December 6, 2013

The Sound of Music LIVE! (2013)

The Sound of Music LIVE! (2013) | Ribbons Down My Back

As you may have known, last night was The Sound of Music LIVE! on NBC. Even though I can count on one hand how many times I've seen the 1965 film, I definitely enjoy it, even if it's not one of my top favorites. It's not hard to see why it's such a classics, though, and so I was excited when I heard the were doing to be broadcasting the stage version live on NBC.

Knowing that this was going to be the stage version adapted for television, I wasn't worried about story and songs being different or anything like that. Being a Broadway fan, just being able to see something like this is exciting and fun!

Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp
Stephen Moyer as Captain von Trapp
Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess
Laura Benanti as Elsa Schrader
Christian Borle as Max Detweiler
Michael Campayno as Rolf Gruber
Sophie Anne Caruso as Brigitta
Peyton Ella as Gretl
Michael Nigro as Friedrich
Ariane Rinehart as Liesl
Grace Rundhaug as Marta
Ella Watts-Gorman as Louisa
Joe West as Kurt

I'll start off by getting my least favorite part out of the way: Carrie Underwood. To put it simply, I though she was painful to watch. Her acting wasn't very good at all; you never felt any emotion from her, neither in her voice or facial expressions. She always seemed happy, and especially so in the beginning scene at the abbey. I wasn't particularly fond of her singing either. She wasn't terrible, but she wasn't what I expected for a musical. Her style just doesn't fit musical scores, in my opinion. 

The Sound of Music LIVE! (2013) | Ribbons Down My Back

And that was my biggest issue of the whole thing. Put that aside and you have a light and pleasant production. 
I went into it wanting to love it, but I came out a little disappointed because of that. But overall the cast was good, the sets were great, and most of the costumes were very pretty!

As far as Captain von Trapp goes, I don't have a strong opinion one way or another. I felt like there was somethings slightly missing, but I can't put my finger on it. Steven really looked the part, though.

The Sound of Music LIVE! (2013) | Ribbons Down My Back

16 Going on 17, one of my personal favorites, was fun to watch. The way they suddenly cut into that scene with Rolf and Liesl felt kinda odd, but once it got going I enjoyed it. Liesl has always been a favorite of mine and I though Ariane was fantastic! Plus she actually looked 16, unlike in the film.I thought all the kids were wonderful. They really did a marvelous job with both the acting and singing and I enjoyed every moment they had on stage/screen. Brigitta never stood out in the movie, but she did in this version, which I thought was great. All of the girls dresses throughout the show were beautiful. I would love to have Liesl's wardrobe. Everything she wore was so pretty!

The scene with all the children getting ready for the party was one of the best of them. And the part with Maria and them singing The Lonely Goatherd during the thunderstorm was great too! 

The Sound of Music LIVE! (2013) | Ribbons Down My Back

Personally I think the most talented performer was Laura Benanti, who played Elsa Schrader. Her acting was fantastic and she sang wonderfully. If they had chose a cast that were all as skilled at acting and singing as she is, the show would have went from nice to fantastic. Uncle Max, played by Christian Borle, was another fine actor.

All in all it was a decent production, but not one I'm likely want to re-watch often--at least not anytime soon. It had it's highlights, but for me Carrie made it hard to watch. Considering it was live, and that something like this hasn't been done in a long time, they did a great job. Seeing something big like this on NBC is really neat and I wouldn't mind if they decided to do something like this again. I just hope they'd cast their lead a bit better.

If you watched last night, I'd love to know -- what did you think?


  1. I don't have TV, so I couldn't watch it, although I'm sorry I missed it! Maybe I can find it on YouTube sometime.

    1. Hopefully you'll be able to see it soon, Natalie! They released it on DVD, so you could either buy it or see if your library will get it. :)

  2. Oh good! I'm glad to hear that. Thanks for telling me! :)

  3. Great honest thoughts, Sereina. You put this together very nicely and I loved getting a wider perspective of the what and why of your conclusions. :)

    I was actually very pleased with Carrie's vocals because her career as a recording artist puts her firmly in the country genre which comes with a decidedly country twang, so the fact that she lost that was awesome (and necessary!). Like you say, the sets were pretty, the "16 Going on 17" number was lovely and I loved that "Goathead" number also (it was a nice alternative to the film puppet scene). All in all, sure it had some flaws, however it was very entertaining and in the end, that's all I "needed." :)

    1. Thanks, Rissi! I felt like this whole post kinda bounced here and there while I was writing, so I'm glad to hear that you got what I was trying to say. :)

      Yeah, I'd never heard Carrie sing before, so I didn't really know what to expect. Since most the music I listen to is Broadway albums and musical soundtracks I'm somewhat picky about that kinda stuff I guess. I'm glad you were able to enjoy her sing, though!

  4. I only saw a clip of it, but I agree on Carrie Underwoods acting... I saw her acting debut in the movie Soul Surfer 9which is very good btw) but oh boy, acting is not her forte. Her singing didn't sound BAD (she is a pretty good country singer, though I am not a fan of her) but she was out of breathe and she didn't have the emotion or the belt-from-the-heart feel like Julie Andrews did. I think she looked the part.... okaaaaayyyy...

    1. Totally agree with everything you said! I've seen Soul Surfer, but it wasn't until last night when someone pointed it out that I realized it was here. She does look a little young for the part, in my opinion.

  5. I'm definitely interested to see this one. I missed it the other day...I had heard about it, but never found out when it was playing. Hopefully I'll be able to watch it one of these days! I do think I'll probably feel the same way about Carrie Underwood, though...she just does not seem like a Broadway singer...and I don't think she really fits Maria's character, personally. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it!

    decked out in ruffles

    1. Hopefully you'll be able to give it a go sometime soon! They released it on DVD. :D Yeah, I don't think stage acting/singing is her thing at all.

      Glad you enjoyed it, Vicki!


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