"). Rizzo leaves, and Sandy decides what she needs to do to fit in with the greasers ("Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" (Reprise)).
The next day, the boys are hanging out at the Burger Palace. A dejected Patty reveals Danny, who follows her in, has reverted to his old ways and quit the track team. Sandy comes in alongside the Pink Ladies, having transformed herself from an innocent schoolgirl into a greaser's fantasy, punching out a dismayed Patty. Danny is delighted at this change and the couple express their mutual feelings for each other ("You're the One That I Want").
Afterwards, the greasers prepare to head to Roger's to watch The Mickey Mouse Club, inviting Patty along. Frenchy takes a job as a makeup saleswoman at Woolworth's, Rizzo reveals that she is not pregnant, and she and Kenickie reunite. All ends happily, and the Burger Palace Boys, the Pink Ladies, Sandy, and Patty sing about how they will always be friends to the end ("We Go Together" (Reprise)).
In a Baltimore theatre, the cast of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew rehearses for the opening of the show that evening ("Another Op'nin', Another Show"). Egotistical director/producer/leading man Fred Graham stars as Petruchio, and his movie star ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, is playing Katherine. The two argue incessantly, and Lilli is particularly angered by Fred's interest in the atractive young actress Lois Lane, who is playing Bianca. After the rehearsal, Lois's boyfriend Bill appears; he is playing Lucentio, but he missed the rehearsal because he was gambling. He tells her that he signed a $10,000 IOU in Fred's name, and Lois reprimands him ("Why Can't You Behave?").
Before the opening, Fred and Lilli meet backstage, and Lilli shows off her engagement ring from Washington insider Harrison Howell, reminding Fred that it's the anniversary of their divorce. They recall the operetta in which they met ("Wunderbar"). Two gangsters show up to collect the $10,000 IOU, and Fred replies that he never signed it. The gangsters say they’ll give him time to remember it and will return later. In her dressing room, Lilli receives flowers from Fred, and she realizes that she is still "So In Love." Fred tries to prevent Lilli from reading the card that came with the flowers, because he actually intended them for Lois. But Lilli takes the card with her onstage, saying she will read it later.
The show begins ("We Open in Venice"). Baptista, Katherine and Bianca's wealthy father, will not allow his younger daughter Bianca to marry until his older daughter Katherine is married. But Kate is shrewish and ill tempered, and no man desires to marry her. Three suitors - Lucentio, Hortensio, and Gremio - try to woo Bianca, and she says that she would marry any of them ("Tom, Dick, or Harry"). Petruchio, a friend of Lucentio, arrives, expressing a desire to marry into wealth ("I've Come to Wive it Wealthily in Padua"). The suitors hatch a plan for him to marry Kate.
Kate, however, has no intentions of getting married ("I Hate Men"). Nonetheless, Petruchio attempts to woo her ("Were Thine That Special Face"). Offstage, Lilli has an opportunity to read the card. She walks on stage off-cue and begins hitting Fred, who, along with the other actors, tries to remain in character as Baptista grants Petruchio permission to marry Kate.
Offstage, Lilli furiously declares she is leaving the show. However, the gangsters have reappeared, and Fred tells them that if Lilli quits, he'll have to close the show and won't be able to pay them the $10,000. The gangsters, at gunpoint, force Lilli to stay.
Onstage, Bianca and Lucentio dance together ("We Sing of Love"). Petruchio and Kate, newly wed, exit the church, followed by the gangsters, now dressed in Shakespearean costume as they keep an eye on Lilli. Petruchio implores Kate to kiss him, and she refuses. He lifts her over his shoulder and carries her offstage while she pummels his shoulder with her fists ("Kiss Me, Kate").
During the show's intermission, the cast and crew relax in the alley behind the theatre. Paul, Fred's assistant, along with a couple other crew members, lament that it's "Too Darn Hot" to meet their lovers that night. The play continues, and Petruchio exhausted from 'taming' Katherine, mourns for his now-lost bachelor life ("Where Is the Life That Late I Led?").
Offstage, Lilli's fiancé Harrison Howell looks for her. He runs into Lois, and she recognizes him as a former lover but promises not to tell Lilli. Bill is shocked to overhear this, but Lois tells him that even if she is involved with other men, she is faithful to him in her own way ("Always True to You in My Fashion"). Lilli tries to explain to Howell that she is being forced to stay at the theatre by the gangsters, but Howell doesn't believe her and wants to discuss wedding plans. Fred insidiously points out how boring Lilli's life with Howell will be compared to the theatre. Bill sings a love song he has written for Lois ("Bianca").
The gangsters discover that their boss has been killed, so the IOU is no longer valid. Lilli leaves—without Howell—as Fred unsuccessfully tries to convince her to stay ("So in Love" Reprise). The gangsters get caught on stage and improvise a tribute to the Bard ("Brush Up Your Shakespeare"). The company prepares for the conclusion of the play, the wedding of Bianca and Lucentio, despite Lilli’s absence. Just in time, Lilli enters and delivers Kate’s final speech beautifully ("I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple"). Fred and Lilli wordlessly reconcile on stage, and the play ends with the two couples united (Finale).
THE WORLD GOES 'ROUND
The show opens with a woman stating simply that, no matter what good or bad things happen in life, the world continues, and life goes on ("And the World Goes 'Round"). The rest of the cast joins her to express the philosophy of saying yes to get the most out of life ("Yes"). They then explore the problem with a life that is far too rushed and highly caffeinated ("Coffee in a Cardboard Cup").
Elsewhere, a man is trying to get his wife to remember happier times so that he can see her smile again ("The Happy Time"). The woman, however, can only seem to remember fragments of her youth, thus noticing that there now seems to be something missing from her life ("Colored Lights"). Two people, who have an easier time finding happiness, appear. A man finds happiness in Sara Lee products ("Sara Lee"), while the woman has discovered a great way to lower her stress levels ("Arthur in the Afternoon").
We move on to hear stories of loss and love ("And the World Goes 'Round – Reprise"). The first is from a woman who has watched the man that she trusted walk away forever ("My Coloring Book"). Next is a man choosing not to think of those memories ("I Don't Remember You"), as well as another man who is trying to remember the last time a whole day went by without thinking about the love he lost ("Sometimes a Day Goes By"). The audience is then propelled into a more salacious time, where a woman invites us to a raucous evening of booze and music ("All That Jazz"). Two women – clearly not the perfect examples of class – complain about the current days of loose values and empty morals ("Class"). Meanwhile, a man laments that, no matter what he does, he is never going to be noticed ("Mr. Cellophane"). The cast comes together to assure the audience that everything will be okay ("Me and My Baby").
Next, three women come together to emulate an old vocal jazz routine à la the Andrews Sisters ("There Goes the Ball Game"). The number is followed by commentary on what it is like to be living the high life in style ("How Lucky Can You Get?"). Two men come together to discuss how women would rather go to the skating rink for dates than a nice evening out, and the women join them, all on skates, hailing the joys of the rink ("The Rink").
The act begins with the story of a woman who travels around the world to find a husband, only to fall for the boy next door, after meeting him in a foreign country ("Ring Them Bells"). We are then told of the dangers of the Spider Woman ("Kiss of the Spider Woman"). Elsewhere, a woman longs for love as she watches two lovers pass by ("Only Love"). The man proposes, but the woman, somewhat bewildered, turns him down ("Marry Me"). After he leaves, she realizes that she does actually love him, but she had trouble realizing it because it was not what she expected ("A Quiet Thing"). He returns, and they dance together. She accepts his proposal. They continue dancing, and the others join them. There, they all wonder why dancers don't ever talk about how much it hurts to dance ("Pain"). Afterwards, we see two women greeting each other, when a man comes up and asks for an autograph. One of them is a Broadway star. He ignores the other woman, and, after he leaves, the two women comment on how the other lives ("The Grass Is Always Greener").
We now return to the theme of love ("And the World Goes 'Round – Reprise"). A man is sure that, with love, they can get through anything ("We Can Make It"). A woman then hopes that, this time, things will be better with her man ("Maybe This Time"). Another woman wonders if life is better with a friend instead of a lover ("Isn't This Better").
The cast begins to look at another part of life ("And the World Goes 'Round – Reprise") as they all find themselves in a bit of chaos when they see what really makes the world go around ("Money, Money"). They remind us all to live life to its fullest ("Cabaret"). They also reiterate the idea that, no matter what, the world will continue to turn ("And the World Goes 'Round – Finale"). Finally, the cast members each take on a different language as they remark on the joys of New York ("New York, New York").
WEST SIDE STORY
There is growing tensions between the Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang, and the Jets, a gang made up of "American" boys. An incident between the Jets and Shark leader, Bernardo, escalates into an all out fight between the two gangs. Officers Schrank and Krupke arrive to break up the fight.
Detective Schrank, the senior cop on the beat, tries to get the Jets to tell him which Puerto Ricans are starting trouble in the neighborhood, as he claims he is on their side. The Jets, however, are not stool pigeons and won't tell him anything. Frustrated, Schrank threatens to beat the crap out of the Jets unless they make nice. When the police leave, the Jets bemoan the Sharks coming onto their turf. They decide that they need to have one big rumble to settle the matter once and for all – even if winning requires fighting with knives and guns. Riff plans to have a war council with Bernardo to decide on weapons. Action wants to be his second, but Riff says that Tony is always his second. The other boys complain that Tony hasn't been around for a month, but Riff doesn't care; once you're a Jet, you're a Jet for life ("Jet Song").
Riff goes to see Tony, who is now working at Doc's drugstore. Riff presses him to come to the school dance for the war council, but Tony resists; he's lost the thrill of being a Jet. He explains that, every night for a month, he's had a strange feeling that something important is just around the corner. Nevertheless, Riff convinces Tony to come to the dance. Riff leaves Tony to wonder about this strange feeling that he's been having ("Something's Coming").
In a bridal shop, Anita remakes Maria's communion dress into a party dress. They are both Puerto Rican. Anita is knowing, sexual and sharp. Maria is excited, enthusiastic and childlike, but also growing into an adult. Maria complains that the dress is too young-looking, but Anita explains that Bernardo, her boyfriend and Maria's brother, made her promise not to make the dress too short. It turns out that the dress is for the dance, which Maria is attending with Chino, whom she is expected to marry, despite the fact that she does not have any feelings for him.
At the dance in the local gym, the group is divided: Jets and their girls on one side and Sharks and their girls on the othe. Riff and his lieutenants move to challenge Bernardo and his lieutenants, but they are interrupted by Glad Hand, the chaperone who is overseeing the dance, and Officer Krupke. The two initiate some dances to get the kids to dance together, across the gang lines. In the promenade leading up to the dance, though, the girls and boys end up facing each other at random, Jet girls across from Shark boys and vice versa. Bernardo reaches across the Jet girl in front of him to take Anita's hand, and Riff does the same with his girlfriend, Velma. Everyone dances with their own group as Tony enters ("Mambo"). During the dance, Maria and Tony spot each other. There is an instant connection. Bernardo interrupts them, telling Tony to stay away from his sister and asking Chino to take her home. Riff and Bernardo agree to meet at Doc's in half an hour for the war council. As everyone else disappears, Tony is overcome with the feeling of having met the most beautiful girl ever ("Maria").
Later, Tony finds the fire escape outside of Maria's apartment and calls up to her. She appears in the window, but is nervous that they will get caught. Her parents call her inside, but she stays. She and Tony profess their love to each other ("Tonight"). He agrees to meet her at the bridal shop the next day. Bernardo calls Maria inside. Anita admonishes him, saying that Maria already has a mother and father to take care of her. Bernardo insists that they, like Maria, don't understand this country. Bernardo, Anita, Chino and their friends discuss the unfairness of America – they are treated like foreigners, while "Polacks" like Tony are treated like real Americans, paid twice as much for their jobs. Anita tries to lure Bernardo inside and away from the war council, but he refuses. As the boys leave for the council, one of Anita's friends, Rosalia, claims to be homesick for Puerto Rico. Anita scoffs at this. While Rosalia expounds on the beauties of the country, Anita responds with why she prefers her new home ("America").
At the drugstore, the Jets wait for the Sharks. discussing what weapons they might have to use. Doc is upset that the boys are planning to fight at all. Anybodys, a tomboy who is trying to join the Jets, asks Riff if she can participate in the rumble, but he says no. Doc doesn't understand why the boys are making trouble for the Puerto Ricans, and the boys respond that the Sharks make trouble for them. Doc calls them hoodlums and Action and A-rab get very upset. Riff tells them that they have to save their steam for the rumble and keep cool, rather than freaking out ("Cool").
Bernardo arrives at the drugstore and he and Riff begin laying out the terms of the rumble. Tony arrives and convinces them all to agree to a fair fight – just skin, no weapons. The Sharks' best man fights the Jets' best man; Bernardo agrees, thinking that means he will get to fight Tony, but the Jets say they get to pick their fighter. Schrank arrives and breaks up the council. He tells the Puerto Ricans to get out. Bernardo and his gang exit. Schrank tries to get the Jets to reveal the location of the rumble and becomes increasingly frustrated when they refuse. He insults them and leaves. As Tony and Doc close up the shop, Tony reveals that he's in love with a Puerto Rican. Doc is worried.
The next day at the bridal shop, Maria tells Anita that she can leave, that Maria will clean up. Anita is about to go when Tony arrives. She suddenly understands and promises not to tell on them. When she leaves, Tony tells Maria that the rumble will be a fair fight, but even that's no acceptable for her, so she asks him to go to the rumble and stop it. He agrees. He'll do anything for her. They fantasize about being together and getting married ("One Hand, One Heart"). Later, the members of the ensemble wait expectantly for the fight, all for different reasons ("Tonight Quintet").
At the rumble, Diesel and Bernardo prepare to fight, with Chino and Riff as their seconds. Tony enters and tries to break up the fight, but provokes Bernardo against him instead. Bernardo calls Tony a chicken for not fighting him. Riff punches Bernardo and the fight escalates quickly until Riff and Bernardo pull out knives. Bernardo kills Riff and, in response, Tony kills Bernardo, instantly horrified by what he's done. The police arrive as everyone scatters; Anybodys pulls Tony away just in time.
In Maria's apartment, she gushes to her friends about how it is her wedding night and she is so excited ("I Feel Pretty"). Chino interrupts her reverie to tell her that Tony has killed Bernardo. She refuses to believe him, but when Tony arrives on her fire escape, he confesses. He offers to turn himself in, but she begs him to stay with her. She says that, although they are together, everyone is against them. Tony says they'll find a place where they can be together ("Somewhere").
In a back alley, the Jets regroup in shock. No one has seen Tony. Officer Krupke comes by, threatening to take them to the station house. The boys chase him away for the moment and then release some tension by play-acting the scenario of what would happen if Krupke actually did take them to the station house ("Gee, Officer Krupke"). Anybodys shows up with information about Tony and the fact that Chino is looking for him. She uses this information to get the boys to treat her like one of the gang. The Jets agree that they need to find Tony and warn him about Chino.
Meanwhile, Anita comes into Maria's room and finds her with Tony. Tony and Maria are planning to run away. Tony knows that Doc will give him money, so he goes to the drugstore and tells Maria to meet him there. She agrees. When he leaves, Anita explodes at her for loving the boy who killed her brother. Maria acknowledges that it's not smart, but she can't help it ("A Boy Like That / I Have a Love"). Anita tells Maria that Chino has a gun and is looking for Tony. Schrank arrives and detains Maria for questioning. Maria covertly asks Anita to go to Doc's and tell Tony that she has been delayed. Reluctantly, Anita agrees.
The Jets arrive at Doc's, learning that Tony and Doc are in the basement. Anita arrives and asks to speak to Doc. The Jets, recognizing her as Bernardo's girl and thinking that she is there to betray Tony to Chino, won't let her go down to the basement to talk to Doc. Instead, they harass and attack her. Doc arrives to find them ganging up on her; he breaks it up, but Anita, disgusted and hurt, lies to Doc and tells him to relay a message to Tony: Chino has shot Maria, and he will never see her again.
When Doc returns to Tony in the basement, he delivers Anita's message. Tony is distraught and heartbroken. He runs out into the streets and calls Chino to come for him. Anybodys tries to stop him, but Tony doesn't care. He yells to Chino that he should come out and shoot him, too. Maria appears in the street – much to Tony's surprise – and they run towards each other. In that moment, Chino steps out of the shadows and shoots Tony, who falls into Maria's arms, gravely wounded.
The Jets, Sharks and Doc appear on the street. Maria picks up the gun and points it all of them, asking Chino if there are enough bullets to kill all of them and herself, as well. The depths of her sadness and anger move everyone as she breaks down over Tony's body. Officers Krupke and Schrank arrive. They stand with Doc, watching as two boys from each gang pick up Tony's body and form a processional. The rest follow the processional, with Baby John picking up Maria's shawl, giving it to her and helping her up. As Maria follows the others, the adults continue to bear silent witness ("Finale").
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Salzburg, Austria, 1938, on the eve of the Anschluss. In the cloistered sanctuary of Nonnberg Abbey, the nuns invoke Psalm 110 and sing songs of praise (“Preludium”). However, one of the postulants is nowhere to be found: Maria is instead out in the hills, where she goes “when her heart is lonely,” singing at the top of her voice (“The Sound of Music”). Sister Berthe, Sister Sophia and Sister Margaretta debate with the Mother Abbess as to whether Maria is truly ready for a life of obedience and humility (“Maria”). The Mother Abbess calls for Maria, and they discover a shared love of one particular childhood song (“My Favorite Things”).
To help Maria mature before committing to the religious life, the Mother Abbess sends her out from the Abbey to become a temporary governess to the seven children of a former naval officer, Captain George von Trapp. Upon arriving at the von Trapp home, Maria realizes that he Captain has, since the death of his wife, emotionally closed himself off. The children march; they do not play. Furthermore, they have grown up without music in their lives. Maria understands that the way to gain their trust and acceptance is by teaching them the basics of singing (“Do-Re-Mi”).
That evening, the oldest child, Liesl, steals away to meet Rolf, a local boy who’s caught up in the political fervor of the streets. He warns her of the dangers of her innocence and offers himself as a suitable protector. She in her way, accepts (“Sixteen Going On Seventeen”). Meanwhile, a loud thunderstorm causes the frightened children to seek out Maria in her bedroom, where she diverts their fears with a rousing folk song (“The Lonely Goatherd”).
The Captain returns a month later with Elsa Schraeder, a sophisticated Viennese widow. They are accompanied by Max Detweiler, Third Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture, who is on the hunt for the perfect local singing group to perform at the annual Kaltzberg Festival. Elsa finds it charming here in the provinces, but is frustrated that the Captain has yet to propose to her. Max explains what’s standing in the way: both she and the Captain are rich! (“How Can Love Survive?”).
Maria arrives with the children, all wearing clothing that Maria has made from the old curtains in her bedroom. The Captain is embarrassed and enraged. Maria confronts him and tells him how little he understands his children, and he orders her back to Nonnberg. But when he hears the children singing for Elsa (Reprise: “The Sound of Music”), his heart opens up as he realizes what Maria has done in bringing music back into his home. He asks Maria to stay.
The Captain throws a lavish party so that the local gentry can meet Elsa (“The Grand Waltz”). However, the political divide is widening between those that support the proposed German takeover and those, like von Trapp, who believe in Austrian sovereignty. As the orchestra plays an Austrian Folk dance (“Ländler”), young Kurt tries to teach it to Maria. The Captain steps in, and as their arms intertwine, the Captain and Maria realize an unspoken attraction between them. Maria breaks away. Meanwhile, Elsa has asked the children to sing for the guests (“So Long, Farewell”). Max is thrilled: a singing group of seven children in one family? Perfect for the Festival! The children make their way to bed; the guests make their way to dinner; and Maria, confused by her encounter with the Captain, leaves without saying goodbye and flees back to Nonnberg Abbey. There she tells the Mother Abbess that she is ready to take the orders of poverty, obedience and chastity. But the Mother Abbess sees that Maria has fallen in love and encourages her to see her way forward and face her problems: to find the life she was born to live (“Climb Ev’ry Mountain”).
Max, in anticipation of the upcoming Kaltzberg Festival, rehearses with the children. But without Maria, they’ve lost the joy of music-making. Suddenly, Maria returns and they’re delighted! But they have news for her: Father is going to be married. To Frau Schraeder. Maria’s heart is broken, but she resolves to see her duties through until arrangements can be made for a new governess.
The political situation is worsening, and Max and Elsa are imploring the Captain to weather the coming storm by being noncommittal (“No Way To Stop It”). But the Captain is unwavering in his disgust for the Nazis, and he and Elsa realize that they cannot share a future. Elsa returns to Vienna for good. Seeing Maria again, the Captain now understands what he and Maria have both known deep inside for many weeks (“Something Good”).
The Nuns of Nonnberg Abbey celebrate the wedding of Maria Rainer and George von Trapp (“Processional & Maria: The Wedding”). But while Maria and the Captain are away on their honeymoon, the Anschluss occurs and Germany and Austria are now united. The Von Trapp house is the only one in the province not flying the flag of the Third Reich (“You mean the flag with the black spider on it?” asks Brigitta). Georg and Maria hurry back to find that much has changed: many have joined ranks with the Nazis, including Rolf, and even Franz the butler. Max, against the Captain’s wishes, has been readying the children for their performance at the Festival. The Captain is steadfast in his refusal to allow his family to perform on behalf of an Austria which no longer exists, and Maria stands by him. Liesl now sees how much Maria truly loves the Captain, and Maria shares her new understanding of how to spend one’s love (“Reprise: Sixteen Going on Seventeen”).
Admiral von Schreiber of the Navy of the Third Reich, accompanied by Herr Zeller, the local Nazi leader, arrives to inform von Trapp that he
must accept a commission in the German Navy and report immediately to Bremerhaven. Thinking quickly, Maria displays the program for the
Festival showing that the Trapp Family Singers – which includes the Captain, of course, as head of the family – are scheduled to perform,
so he couldn’t possibly leave now. Admiral von Schreiber comprehends the situation and grants permission for the Captain to report to duty
several days later.
The Festival beings (“Reprise: Do-Re-Mi”) and von Trapp himself sings a quietly defiant hymn to his beloved Austria (“Edelweiss”). But when Max announces that a guard of honor is waiting to escort the Captain away as soon as the concert is over, Maria leads the Von Trapp family in more song as they escape, one by one, into the night (“Reprise: So Long, Farewell”). Max gives out the concert prizes slowly, buying time. The Trapp Family Singers are announced as winners of the Festival, but they are nowhere to be found.
The family takes refuge in the garden of Nonnberg Abbey as Nazi soldiers swarm the hallowed ground. It is Rolf who discovers the von Trapps, but seeing Liesl, he chooses not to reveal their hiding place. Still there seems to be no way out for the von Trapps: the Nazis have closed the border and are guarding every road. The family has no choice but to make their way to freedom by way of the mountain. It is a daunting journey, but Maria, who grew up on that mountain, knows the way. And the Mother Abbess reminds them that they will have help: “For ye shall go out with joy and the very hills shall break forth before you into singing” (“Finale Ultimo: Climb Ev’ry Mountain”).