NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music"

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EdSails
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2013/12/06 14:15:00 (permalink)

NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music"

Along with the Kennedy and Lennon assassinations, the Challenger disaster and other notable events, two of the events that I can remember location and other details about were the first time that I saw "The Sound of Music" and "2001:A Space Odyssey". TSOM has always had a special place in my heart as well as having been one that my daughter and I enjoyed together many times. I'm sure a lot of Roadfoodies watched NBC's version of TSOM and I'm curious to see what their take was on it. Here's my brief notes on it:
THE GOOD: The actress who played oldest daughter Liesel was excellent, showing great stage presence and excellent      singing.
 It was nice to see the differences between the actual musical as opposed to the movie
 They did use some excellent Broadway/musical theater people in supporting roles. A lot of the singing and acting was top-notch.
THE BAD:
Carrie Underwood cannot act. Her "accent" was non-existent. Even though she's a good singer, singing in musical theater is very different from  doing a concert. Other choices could have been made with a "name" star who could have done a better job.
THE UGLY:
It would have been much better before a live studio audience like they did when they did live shows in the 50's and early 60's. It really needed audience interaction which is a big part of a "live" performance.
Casting could have been better---Audra MacDonald sang great, but the "politically correct trumps reality" choice of using a black actress for a roll in 1930's Austria was ridiculous. Would they do a movie about 1960's civil rights and use Christian Bale as Malcolm X?
 
Overall, I thought it was a notable try, but a lot of areas could have been improved. It's tough to remake an iconic show, especially one where the movie version is quite different from the stage version. What was your take on it?
 
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 14:41:42 (permalink)
    I'm the one person in the world who detested The Sound of Music. I thought it so sweet my eyes and ears got cavities. As much as I loved Mary Martin in everything, this one was too much. Oh, I saw it on opening night at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, prior to its Broadway opening. I believe it was in 1959.
    #2
    EdSails
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 14:54:21 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    I'm the one person in the world who detested The Sound of Music. I thought it so sweet my eyes and ears got cavities. As much as I loved Mary Martin in everything, this one was too much. Oh, I saw it on opening night at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, prior to its Broadway opening. I believe it was in 1959.

    After a pizza at Frank Pepe's I assume!
    post edited by EdSails - 2013/12/06 15:43:38
    #3
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 15:12:00 (permalink)
    EdSails

    Michael Hoffman

    I'm the one person in the world who detested The Sound of Music. I thought it so sweet my eyes and ears got cavities. As much as I loved Mary Martin in everything, this one was too much. Oh, I saw it on opening night at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, prior to its Broadway opening. I believe it was in 1959.

    After a pizza at Frank peep's I assume!

    Nope. After a steak sandwich at the Anchor Bar down the street at the corner of College and Crown.
    #4
    felix4067
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 15:18:46 (permalink)
    I didn't watch it. I am intimately familiar with the musical (pretty sure I've worked the show at least a couple of dozen times anywhere from local community productions through touring Broadway shows), and am also NOT a fan of Ms. Underwood. I figured when I wasn't impressed by the commercial each of the 7,538,652 times it was on TV I probably wasn't going to enjoy the show.
     
    I get bringing a "name" into something to sell tickets, but it pretty much always fails when they bring in a singer as opposed to an actor for something like this. Just because you can stand on stage and sing does not make you a musical theatre star. And doing it without a live audience is just plain stupid. The entire point of live theatre is audience interaction.
    post edited by felix4067 - 2013/12/06 15:20:20
    #5
    Sundancer7
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 16:42:11 (permalink)
    Personally, I totally enjoyed it.  I watched the entire program and I thought Underwood did a fantastic job.  I am not a musical fan but their production was very very good. 
     
    Paul E. Smith
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    love2bake
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 17:14:48 (permalink)
    Although I see Carrie Underwood as quite talented, I thought her voice and delivery weren't right for this musical.  As a result, I didn't even make it through two songs.
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    chewingthefat
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 17:17:26 (permalink)
    I hate Musicals, I know it sounds like I lack proper culture, but as a youth my Father would drag all of his children under 16 to the movies, most Friday nights. He loved Musicals, hence 7 Brides for & Brothers, Oklahoma, etc, at 10-12 years old, I detested them, I wanted John Wayne, etc!
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 17:24:59 (permalink)
    Hey, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of my favorite films.
     
    I'm a lonesome polecat. Lonesome sad and blue, 'cause I ain't got no feminine polecat vowin' to be true.
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 18:00:12 (permalink)
    Never saw TSOM either on stage or film.  Never had a care to.
     
    Not that I don't like musicals; I saw Yul Brynner twice in The King and I  - once at the Winter Garden and again at the Warner in WDC.  Magnificent, lifetime memories.
     
    I remember 11/22/1963 and 09/11/2001 in TechiColor detail.
     
    To a slightly lesser degree I recall random details from both Shuttle tragedies, especially my guttaral shriek of grief upon Reagan's poetic allusion:  " ... slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the Face of God".
    #10
    EdSails
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/06 18:15:43 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    I hate Musicals, I know it sounds like I lack proper culture, but as a youth my Father would drag all of his children under 16 to the movies, most Friday nights. He loved Musicals, hence 7 Brides for & Brothers, Oklahoma, etc, at 10-12 years old, I detested them, I wanted John Wayne, etc!

     
    Well, there was always Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood singing in Paint Your Wagon!
     
    And if you really want, here's the Duke:
     
    John Wayne as----"Singin' Sandy" in Riders of Destiny.
    post edited by EdSails - 2013/12/06 18:34:12
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    Foodbme
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 00:00:02 (permalink)
    I enjoyed the movie: did not care for last night's production.
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    ann peeples
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 07:54:21 (permalink)
    From what people said, they expected a remake of the the movie. It wasn't-it was a play..All I know is the songs are replaying in
     my head...
    post edited by ann peeples - 2013/12/07 07:55:54
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 09:57:09 (permalink)
    Oh, it was on NBC.
     
    Don't watch them anymore.
     
     
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    felix4067
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 10:43:35 (permalink)
    ann peeples

    From what people said, they expected a remake of the the movie. It wasn't-it was a play..All I know is the songs are replaying in
    my head...

    Exactly. Everyone thinks Julie Andrews is the only one who can ever play the role...but Mary Martin did it first, on Broadway, and while I was never fortunate enough to see her in it (way before my time), I do own the cast recording and her voice is the one that sounds right to me. I've gotten over that since I've worked productions of it with numerous other women playing the role.
     
    As I said earlier, I didn't watch this particular production. And based on clips I've seen since then, I'm really glad. Carrie Underwood looks like a wooden doll onstage...uncomfortable dancing, wooden facial expressions (she's always smiling, though...always keep smiling when you're singing! Every first-year voice coach will tell you that.), and obviously not at ease in her costumes. It's really too bad...I was hoping something like this would bring more people back to enjoying shows on stage instead of on a screen.
    #15
    EdSails
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 12:40:19 (permalink)
    Felix, coming from a background in musical theater (playing in the orchestra and doing stage sound) I thought the worst part of it was that they did not use a live audience. It just doesn't have the impact on the performers if all you are playing to "live" are the stage technicians. 
    Later today I'm going to a friend's annual Christmas party. They own and operate a theater specializing in Gilbert and Sullivsn musicals as well as other productions like A Christmas Carol. In fact, the wife played Maria in 1990's in several productions. With the number of musical theater people that will be at the party, it will be interesting to hear the "buzz" about the broadcast. 
    I also fault NBC  for not making the average person aware that the stage musical and the movie are very different. A lot of the complaints are "it's not the movie". If NBC had made that clear, I think a lot of viewers might have had more of an open mind. I knew what to expect since I had read up about it beforehand, but the average viewer was obviously confused since it was so different.
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 16:49:42 (permalink)
    Nice to see Mary Martin mentioned several times above. 
     
    In my youth she was Peter Pan on TV. 
     
    And she was Larry Hagman's mother.
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    chewingthefat
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 17:09:55 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    Hey, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is one of my favorite films.

    I'm a lonesome polecat. Lonesome sad and blue, 'cause I ain't got no feminine polecat vowin' to be true.

    You probably had a crush on Russ Tamblyn, too!
    #18
    chewingthefat
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 17:11:37 (permalink)
    EdSails

    chewingthefat

    I hate Musicals, I know it sounds like I lack proper culture, but as a youth my Father would drag all of his children under 16 to the movies, most Friday nights. He loved Musicals, hence 7 Brides for & Brothers, Oklahoma, etc, at 10-12 years old, I detested them, I wanted John Wayne, etc!


    Well, there was always Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood singing in Paint Your Wagon!

    And if you really want, here's the Duke:

    John Wayne as----"Singin' Sandy" in Riders of Destiny.


    ED, say it ain't so!
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    EdSails
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 18:10:27 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim

    Nice to see Mary Martin mentioned several times above. 

    In my youth she was Peter Pan on TV. 

    And she was Larry Hagman's mother.

    If you have a chance, get a copy of "My Heart Belongs". It's Mary Martin's autobiography. A fascinating book, one of my favorites.
    #20
    EdSails
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/07 18:13:02 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    EdSails

    chewingthefat

    I hate Musicals, I know it sounds like I lack proper culture, but as a youth my Father would drag all of his children under 16 to the movies, most Friday nights. He loved Musicals, hence 7 Brides for & Brothers, Oklahoma, etc, at 10-12 years old, I detested them, I wanted John Wayne, etc!


    Well, there was always Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood singing in Paint Your Wagon!

    And if you really want, here's the Duke:

    John Wayne as----"Singin' Sandy" in Riders of Destiny.


    ED, say it ain't so!

    Sorry, Chewy........
     
     
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    jmckee
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/09 13:52:25 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    I'm the one person in the world who detested The Sound of Music. I thought it so sweet my eyes and ears got cavities. As much as I loved Mary Martin in everything, this one was too much. Oh, I saw it on opening night at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, prior to its Broadway opening. I believe it was in 1959.

    Christopher Plummer notoriously called it "THe Sound of Mucus" and said that it was "like being beaten about the head with a Valentine card."
     
    My wife loves the musical; I DVR'ed it and we'll watch, partly because one of my opera cronies is one of the nuns.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/09 13:55:46 (permalink)
    jmckee

    Michael Hoffman

    I'm the one person in the world who detested The Sound of Music. I thought it so sweet my eyes and ears got cavities. As much as I loved Mary Martin in everything, this one was too much. Oh, I saw it on opening night at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, prior to its Broadway opening. I believe it was in 1959.

    Christopher Plummer notoriously called it "THe Sound of Mucus" and said that it was "like being beaten about the head with a Valentine card."

    My wife loves the musical; I DVR'ed it and we'll watch, partly because one of my opera cronies is one of the nuns.

    I love the quote. Thanks.
    #23
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/09 14:08:42 (permalink)
    jmckee

    Michael Hoffman

    I'm the one person in the world who detested The Sound of Music. I thought it so sweet my eyes and ears got cavities. As much as I loved Mary Martin in everything, this one was too much. Oh, I saw it on opening night at the Shubert Theater in New Haven, prior to its Broadway opening. I believe it was in 1959.

    Christopher Plummer notoriously called it "THe Sound of Mucus" and said that it was "like being beaten about the head with a Valentine card."

    My wife loves the musical; I DVR'ed it and we'll watch, partly because one of my opera cronies is one of the nuns.


    I agree with Messrs. Plummer and Hoffman, both men of manly tastes.
     
    I am much too young to have seen it first run on Broadway; even though I am not diabetic my pancreas rebelled from seeing the movie after the T.V. commercials.  So, I am still successful in my avoidance.
     
    That said, I have sat through "Phantom" once at the Kennedy Center, once at the Wang Center, and thrice at the Majestic.  At least there weren't any children involved in the productions.  BTW, each time was with a different female.  A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
    post edited by MetroplexJim - 2013/12/09 14:11:58
    #24
    jmckee
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/10 13:58:11 (permalink)
    There is a true story about when the movie was first released internationally. A cinema owner in South Korea thought four hours was too long; fewer showings in the day meant fewer ticket sales and less money.
     
    So he edited it. He cut out all the songs.
    #25
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/10 15:32:47 (permalink)
    Well, that would make it more tolerable...
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    ken8038
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/11 08:59:02 (permalink)
    My wife watched it, and I dropped in and out to see what was going on. Carrie Underwood was the theatrical equivalent of the old baseball phrase "Good Field No Hit', in this case "Good Sing No Act".
     
    it appears she has now been taking to blaming the bad reviews on "People who don't love Jesus". I've been looking online to see if Jesus gave her a good review or something, but I can't seem to find anything. 
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    porkbeaks
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    Re:NBC's "live" version of "The Sound of Music" 2013/12/11 10:37:34 (permalink)
    I had no interest in watching this latest production, but as a 14 year old on an 8th grade class trip to NYC in 1961, I (along with my classmates) thought it and Mary Martin were wonderful. Six or seven years later, I saw the movie with Julie Andrews at the new theater at Ton San Nhut AFB in the Republic of Viet Nam. Bunch of "tough guys" in attendance enjoyed it immensely. I remember leaving the theater feeling somehow "cleaner" for lack of a better word.
    #28
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