NBC's three-hour televised musical The Sound of Music Live!, starring country music star Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp and True Blood's Stephen Moyer as Captain von Trapp, aired live last night.
For the uninitiated (and if you're not familiar with The Sound of Music, then I am surprised that you are reading this blog), The Sound of Music tells the story of aspiring nun Maria's adventure to become governess for the widower Captain von Trapp's seven kids, but her romantic emotions for the Captain kick in and she begins to doubt her religious calling.
I will be honest with you, I didn't think there was anyway they could have improved on the original movie, and they didn't. However, I did come into watching it with an open mind. I was quite excited to see it, since The Sound of Music is one of my all-time favorite movies. To be fair, this was a televised version of the musical and there is a fair amount different, including the placement of songs. However, even though it was not a remake of the Julie Andrews classic, I felt that in a lot of ways it fell flat.
First off, I hate when a movie changes something that would have been too far fetched historically for the sake of political correctness. And The Sound of Music Live! did this in the first second of the production. Audra McDonald is a wonderful actress and she sings beautifully, but really NBC an African-American Mother Superior in 1930s Austria. (And yes, I am fully aware that the movie is nearly wholly inaccurate historically, but...) That's a smaller detail, and I did my best to suspend my belief on this. However, by halfway through the movie, I was ready to give up on it. I was a bit bored. I didn't give up, but I wanted to. Carrie Underwood is a fine singer, but she's not particularly a great actress. The descendants of the real Maria von Trapp would have preferred Anne Hathaway, though I don't necessarily agree with that either. Underwood did a decent job, just not a wowing performance like I had hoped for.
What I want to know is: did you watch it? what did you think? I would love to hear your opinion. I liked it, but I also didn't like it. The fact is, I'm a bit neutral when it comes to my opinion of The Sound of Music Live!