Pink Martini founder Thomas Lauderdale says the two groups aren’t as dissimilar as they might appear to be. ''The actual story of the [original] von Trapps is not really G-rated,'' he tells us. ''It's about standing up to [the Nazis].''
The current von Trapps include three sisters and a brother between the ages of 18 and 24. They've been singing together for more than ten years, often in quaint Sound of Music-worthy folk costumes. ''They were raised in Montana,'' says Lauderdale. ''They were home-schooled, and they never watched television growing up. So, yes, spending time with them is like walking onto the set of The Sound of Music. They're very young but also very wise. And they have an incredible talent. The von Trapp story is really about being hopeful. Right now, [the future] is looking pretty bleak. Seeing [The Von Trapps], it's a chance to be innocent again, to be hopeful,'' Lauderdale continues. And Pink Martini shows have always been hopeful, he says.
The Houston Symphony performs the first half of the concert alone; Pink Martini joins the orchestra for the second half with a program that includes ''The Lady Is a Tramp'' and ''Malagueña.'' The Von Trapps perform several songs, including Die dorfmusik and an a cappella version of In stiller Nacht, which was sung by the original family group on its farewell tour in 1956. If there's time, they might treat fans to a rendition of ''Edelweiss.''
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $123.
May 24-26, 2013