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DramatistDreamer

The Sound of Music Live!

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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

Which is ridiculous, IMO. C'mon, NBC, why stick with only musicals the majority of audiences know or are familiar with? This is a PERFECT opportunity to introduce people to B'way musicals, both well-known and not, with the casting of pop culture stars like Underwood as "bait".

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Yeah, they don't have to be completely obvious with their choices. I actually find it amazing that this experiment worked with The Sound of Music, which was as bad a choice as possible for this. I think the main reason it worked was the "Huh?" factor of casting Carrie Underwood as Maria. I GET IT, you want a big star who can sing, but why didn't they take acting into account? Why not place her in guest starring roles on some NBC shows so she could get into practice? Stick her on DAYS for a month or two so she could get a fast-paced crash course in acting in the similar style to this live setting. It just seemed so outrageous in each scene she was in. I felt like she had practiced for one month and while her singing was just fine, the acting was shocking. Or why not give the lead role to someone else and still place Carrie, but in a more supporting role? She would still do her job to promote the show.

Hopefully the next time they do better. Even off the top of my head, Christina Aguilera is in their stable and she actually has acting credits. Hell, Britney Spears has actually appeared on Broadway. My point being there are singers who have acting experience. I just can't understand the Carrie Underwood casting for this particular play.

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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?

I think it was also ABC that did a version of South Pacific a few years earlier than the Music Man. For that one, Glenn Close played Nelly Forbush and she was way too old to play such a wide-eyed and naive character.

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I can't be the only one who hates Sound of Music and dislikes Julie Andrews…..right?

Well...I liked Victor/Victoria...but I really have no desire to check out SoM---ever.

I understand sticking with what's familiar. It's the combination of familiarity and a name that will hook the most eyes. Maybe Mame or White Christmas?

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They want a musical most people people can sing along to and that families can watch together.

I know ABC did Annie 10 or so years ago, and it was brilliant (and starred Audra McDonald), but I could see them trying for that. Maybe My Fair Lady or The King and I or West Side Story.

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I can't be the only one who hates Sound of Music and dislikes Julie Andrews…..right?

I don't hate SOM but I have no attachment to it whatsoever. I find it terribly overrated.

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I think could do The King and I, Oklahoma, or Carousel easily. They've done The Music Man, Annie, and Cinderella fairly recently so I don't think they'll do any of those.

Showboat or something like Kiss Me Kate and Guys & Dolls would be cool too.

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Doing the original Grease would likely throw some viewers for a loop.

They would have to cut the swearing and rear nudity. And I bet viewers would be even more annoyed with the missing movie songs (partly because much of the original score it replaced is not all that memorable...)

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I think could do The King and I, Oklahoma, or Carousel easily. They've done The Music Man, Annie, and Cinderella fairly recently so I don't think they'll do any of those.

Showboat or something like Kiss Me Kate and Guys & Dolls would be cool too.

Oklahoma was talked about. King and I would work too though there may be issues about nonsense such as if they can find an Asian male lead, etc. Carousel deserves a good movie--its the most heavily censored/changed and, IMHO poorest of the major R&H movie adaptations (including Flower Drum Song) but it would be way too difficult for a family audience in terms of the continual issue about how to address the "he hit me but it felt like a kiss" stuff. I think Showboat's near operatic nature and the issue of race would be an issue too (though I would love a better film record--the MGM 1951 one whitewashes everything in MGM colourful happiness, and the 1937 James Whale movie is actually really good but has some uncomfortable racial moments and is pretty dark--including the addition of a blackface song performed at the Showboat which, while historically correct is... yeah...)

I wish Music Man could get another shot--Broderick was so shockingly bad in the TV movie and Chenowith was miscast, but, meh. Guys and Dolls could work though and I've heard has been talked about (Kiss Me Kate would nee d arewrite with all the spanking your woman stuff.)

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I don't hate SOM but I have no attachment to it whatsoever. I find it terribly overrated.

Exactly. Mr Vixen--a LOT of people dislike SoM (aka, as Plummer called it The Sound of Mucus) even, or maybe especially among musical theatre freaks who are pretty evenly divided between love and hate. I... like it I guess. I liked the movie as a kid, I like some of the parts from the play more than the movie, and I think it's harmless. But even if you consider Rodgers and Hammerstein's often (for its time)incredibly groundbreaking work, you get why the critics were largely not too impressed despite audiences always loving it. It's very safe and even mediocre by their standards (granted by that point in their career--Hammerstein died during the run--their shows had become safer and more mediocre anyway with flops like Pipe Dream--Hammerstein should never write a musical set in a whorehouse--and Me and Juliet being flops and Flower Drum Song--which I kinda like--being almost like a 50s sitcom with music.) Hammerstein was too sick to write the libretto, so it was handed over to Lindsay/Crouse who were known for being talented craftsmen with absolutely zero ambition.

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They want a musical most people people can sing along to and that families can watch together.

I know ABC did Annie 10 or so years ago, and it was brilliant (and starred Audra McDonald), but I could see them trying for that. Maybe My Fair Lady or The King and I or West Side Story.

I don't think Annie's a great musical either, butit's too bad they already did it--because their version WAS much better than the bloated movie and actually pretty charming, but was so extremely edited to fit into a 2 hour Disney slot. I loved My Fair Lady as a kid, but having seen a recent (well done) stage version, it's VERY long and, while I was a weird kid who loved it, I'm not sure if it's all that family friendly. King And I, despite dealing with slavery and even one being put to death, does have the kids and probably more family appeal and the racial issues don't seem *all* that dated miraculously (just don't cast Yul Brynner and Rita Moreno as Asians...) Also, I tink Rodgers and Hammerstein's estate wants everyone to forget they allowed that animated kids version to be made (which was much more racist with a buck toothed villain, etc and is truly awful.)

Bye Bye Birdie seems like it would be a fair choice--again even if it's not a brilliant show--but again the same prdoucers did that 90s TV version (which was kinda a bloated mess) with Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams.

I think it was also ABC that did a version of South Pacific a few years earlier than the Music Man. For that one, Glenn Close played Nelly Forbush and she was way too old to play such a wide-eyed and naive character.

Right, and it also had some oddly rewritten script elements. I don't think--unlike nearly every tv musical from thevery good Midler Gypsy on--that it was produced by Meron/Zadan, but...

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Have you seen the Great Performances version of Showboat? I believe they used most of the songs that had been cut from the other versions. I was really young when I saw the Broadway revival with Rebecca Luker but I think they used most of the original music for that one too. It's been so long on both of those that I can't remember how they worked around the race issue.

I wish The Music Man could get another shot too. I thought the revival was great but the tv remake was blah. I love the original movie. I think the 2000 Kiss Me Kate revival with Marin Mazzie and Brian Stokes Mitchell toned down some of the sexist stuff (but not all of it) but you're right that a lot of that wouldn't fly.

Something like Meet Me in St. Louis could work too. I think they could do Annie Get Your Gun too if they could get the right leads.

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Have you seen the Great Performances version of Showboat? I believe they used most of the songs that had been cut from the other versions. I was really young when I saw the Broadway revival with Rebecca Luker but I think they used most of the original music for that one too. It's been so long on both of those that I can't remember how they worked around the race issue.

I wish The Music Man could get another shot too. I thought the revival was great but the tv remake was blah. I love the original movie. I think the 2000 Kiss Me Kate revival with Marin Mazzie and Brian Stokes Mitchell toned down some of the sexist stuff (but not all of it) but you're right that a lot of that wouldn't fly.

Something like Meet Me in St. Louis could work too. I think they could do Annie Get Your Gun too if they could get the right leads.

Susan Lucci for Annie! I heard she wasn't great in the revival lol (which cut out some of the "Indian" stuff.) kiss Me Kate's last production, which I liked, did rewrite some of the sexist stuff.

I've only seen clips of that Show Boat. It was recorded for Live from Lincoln Center so has never been repeated--I'vemanaged to get copies of some of their other older live productions (New York City Opera's A Little Night Music and Candide) but never Show Boat, though I keep my eyes open among traders (I've seen it on bootleg sites for sale.) That was a Papermill Playhouse production and was one of the first times they tried to bring back a lot of the script and songs that had slowly been dropped over the years and MANY variations in the play's script. Hal Prince's Broadway revival (which I saw in Vancouver when I was 12 on a school trip and *loved*) tried to do the same, though they took more liberties and involved some re-writes but I thought it was a near perfect production (sorry I'm a bit obsessed with all the different versions of that play--Cabaret is the only other musical that comes to mind that has had so many script and song revisions, excepting shows like Company and Merrily We Roll Along and Follies which all got major rewrites in the 80s/90s)

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Yeah, they don't have to be completely obvious with their choices. I actually find it amazing that this experiment worked with The Sound of Music, which was as bad a choice as possible for this. I think the main reason it worked was the "Huh?" factor of casting Carrie Underwood as Maria. I GET IT, you want a big star who can sing, but why didn't they take acting into account? Why not place her in guest starring roles on some NBC shows so she could get into practice? Stick her on DAYS for a month or two so she could get a fast-paced crash course in acting in the similar style to this live setting. It just seemed so outrageous in each scene she was in. I felt like she had practiced for one month and while her singing was just fine, the acting was shocking. Or why not give the lead role to someone else and still place Carrie, but in a more supporting role? She would still do her job to promote the show.

Hopefully the next time they do better. Even off the top of my head, Christina Aguilera is in their stable and she actually has acting credits. Hell, Britney Spears has actually appeared on Broadway. My point being there are singers who have acting experience. I just can't understand the Carrie Underwood casting for this particular play.

I think it made sense. Carrie isn't as popular as she once was, but she's very wholesome and safe, and has a following. NBC needed that, as their entire network is niche, aside from The Voice and Blacklist.

Christina seems to be a huge diva who doesn't like to share the spotlight.

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