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So Who Watched The Sound Of Music Live?


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I watched. By about the 1/2 hour mark the appeal of a live broadcast wore thin. The show was just completely forgettable. Carrie Underwood seems to be taking a lot of flack for her lack of acting ability. Well, she's a country singer that the producers hired, so... The real horror of the production, was the Captain, who had zero personality, screen presence or acting ability. There was no shading to his character, at all, and he's NOT a country singer! It had great sets, questionable costumes and was technically directed. Character direction was non-existent. It was a big rating's winner for 3rd place NBC, so I guess that will mean more of them (which is okay by me). The real test, will be in DVD sales. Many people tuning in doesn't mean many people liked it. I tuned in, and didn't like it. The film's portrayals are ALL secure. Still, it was nice to see, mostly, the show version, again.

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I've never been able to make it through through the film -- I always end up hoping the Nazis catch them.

 

But this reminds me of something I've thought about: With TV networks so dependent on live events (sports, award shows) could we see a mini-revival of live plays/musicals, in the tradition of the '50s spectaculars?

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Sound of Music is one of my least favorite musicals ( all those kids - yuch!), but that being said, I enjoyed watching this live theatre on television. Obviously Carrie is not an accomplished actress, but her singing was wonderful and during the singing she did show great dramatic potential and she was not THAT bad an actress for an absolute beginner.II actually liked the actor playing Baron Von Trapp and the Broadway actors surrounding the leads (especially Audra McDonald as Mother Superior) were excellent. The sets(gorgeous), scene transitions, choreography, etc more than satisfying.

I hope this can be done more in the future - live theatre (even on tv) is not the same as the movies and presents many challenges and pleasures. Three cheers to Carrie Underwood for going for it, and to NBC. AND PLEASE no unnecessay comparisons to the film version. Compare it to a live theatre version if you must.

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PS. The only glitch I noticed was when an extra stepped on the train of the dress of the Baroness (Laura Benanti) at one point during the party scene, and she handled it like the true Broadway professional she is. Great performance by her btw.

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I came home (fro my own opening night, actually) during the party scene when the Captain and Maria were dancing together. From that point on I observed that Carrie Underwood's acting wasn't that good, but when she was either singing or listening to someone else, she was much better, and her singing was very good, so I was fine with her, though I wish she had delivered her dialogue like a real person instead of a high school actress. The kids were kids but sang very well. I loved how Kurt really looked like a German kid and that Gretl was cute in a normal way, not in an annoying Hollywood way. I'm glad they did "Somewhere in my Youth" instead of the show's real song "Ordinary Couple" which just isn't as good. (Did they do "I Have Confidence" instead of the original song as well?) Was blown away by the amazing set and transitions. To me the best part of the whole show was Audra McDonald--everything she did, but especially her "Climb Every Mountain". Best I've ever heard that song. Made me tear up it was so powerful. But I already love anything she does.

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(Did they do "I Have Confidence" instead of the original song as well?)

 

Not sure what original song you mean. There is no song in the show at that scene. She leaves the Abbey and the next scene is at the Von Trapp villa. In any event, they did not do "I Have Confidence". It was the show, almost exactly. They left in the dialog which leads up to "An Ordinary Couple", so to me, "Something Good" seemed out of place. I have no issue with the original song, which fits, very nicely with the dialog that precedes, it. I don't like Audra McDonald's singing voice, and I thought she ruined the beautiful "Dixit Dominus" with her belting what should be a chant, and then her complete lack of blend when the other nuns join the piece. She destroyed the beautiful harmonies that are there. Of course, that moment can just as easily be blamed on the sound technician, but there's nothing subtle about her singing. It's all fluster and bombast, and I find it like nails on a chalkboard. She and most everyone shouted, their lines, their songs, as if they weren't told it was television. Max and Elsa were the most natural with their line deliveries, but Elsa lacked any real edge. I know the screenplay is superior to the show, but Elsa can still add an edge, to her lines. You were left wondering why she wasn't playing Maria? The Captain and Maria were such ciphers, they completely deserved one another. Elsa was absolutely out of his league. She could have left him because she was bored to tears as much as because of his politics.

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"everyone shouted their lines, their songs" ? Better check your volume control knob - my reception had no such problems.

 

Audra McDonald's singing - "all fluster and bombast" ?

 

"Captain and Maria were such ciphers..."

 

Such snarkiness and negativity should have had you turn off the show if you were that miserable. But then some love to demonstrate their superiority and elevated knowledge of what should have been.

 

If you're not a regular at Broadwayworld.com message board you should be- it's an ongoing contest there as to who can be the nastiest critic and the snarkiest **** on the board.

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>If you're not a regular at Broadwayworld.com message board you should be- it's an ongoing contest there as to who can be the nastiest critic and the snarkiest ***** on the board.

 

As Rhett Butler so famously said to Scarlet after a ceramic cast whistled past his head in the library.

 

"Has the war started already?"

 

lol

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I'm surprised everyone is being so kind as it relates to Carrie Underwood and her lack of acting skills. I just read some statements from the producer in an L.A. Times article (published a day before the show), where he pats himself on the back for his ability to cast the right people. He makes the point that Carrie lacks the experience but, that it doesn't matter. BS!

 

Doing live TV like this has to be one of the most difficult forms of acting. Remember that joke by the character Alan Swan in My Favorite Year; I'm not an actor I'm a movie star! (when he find out the performance is live TV).

 

So I can see why people would say it took guts for Underwood to take the part. But the producer and director of the play are fools to believe they are good at casting.

 

The role called for someone that could act and sing and had a lot of experience doing both live.

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It may be that she wins our sympathy for her earnestness, and I think, during the musical numbers especially she showed talent in her expressiveness. Since it has been acknowledged that she is a beginner it also seems rather unkind to attack such an easy target for trying in a challenge as daunting as a live three hour production of a popular musical played originally by the iconic Julie Andrews. Since it was a clear case of stunt casting - a popular singer from the American Idol galaxy - perhaps the producer was referring more to all the other actors, and I would guess ( though could not say for sure) that he did not "cast" Carrie - that she was a given.

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Why am I not allowed to dislike it? Does your liking it make YOU superior, somehow? You're allowed to love it. I watched it to the end, because I like TSOM, and was happy to see a mostly faithful version of the stage show, and I was excited by the live aspect, which hadn't been done since 1957 (which I also saw live). I was completely ready to love it. I didn't. So what? Since it was a big ratings success, I'm thrilled there will most-likely be productions of musical that I will like. Either way, I watch til the end, so I can make informed judgements about it.

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I'm surprised everyone is being so kind as it relates to Carrie Underwood and her lack of acting skills. I just read some statements from the producer in an L.A. Times article (published a day before the show), where he pats himself on the back for his ability to cast the right people. He makes the point that Carrie lacks the experience but, that it doesn't matter. BS!

 

It is BS. He's the guy who cast Matthew Broderick in that dog of a remake of THE MUSIC MAN. I did like their ANNIE, however. At least way better than the theatrical version, which I was just embarrassed to be seeing. Carrie gets points because she's a country singer, not an actress. She didn't cast herself, and she was no worse than the Captain, who was actually even more wooden, with no screen presence and zero chemistry with anyone in the cast. He IS an actor. Allegedly.

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I didn't catch it but, if it promotes live television and skilled acting instead of loud talent shows then I'm for it.

 

Just reminds you of a time when 90% of the performers expected to be able to act, sing and dance on a regular basis. I guess when the public doesn't demand high levels of talent, look at what you get ..

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Yes, you are allowed to dislike it - my reacton was to what seemed to me your somewhat over the top complaints (for example - the actors shouted their lines and their songs - huh?) and if there was ANYTHING you liked about it, it was hard to find. As i said, it's easy to be snarky, a little harder to have a balanced view. I didn't really love it either - I liked it, but then I am not a big fan of TSOM to begin with.

That being said, I could not watch "The Music Man" re- do with Matthew Broderick or the Jason Alexander "Bye Bye Birdie" - turned them both off after half an hour or so and I guess had I sat all the way through either one I might have had a terrible review to write too. I guess you can chalk it up to hypocrisy - but sometimes the mean spirited nature of posts like yours seem to be just that - mean spirited. As I said Broadwayworld message board seems to be often a contest of who could say the nastiest things possible and maybe I'd read too many of those already when I came upon yours here. I didn't mean to imply that mine was the correct or superior view.(and ok - maybe my reaction to YOUR reaction was over the top.)

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It started out well but by the third hour the steam was rapidly going out of it. The costumes did not seem all that late 930's and the wedding gown way too modern. I did like the red pants and pink top the actress playing "Frau Schrader" wore.

 

The acting was so-so. The principals all shouted their lines and didn't sound sincere. They seemed to forget that while they were live they were not in a Broadway theater where they had to be loud to be heard.

 

My main gripe is that the production was badly paced. By the time the Nazis arrive to force Captain von Trapp into service there was only about fifteen or twenty minutes left. The climax at the Festival, which was so moving in the film, and the escape was rushed as was the hunt for them in the convent. By that time they head for the mountains it seemed like amateur night.

 

Carrie Underwood seemed to lose her voice in parts of some tunes and Audra McDonald got off track in the final version of Climb Every Mountain. I have no idea who the actor playing Captain von Trapp is but I was not impressed.

 

They did not sing I Have Confidence but included three songs that were not in the movie.

 

I can't believe they rehearsed this for as long as they claimed. It was close but no cigar. Had the play been this uninspiring in the 50's it would have faded away and we'd have no Julie and Christopher on screen showing us how it's really done.

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