Brooklyn Rundfunk Orchestra The Hills Are Alive

Brooklyn Rundfunk Orchestra The Hills Are Alive
The concept sounds insufferably smug: re-contextualize the songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved (and let's be honest, depending on how you feel about musicals, hated) The Sound of Music in a mixture of genres as disparate as hip-hop, country, soul and even heavy metal. Put it all together and what do you have? A bonus karaoke disc for an upcoming DVD re-release of the film marketed to the tween demographic? Admirably, quite the opposite. The brainchild of East Village Opera Company creator Peter Kiesewalter, the BRO clearly have an engaging reverence for the source material, which has landed the project a rare approval from the reportedly prim and proper Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. The giddily contagious mash-up of "Do-Re-Mi" with the Jackson 5's "ABC," entitled "Do-Re-Mi/ABC," is easily the most gimmicky and pop-friendly offering of the set. The smouldering soul- and hip-hop-infused takes on "Something Good" and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" (the latter replete with some stellar rapping courtesy of TK Wonder) sit comfortably next to such audacious explorations as a hilariously rocked-out "My Favorite Things" (featuring delightfully over-the-top vocals from the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir's Dave Wall). The Hills Are Alive is an intelligently conceived and energetically performed tribute. (Canal)