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DramatistDreamer

The Sound of Music Live!

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Did Audra McDonald perform "My Favorite Things" alongside Carrie Underwood? I think my local radio station just played an audio of their duet, and my God, but Audra should have tapped to perform as Maria!A

Another question: what was the impetus for last night's production? Was it to commemorate some anniversary? I'm sure I could find the answer via Google, but I'm feeling pretty lazy at the moment.

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I think they just wanted to try something different for ratings, and the holiday season.

Audra and Carrie duetted it early on didn't they? I didn't watch it.

I was reading some of the Washington Post articles on this and it was one empty sneer after another, including one woman who talked at length about how she would not watch this because it's not the movie, and who seemed a little offended that when she went on some "Sound of Music Tour" of the area, people weren't more enthused to answer her questions. And another woman who claimed that 18 million people watched it solely because of "hate watching," that America only finds enjoyment if they can trash something. I'm not being hyperbolic. The person really did claim this.

These were actual articles.

No wonder that paper is pretty much dead.

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It wasn't great but it was good enough to entertain me and NBC was very wise in their scheduling. Right after Thanksgiving but not too close to Christmas. People are kind of in the holiday mood but it's a little early for entertaining so people were home on a cold, dark night and looking for something that everyone in the household could either enjoy, make fun of, or both.

I'm thrilled that the ratings were so good because I really want to see more of this kind of thing on TV again. I especially enjoy that it did well on a major network. I'm glad that ABC decided not to pull a total dick move and air the film on the same night (they are airing it on the 22nd).

This kind of production is too cumbersome to do often but if it can bring in ratings and make money, they will do more. I think a live musical once a year, during the holidays, would be a great idea. It could become a tradition. If they try again and it also does well, they might feel confident enough to fill the next cast with Broadway vets top to bottom and not feel the need to cast pop stars who don't really act just to get numbers. But if they want star power, I would love to see them do a live broadcast of the wonderful Nunn & Stroman 'Oklahoma' with Hugh Jackman.

The lack of an audience I think had to have hurt the show. There are moments where perhaps there is an intended laugh, or some sort of cute moment or some sort of crowd pleasing moment and there was no crowd. I saw the Do Re Mi clip on NBC.com and when it is over you expect applause and you got nothing.

A few years back PBS televised South Pacific from Lincoln Center and it was fine, and the audience really helps the show, and no doubt the actors.

I agree. I think they were very wise to go with the theater version of the show rather than the movie version since they didn't have the budget or time to get even close to the film but they should've been in an actual theater with an audience. A lot of performers need to feed off an audience's energy, especially in a show like this. Perhaps they were worried that if there was an audience, there would be too many "hate-watchers" there disrupting things.

I loved that South Pacific performance and I hate that PBS never reairs it and never sells DVDs of LFLC performances. Overall, it's a disgrace just how infrequent broadcasts like that have become, even on PBS. 15 or 20 years ago, they did several broadcasts a year between Lincoln Center, Great Performances, and American Playhouse. Bravo also aired plays, musicals, ballets, and operas a lot in their early days before they sold their souls to the 'Real Housewives'. To make matters even worse, there are several PBS affiliates who pre-empt the few LFLC and GP broadcasts that there are and air stupid seminars with some yahoo selling a book instead.

Carrie Underwood is no Julie Andrews, but then again no one ever was. She can't hit the notes Julie could and her limited range sort of diminished the title song. It was also a little jarring hearing her pronunciations of words we know in our heads how Julie sang them. Her Rs are particular pronounced in spots, and the way she said "Laugh" in the title song was jarring. That said, she did good enough but I think even the most accomplished country singer could do with a few musical theater lessons or acting lessons.

I knew going in that while Underwood was the big draw that made this possible, she would also be the weakest part of the show and she was but she was actually better than I expected. Her voice performed well considering it's limits and while her acting was weak (no surprise), there was a sincerity and deer-in-the-headlights quality about her that fit the role.

Did Audra McDonald perform "My Favorite Things" alongside Carrie Underwood? I think my local radio station just played an audio of their duet, and my God, but Audra should have tapped to perform as Maria!A

I would've loved to see McDonald, Kelli O'Hara, or Laura Benanti (who'd played Maria on Broadway and played Elsa in this version) in the Maria role but if it hadn't been Underwood, NBC probably wouldn't have done it. NBC could only justify it financially because of Underwood's broad name recognition and pre-existing fanbase, which gave them the security that at least a certain minimum of viewers were all but guaranteed to watch either because they're fans or because they hate her and want ammunition. No Broadway staple would've brought that and without it, NBC would've probably been too scared to take the risk. They're not exactly innovative these days.

Another question: what was the impetus for last night's production? Was it to commemorate some anniversary? I'm sure I could find the answer via Google, but I'm feeling pretty lazy at the moment.

The project was conceived in November of last year by the producers of 'Smash' who sold it to NBC as a vehicle for Underwood, who had already been chosen as Faith Hill's replacement to do the opening song for NBC's biggest rating's grabber, Sunday Night Football.

I think they just wanted to try something different for ratings, and the holiday season.

Any network that wants to try something different has my blessing, even if it ends up sucking. TV is being destroyed by copycat syndrome.

I was reading some of the Washington Post articles on this and it was one empty sneer after another, including one woman who talked at length about how she would not watch this because it's not the movie, and who seemed a little offended that when she went on some "Sound of Music Tour" of the area, people weren't more enthused to answer her questions. And another woman who claimed that 18 million people watched it solely because of "hate watching," that America only finds enjoyment if they can trash something. I'm not being hyperbolic. The person really did claim this.

These were actual articles.

No wonder that paper is pretty much dead.

Yeah, it's total BS. I'm sure that were some hate-watchers and every last one of them were whining on Twitter as if they were being held down with their eyes and ears held open and forced to endure it. But I really think they're in the minority. The increasingly loud and obnoxious minority who hate everything, hate everyone, and live every minute of their lives in misery as a result and try to foist their misery on everyone else. A lot of these people tend to write for newspapers and blogs.

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I thought it was enjoyable. Underwood wasn't great but I didn't think she was terrible nor did I think she sounded too country.

Laura Benanti was by far my favourite part. I thought it was really interesting to read that she said she based her performance as the Baroness on Jan Maxwell in the Broadway revival. I saw that production (before Benanti took over as Maria; Rebecca Luker was still in the part) and I can totally see it. Audra McDonald was incredible but she always is. I've seen her in three Broadway production and she's just flawless every time.

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Another question: what was the impetus for last night's production? Was it to commemorate some anniversary? I'm sure I could find the answer via Google, but I'm feeling pretty lazy at the moment.

Before the live airing, I read somewhere that networks are trying to broadcast the types of special programming that will draw people away from their DVRs and Netflix/HULU and pull them into more appointment viewing.

I don't remember the name of the show but I also read that there will be a show airing simulcast on several cable networks (is it Bonnie & Clyde or Houdini??).

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I thought it was enjoyable. Underwood wasn't great but I didn't think she was terrible nor did I think she sounded too country.

That's how I felt. I really enjoyed the duet of Favorite Things. I did notice that a lot of people didn't realize the show was live despite them saying it was live ahead of time. A lot of people including the journalist for Times also didn't realize it was a retelling of the play and not the movie. The Times journalist looked like an idiot nitpicking at parts of it that went along with the play by saying they were wrong because of the movie.

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Dave Holmes, former MTV VJ, put it best for me: "Carrie Underwood was in over her head and the whole thing looked like an episode of “Passions,” but I still enjoyed the [!@#$%^&*] out of The Sound of Music Live! and I hope it’s the first of many."

It really did have the overly lit feel of an NBC soap. But I liked it well enough, I like the whole live communal watching experience. Carrie Underwood was incredibly...pleasant. She said her lines and hit her marks and tapped into some unknown well of emotion in order to cry on cue but that's all she did. She wasn't Maria.

Audra McDonald was flawless as usual. Laura Benanti was a revelation to me, I've seen her in other things and she never really stood out but here she completely inhabited that character. I found the girl playing Liesl captivating, the guy playing Rolfe looked entirely too old and experienced for the role and those shorts were ridiculous.

I've never seen the movie, though of course I'm familiar with the songs, so the giant swatiskas that took over the staging were a bit of a shock. I'm not prepared for that at 9 on a Thursday.

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Dave Holmes, one of the few MTV VJs I actually liked.

Apparently the movie toned down a lot of the Nazi content, but this version decided to reemphasize it as in the Broadway play.

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I just watched this today. (I streamed it at work while I was doing other stuff.)

Personally, I found it pleasant enough. Hardly a revelation but certainly not deserving of the hate thrown at it from some. I liked Underwood and thought she did a decent job. Moyer was good too. As a Broadway fan, I was simply thrilled to see Borle, McDonald and Benanti on TV in prime time. (Laura Benanti is a permanent resident of my "I'd go gay for…" list).

I can't believe that I'm saying this but I hope Underwood keeps trying theatre. I think that with some work and good direction she could turn into a good theatre performer.

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I saw some article where some of the von Trapp great-grandkids said their father would be "rolling in his grave," if he knew Carrie Underwood had played Maria, that this was their main chance for another version and now it's all ruined, and that the part should have been played by Anne Hathaway.

I think saying their father would be rolling over in his grave is kind of distasteful, to say the least, considering the real horrors the family went through compared to some woman on a TV show, some woman he may not have even heard of (I don't know when he died).

As for Hathaway - if people thought there was hate out there for Underwood, you can't even begin to imagine the hate Hathaway would have received.

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Not sure what the point of doing a live TV version of the Nunn Oklahoma would be. I enjoyed the show when I saw it in London, but like it less on DVD--but it was filmed essentially the same way this was (they re-staged it on a TV soundstage instead of filming in the theatre.) The Hollywood Reporters says there will be more (with the only requirement apparently being that the show is a classic with songs people know--please, don't do Grease) http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/nbc-commits-live-musical-production-664338

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The Music Man.

ABC did a version of it in 2004 with matthew Broderick and Kristen Chenowith... didn't go over too well from what I can recall. Perhaps, NBC can redeem it if they opt to do it.

Normally I would suggest Cinderella but ABC did a great version in 1997. Maybe The King and I or Funny Girl?

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As for Hathaway - if people thought there was hate out there for Underwood, you can't even begin to imagine the hate Hathaway would have received.

IKR? All Carrie Underwood received were hate tweets. But Hathaway? She would have needed armed guards posted at all times.

Normally I would suggest Cinderella but ABC did a great version in 1997. Maybe The King and I or Funny Girl?

I would LOVE for NBC to do "Guys and Dolls" -- but I know that's never going to happen.

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