Was Sound of Music Live! Music to Your Ears?

the sound of music live nbc reviewFrom the moment that NBC announced its plans for The Sound of Music Live! fans of the Julie Andrews classic have been kicking its Alps (even though this production is based on the 1959 stage musical, not the 1965 movie). “How do you solve a problem like Carrie Underwood as Maria?” would-be critics asked as if there were no acceptable answer.

RELATED | Stephen Moyer Talks ‘Scary’ Sound of Music Live Gig, Marvels at Carrie Underwood’s ‘Fabulous’ Hair

Now that the three-hour extravaganza has aired, however, you can say with the certitude of someone who’s actually watched the show whether all the pre-snark was much a doe, a dear, about nothing or whether producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron would have been edelweiss to leave it alone.

Weigh in in our poll below, then use the comments to let us know if TSOML! has already become one of your favorite things.

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327 Comments
  1. tanya says:

    There are plenty of people with a musical theatre background who would have done better than Carrie. I love her, I think she’s a wonderful singer, but she doesn’t have the theatre presence. Laura Benanti stole the show. Audra McDonald hitting that note in “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” brought tears to my eyes. The only thing I would change about it is the casting of Maria. We get it, NBC, you needed a name, but you could have gotten someone with a name and a musical theatre background. This happens every time someone with a non-theatre background is cast in a Broadway show. Shame.

    • BHSushi says:

      Carrie is the reason this production was made at all. Without her name NBC wouldn’t have shelled out $9 million. Period. Tell me what current Broadway star “with a name” that you would have cast?

      • Alice says:

        Exactly. Hugh Jackman is a talented man, but I think Maria is out of his range. I’d rather endure one big name in a big ensemble like this show than never get to see a live broadcast like this.

      • Brad says:

        Megan Hilty

        • lmjo says:

          Oh my goodness! YES! Too bad she is/was busy with “Sean Saves the World.”

        • Kat says:

          OMG yes. Perfect.

        • Ben says:

          Megan Hilty doesn’t have a name. She was just in a TV show which appealed to those of us who already knew who people on Broadway were.

        • Betty Boop says:

          Megan Hilty is exactly who I thought of, too. Carrie U. as Maria ruined the production. Period.

          • mm says:

            Megan Hilty is overweight and overrated.

          • Mary says:

            I do not think she ruin the production. Yes, she wasn’t an experience Broadway actress, and maybe not quite there for the main part, but she did the music justice. The show was enjoyable, wish they didn’t rush certain parts, but to be honest I enjoyed her more than the actor who played the Captain.

          • Steven says:

            If Megan Hilty was Maria, the Captain would have stayed with Elsa and ruined the whole story.

          • tgrcae says:

            Who is Megan?How come the producers didn’t ask her? NBC will not fork 9M if they didn’t believed they will get their investment back with interest. It’s the risk they took & it work. It was an awesome production,Carrie is an excellent Maria to me.If she didn’t do it those critics will have nothing to write.Then nobody will read their article.We’re so trilled that we can watch live theater production right in our living room.Thank you NBC!

        • Ann says:

          Megan Hilty doesn’t have a broad enough appeal. If she had been cast, it would be in a supporting role. Carrie Underwood is a mega superstar. Her appeal goes beyond country music. She wasn’t great but she did a good enough job and hopefully drew enough viewers to convince NBC that live staged musicals on tv can be profitable and yearly events like this would bring in viewers…can’t wait to hear what the rating for this show is!

        • Megan Hilty would have been great as would any number of other actresses, but how many people know who she is? Carrie Underwood is a huge star across all demographics. The show was good other than the fact she was out of her depth, Audra McDonald fantastic, Stephen Moyer and everyone else were really good. Can’t go to NY every year so it was nice to see a real Broadway musical in my living room..

        • Alex says:

          She is NOT a name! Great actress, yes. Going to draw eyeballs? No way. Awful pick.

        • She doesn’t have the innocent naive quality Carrie does.

          • KevyB says:

            Please! Carrie Underwood wears about 20 pounds too much makeup to ever come off as naive or innocent. Put a big-name man in the role of the Captain and then put a solid B-Lister like Kristin Chenoweth in the IMPORTANT role.

      • Julianna Blann says:

        UM Kristen Chenowith

      • rio says:

        Fantasia. She’s gotten great reviews in 2 Broadway shows.

      • cyclone says:

        SUTTON FOSTER if you wanna go the Broadway route. If they wanted a singer to front the project the only one at the moment I can think to fit the bill (age etc.) would be Christina Aguilera and she would be able to tie things together for NBC because of the voice. But even a lot of major actresses (Film and TV) have singing chops that they could have pulled this off…Scarlett Johanson, Emma Stone, Michelle Williams, Amanda Seifried, just to name a few.

      • Kim Kardashian or Pam Anderson!

      • Kent says:

        Actually NBC put out a press release stating that they were putting on the show BEFORE they hired Underwood, but I get your point. They needed a “name” to justify the expense. But as Shakespeare wrote “what’s in a name”. In this case, not much.

      • Charles says:

        Kristen Chenowith would have brought more energy and passion and she can sing like crazy.

      • EL says:

        I have yet to see ‎The Sound of Music Live!, but I am just answering your question: what current Broadway star “with a name” that you would have cast?

        Right off the bat, I’ll say these are my opinions and this is just for fun. Secondly, I know they’re not ALL Broadway Stars, but they have proven their skills with their body of work. And I will repeat what I said above: I have YET to see the show, and I might end up loving Carrie (though, from the previews, some of her singing was a bit intense, but maybe just those moments. But just for kicks, here are just a few of the other girls who might have done well playing Maria.

        ***Amanda Seyfried (She can act, Mama Mia & Les Mis proved she can SING and she is just fantastic. Plus she can have the fun attitude needed to play Maria),

        ***Anna Kendrick (she has astounded me with her bottomless talent!),

        ***Sutton Foster (she became “well known” because of Bunheads & not only can sing & dance, has spunk. She has been on Broadway for YEARS & has 2 Tony Awards),

        ***Anne Hathaway (personally I love her. I know others dont, but she can act, sing, dance & has a personal relationship with the Great Julie Andrews),

        ***Emmy Rossum (she KILLED it in the Phantom of the Opera)

        ***Idina Menzel (i personally dont think she’s “to old”, but Hollywood might. She has a Tony for Wicked),

        ***Kristin Chenoweth (again, Hollywood might think she might be “to old”. She has a Tony & a Emmy),

        • Quinn Mallory says:

          Few of your choices (Seyfried, Kendrick, and Hathaway) are too big of movie stars to do a TV special. I have read that the actual Von Trapp family would have prefer Hathaway over Undeerwood. Sutton Foster would have been great but she is not famous enough. Underwood has the NBC tie in with the Saturday Night Football theme.

          • EL says:

            I agree with all you said. I still think Sutton Foster would have been ideal & it would have launched her career further. I’m a Nanny & watched Bunheads with the girl for whom I care & sadly, neither of us loved it. Also, I am/was a HUGE Gilmore Girl Fan, so I was hoping a similarly magical world would come to life. Unfortunately, in this case, lightening didnt strike twice. Though Bunheads wasn’t the best tv show, I did love Sutton and would adore to see her in more movies/tv roles.

          • PDBHDK says:

            I think this production was good for what it was. Iwonder how Anne Hathaway would have done. She sang on Broadway. Also, she did two movies with Julie Andrews. Maybe NBC will decide to do Mary Poppins live and cast Anne Hathaway. Julie Andrews was a brunette in the movie.

        • ally says:

          the broadway stars you mentioned are either too old or too unknown to bring the kind of viewing numbers this production needed. and the tv/movie stars you mentioned have not proved their ability to sing live at all, let alone for almost 3 hours straight. I agree with most of the comments on here that Carries acting was pretty horrible. i forgive her though, bc she seemed to have worked hard, and quite frankly we all know shes a singer not an actress – and she rocked the songs. And at the end of the day, the songs are what make SOM for me, so i wouldve been much more dissapointed with a great actress who ruined the songs.

          • PDBHDK says:

            I agree. NBC wanted a popular name. I think the casting was okay for what it was. I would have voted for Anne Hathaway.

        • HTGR says:

          Amanda Seyfried’s voice seems a bit too shrill for this and I don’t know that I quite see it in general, sort of, sort of not
          ….
          I don’t think I’ve ever heard Anna Kendrick sing so I’ll have to trust you on that, but I don’t know if she seems like Maria, although I guess I could see her just managing to pull it off.
          …..
          Kristin, well I guess the original broadway star was like 45 or something, so actually the same age as it turns out so I guess you can’t strictly say she is too old, although it seems hard to see Kristin Chenoweth pulling off the wide-eyed, frightened, innocent thing and her vibe seems sort of off for the part and I actually thought she was older than she is. Idina, even if actually pretty close in age, at least comes off as far more wide-eyed youthful and I could see her fitting the part a bit better.
          ……
          Is Hathaway’s voice strong enough to carry Maria’s part? She was fantastic in the movie Les Miserables, but that was often more talk-singy and heavily acted. She could certainly have acted the part better. I don’t know enough about her vocals though. I have doubts, although I could easily be wrong as I don’t really follow the Broadway world.
          …….
          Maybe Emmy Rossum would’ve fit. She seems to have a vibe and look that could work for it.
          …….
          I will admit I have no clue who Sutton Foster is so no comment possible, she may be awesome, I have no clue. Although actually this brings us to the point, if even Audra McDonald was not thought to be bankable for $9 mil, for demographic that watches TV the most these days, how are they going to go for any of these on the list other than perhaps Anna Kendrick or Amanda Seyfried or Anne Hathaway?

        • C. Marse says:

          When it comes right down to it, Carrie Underwood’s performance was doomed before she opened her mouth. Yes, she can sing. Can she act? Maybe a bit, but we knew that already. At least she was honest in the role. (It’s not her fault that Julie Andrews owns the patent on the part of Maria). This production still has its charm if not all of its impact. But then, aside from Audra McDonald, the rest of the cast also lacked impact. Moyer was stiff (and as others have asked: “where was the romance?); Borle as Max overplayed as if he were working a Broadway house; and Campayno (Rolf) looked much too old for Liesl (certainly didn’t look anywhere near 17). Maybe it was the stage/TV format, but you would expect the Broadway veterans to have more credibility and poise. The staging and interesting set transitions were probably the highlights of this production. I say, Bravo! to the NBC network for this attempt. Remember, without Underwood, they would have tried this at all, and I, for one, am glad I watched.

          • Rowan77 says:

            I’ve seen several high school productions of The Sound of Music so while I adore Julie Andrews in the part of Maria, I am used to seeing lesser performances and interpretations. The thing is, each of the high school actresses were better actors than Carrie Underwood. She had a year to study acting, use a coach, work with the director and she still was stiff as a board. And I hate to say it – so was Stephen Moyer. He was one-note and boring. If not for Laura Benanti, Audra McDonald and Christian Borle, I would have stopped watching long before I did. After a while I just fast forwarded to the singing numbers unless either of those three were on stage. I feel like TiVo was my friend last night.

        • Golfchicknyc says:

          Agree with everyone here esp Idina, Anna Kendrick,Kristin Chenewith and even Fantasia!! But What about Kristin Bell?? Just saw Frozen and she was incredible!!!! Isn’t she fairly famous?

          • me says:

            Kristin Bell does seem like an awesome fit for the part in general, looks the part, could pull off the right vibe perfectly, could act it perfectly, but does she really have enough vocals to power this part? I know she has a bit of a musical stage background, but this is a pretty demanding part and I wonder if her voice could hold up. I don’t know about that. Even if she could do it once, could she train the part day after day? Also I don’t see how’d she have the time to put in the tons of training for SOM given her current projects, I’m pretty sure she is booked solid during this stretch.

      • elle says:

        Anna Kendrick. Evan Rachel Wood. Kristen Bell. They all have musical theater backgrounds, impeccable acting skills, and name recognition.

    • Ann rodgers says:

      This was a great production. The only disappointment was the acting by Carrie. So unnatural it distracted from the flow of the story.

      • WWP says:

        Carrie’s singing was excellent, and I think part of the problem with her acting was she was trying to suppress her natural OK accent, which resulted in her being flat-toned in the dialog. I never watched Tru Blood, but I thought Steven Moyer was good (although there wasn’t a lot of chemistry with Carrie.) The kids were all great. The camera work and staging all worked pretty well.

        I have no idea why the costumers decided to make Maria look like she worked in a beer garden during octoberfest. That was a bizarre decision. It got better as it went on, and I give them props for giving it all a shot. But in the end, it made me want to get my Blu-Ray of the film!

        • me says:

          Yeah, trying to suppress an accent when you are not very experienced with acting does tend to make you more stiff. That did appear to be directly going on a few times.
          .
          She did a pretty great job at switching vocal styles though, a couple touch countrified notes in a row at one part fairly early on and that was it. Shortly after they announced it way back when they showed some early practice footage and she sounded wayyyyyyyyy out of place. Like when Pavarotti or some other such singer would go out and try to sing a pop song but sing it in their usual operatic style or when some pop singer would try to tackle opera. A total mess even from the greatest opera or pop singers. So many singers almost never bother to learn to change to their style as needed (granted most don’t often have the need to and it can difficult and sometimes impossible, but if so then don’t bother!) and they mess it up.
          .
          When I saw a few recent clips from practice a few weeks ago I was like wow she did try to learn how to sing in a new style (as it really needed), this might really work out well.
          And so she did, so give her credit for working hard and learning how to sing in a classic song style.
          .
          Yeah her acting was a touch stiff and stilted at times, but she got through and as people have commented, these days, network TV just doesn’t do stuff like this anymore. Usually not even if they could get a name like hers that might help draw some of the largest TV viewing audiences left these days.
          .
          It was pretty ambitious, lots of almost movie-like camera work, all live, with none of it ever showing. The cast really did a pretty great job. And it went off with barely a hitch (the step on the dress was less than nothing and played off like a pro, basically the fumbled little bit when he was getting conscripted was the only thing of note and that was just a few seconds really). I think the pluses were many more than enough, considering that it clearly was not a movie remake, to have made it plenty worthwhile.

        • Mary says:

          I actually didn’t enjoy Stephen. I will agree there wasn’t chemistry between him and Carrie, but I thought the same with him and Laura. It wasn’t the best but I give her credit and I don’t think she was as bad as many are making her out to be. She did fantastic on the musical part, but she does need more experience for the acting portion. I went into the show with low expectation and force myself to say this is a stage production not the movie. I am not even sure I would of liked the original stage production as much as I liked the movie to be honest, it just didn’t flow right. Details were left out due to time maybe that just made it seem choppy.

          • Steve says:

            I feel like we should all be in the bar on a Monday evening playing the role of armchair quarterbacks…he should have, she could have, etc,
            Bottom line for me is that I watched the program to be entertained and I was.
            I believe all the performers did the job they were paid to do, without the benefit of a Boston try out, previews of any duration to work out any kinks and any mess ups were not earth shattering. The best part of the whole thing is that-for this era- a new standard was set. Who knows, maybe next year we’ll be able to see some other classic broadway musical performed for us live on network TV.

      • Edward says:

        Kinda like when she was on American Idol??

    • Kat says:

      Agreed. It was a good effort and Carrie’s singing was good (although a little breathy at times) but her cringe-worthy acting was so distracting. The guy who plays the Captain was even more terrible.

    • Teresa Elbin says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Everyone else was fine, but Carrie could not carry the major part of Maria. The girl just plain cannot act her way out of a paper bag. She hardly changed expression the entire night.

    • mm says:

      So you wanted a no name as the lead of a one time big play on a broadcast network? Lol this isn’t PBS… A lot of people tuned in cause of Carrie… period

      • Mary says:

        I tuned in for Stephen Moyer

        • Mary says:

          Different Mary because I wouldn’t turn in for him. If he was the professional I hope he isn’t cast in to many plays.

      • Alice says:

        Yes! I would rather a no name lead than someone who is subpar. I expect excellence from shows…which is why I would rather tune into PBS any day than networks which all seem to have the same formulaic, boring drivel. That show was awful and cringeworthy. Just because a lot of people tuned into to see a big name, doesn’t mean the show was actually any good. Popularity does not necessarily mean quality.

        • steven cloud says:

          as usual we have someone who does not know whhat she is talking about!!!!! She would have fat opera singers doing the part even though they would fall on thier face because they are so out of shape and frankly not very good looking!!!!!!!!!

          • Alice says:

            Ok, you have just made a lot of assumptions, all of which are untrue. Yes, I do know what I am talking about, thank you. No I would not have chosen opera singers as their vocal talents are not suited to a Broadway musical role (although they can act a sight better than Carrie Underwood!). Finally to assume that all opera singers are overweight and ugly is not only highly incorrect, but also narrow, and closeminded. Shall I therefore assume that all Carrie Underwood fans are really rude, just because you are?

      • And I did not tune in because of Carrie.

      • Nicky says:

        I actually tuned in DESPITE Carrie because I’m not a fan.

      • EDE says:

        Maybe…but I turned it off because of her. The excellent talent around her and her lack of acting ability was jarring.

      • NYC actress says:

        I tuned in to support more live theatre on television and the professional Broadway creative team, cast and crew involved in the the telecast, NOT to watch a country singer tackle Rodgers & Hammerstein’s great role of Maria.

      • Sunny says:

        The only reason I watched was Carrie Underwood. I thought she did an excellent job being that she is not an actress and it was live with no audience to play off of. I so enjoyed the songs from everyone. I can’t stop humming the Lonely Goatherd.

    • Carrie may not be a world class actor or have much Broadway experience as you put it, but I thought she did a great job as Maria and there are very few so called Broadway stars who can sing better than Carrie. Her vocals of the beloved songs were outstanding. I love her singing so much in this production that I had to dowload the cd from I tunes. you are really being harsh on her. Her acting was not bad at all and with some acting coaching, she will make a pretty good actress. I saw some veteran actors totally stink in their roles. I thought Steven Boyle was terrible in the role and totally miscast, but Carrie was wonderful as Maria, but of course, all the blame will go to her because she had the guts to take on an iconic role. Shame on people for hating on her. She was great and deserves respect. She got mine because I was completely entertained and the 3 hours just flew by.

      • do not confuse liking the person with recognizing talent. Just because you like the likable carrie underwood doesnt mean she can act, or sing musical theatre. she is a country singer and she should stick with that. acting– ” with so e coaching” well, for one, too,late! and two, ppl work on their craft of acting all their lives– why why whyyyyyyy do ppl continue to think it is a thing anyone can do, nothing to it, no talent required. just fawn fawnynfawn.
        oh, and reviewer? its doe, a DEER, a female DEER. ai carumba, no one cares abt getting it right, and thats is wht is required in a live stage production and in good writing. mediocrity is the way of the culture now, ugh. Strive for excellence, dont settle for less, not in the arts at least.
        they used name actors as leads and ruined their production. quite sad imo.

      • Sunny says:

        Thank you for your statement. I thought Carrie was fantastic. She is the only reason I watched.

    • Merissa W. says:

      Agreed. Carrie wasn’t the best choice. I love her singing voice as well, but it started to bug me a little after awhile and her acting left something to be desired…but as you said, the supporting players were excellent, especially Audra M…wow!

    • NoNot Carrie says:

      The most distracting blaring failure was Carrie’s “american accent” coupled with the captains “european accent”. Something wasnt right. I dozed off after an hour. The show left me confused disappointed underwhelmed. Too bad.

    • Kim R says:

      Agreed. Carrie is a wonderful singer but lacked the acting skills to pull of the actual role of Maria. Other than that, it was a good production that gave us at home the feel of a stage production. I loved that part. :)

    • Tess Herself says:

      The problem with many Broadway actors is that they have a difficult time bringing it “down” to fit on a small TV screen. Mary Martin was a great Broadway Actress but she screen tested horribly because she just couldn’t do the close-ups and the small innuendos that a movie or TV show requires, besides she was much too old when her great Broadway roles were made into movies. It’s really hard to find someone who has all the skills plus the ability to capture the hearts of the american public.

      We’ll just chalk Carries performance up there with the less than desirable acting talents of Beyonce in Dream Girls, Madonna in Evita, the lack of singing talent of Natalie Wood in West Side Story or Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.

    • Thomas says:

      I agree, I never thought I would say this but Carrie was the weak link. She doesn’t have a theatrical presence and the music was not suited to her voice, and her acting was really had. She is a fantastic talent but was miscast in this role. I would have loved to have seen Lea Michele in the role. I’ve heard her sing some those songs and she kills it every time.She is Broadway trained and has the voice for it. Overall I enjoyed it but it did fall short of my expectations.

      • Jayne says:

        Oh man I had the same thought! Lea would have been really good, she has the stage presence, the Broadway training and she has learned to tone it down to fit the small screen.

    • justsaying says:

      Kristin Chenoweth ftw. Carrie Underwood has her fans but i dont think she’s as popular as you think. I have no problem with her music but she’s definitely not a “draw” for me many others

    • Tom says:

      Exactly right, Tanya! Benati and McDonald blew Underwood out of the water. Poor girl can sign – I’ll give her that – but the acting was so wooden and woeful. Pity poor Stephen Moyer having to act opposite that girl! And how about the German officer who flubbed his lines?? Ah, live TV!

    • J.Norman says:

      Yes, there are probably dozens of people with a “musical theatre background” that would have acted – and possibly reached higher voice ranges – better.

      And you know what!. The show would not have gotten 1/2 the ratings that it did.

      There is a place for people with your tastes to go. . .that is called PBS.

    • Sam says:

      The show was extremely enjoyable and by casting Carrie Underwood they brought in a younger crowd to enjoy an old classic and increased exposure to musical theater. Carrie’s singing was great, her acting wasn’t as good but her persona fits the role of Maria without her having to really act that much. It was a huge success and people are just jealous. I wouldn’t shame NBC for taking this risk and going with family entertainment as opposed to sex and violence. They scored big — kudos to them!

    • TheRev says:

      Remember in 1980, they cast rock queen Linda Ronstadt in Pirates of Penzance? It was obvious she couldn’t act or dance, but her singing saved it. This is roughly a similar situation, however Carrie had more spoken lines than Linda did. It’s true, some of her lines fell flat. On the whole, she did a commendable job.

  2. Drew says:

    It was really good. I wasn’t sure going in but they pulled it off. People will compare it to the movie but that would be a mistake.

    • NotafanofNeverland says:

      Sometimes Carrie would say her line, and I would just automatically picture how Julie Andrews’ would say that same line. It’s so hard to picture anyone else as Maria.

    • m says:

      Benanti, McDonald, Rinehart really stood out. Props to Underwood for both trying to and being able to change her singing style, many talents have ventured outside their typical genre and not gotten that you need to adjust and/or not been able to. She had some of that sense of love of nature/mtns. A nice show.

  3. Tiff says:

    Meh, Carrie did fine – her singing was fine, the acting could use some serious work. The star of the show for me was Audra McDonald.

    • Alice says:

      I was screaming at the sound technician at the end “Turn down the mics on the nuns! They are DROWNING out Audra McDonald!” She’s good enough that she was still picked up, but a shame that the balance got thrown off at that emotional moment.

  4. michelle says:

    I enjoyed it very much. Carrie wasnt bad at all. The children were great. Haters go on and hate. Just appreciate you saw a live musical for free! Hope it doesn’t take another 50 years for tv to put on another.

  5. Chloe says:

    I thought they all did a terrific job. Carrie is a much better singer than I ever realized & did very well. And Audra McDonald’s “Climb Every Mountain” brought me to tears. She’s absolutely amazing! I enjoyed it very much & think they all should be very proud of themselves.

  6. WTactualF says:

    The snarky tweets made up for the shi**y acting

  7. Alice says:

    I hope they do a different show every Christmas! It was a completely different experience from watching the film. Not all of us can go see it on Broadway. I especially liked Max, Elsa, and Liesl. Carrie Underwood isn’t a great actress, but now I get why they picked her- you needed someone with experience belting for long concerts to have the lungs to do that live. And her singing was good.

    • Drew says:

      Agreed! A live show every year would be a great tradition.

    • Lizabeth says:

      I totally agree, Alice! I would love to see something like this every year. Carrie wasn’t perfect, but her singing was beautiful (as always) and I enjoyed the rest of the cast. It was a lot of fun to watch.

    • The Beach says:

      Carrie’s singing was just fine. She didn’t, as many feared, turn Maria into a county hoe down queen. I don’t know if any of her contemporaries could have done any better. It’s just that for such a well-known and beloved musical anyone playing Maria is going to be compared to Julie Andrews and her impeccable clarity and tone. It’s impossible not to.

      • HTGR says:

        Although a little stiff with the acting at times (trying to suppress her accent I think made her a bit more stilted at times too), I have to say that Carrie pulled it off and should be proud.
        .
        She did a great job at training to learn how to sing in a regular classic songs style (compare this to the footage they showed of the first filmed practice bit months ago when she sounded like she was performing at the CMAs or something and all the phrasing was country phrasing too and it was all wrong). A lot of credit to her. Many singers simply don’t work to or can’t make the change- listen to the horrors of Three Tenors singing pop in their normal operatic style or the pop singers singing with them and trying to do opera in pop style (along with not having the power voice to handle it) and other such stuff.
        .
        Singing against the memory of Julie Andrews and next to Audra McDonald is no easy task.

  8. Ginger Snap says:

    Climb every mountain, Ford every stream. Follow every Rainbow – til you find your dream. And those were real tears that Carrie was crying.

  9. Just turned it on , (West Coast) , it seems weird thinking I expected it to look a lot more like a stage production , similar to when they filmed Into The Woods ,

  10. Kr says:

    Carrie and the Reverend mother, nuns and children sang and acted well. Captain and the Germans missed their lines occasionally and the apt sounded well blending with Carrie but not alone

  11. Alice says:

    I think Laura Bernati- who was Maria on Broadway and totally stole the show as Elsa tonight, summed it up best: “People love to talk smack before they’ve seen something,” Benanti comments. “It seems like such an uneducated, ungenerous way to behave. I’m not concerned about people who are that small.”

    • m says:

      Yeah I gotta give a shout to homegirl Laura Bernati haha. She really was awesome. Go Kinnelon haha (even if I’m actually from the next town over). They should all be proud. A pretty complex undertaking technically too.

    • Kelly Garcia says:

      Well that explains a lot. When Laura sang, I instantly thought, she should play Maria

    • Bob says:

      Was she cast as Elsa and to be the understudy for Maria, in case Underwood fell ill?

      • HTGR says:

        I read that they actually had no understudies for Maria or the Captain and since it’s the time of year when colds abound they were pretty terrified that any of the cast would get sick (they apparently had understudies for everyone else, but really badly wanted who they had picked to be out there especially for all of the other major parts).

  12. deen says:

    My teen daughters thought Leeza’s boyfriend a bit creepy. 16, 17 or 33? Plodding pace, uninspired acting with a few exceptions? Lesson: don’t mess with perfection.

    • Cherokee says:

      And what is perfection in this instance? Ease up and relax cowboy.

    • Ben says:

      You mean, don’t mess with a movie that wasn’t live and was on location, and follow it up with a stage show that was live and on stage? Don’t be silly. They are not the same thing.

    • L. says:

      He is a college student, 23. Not 33. Not creepy. He is a young new talent. Dont be rude. An

    • HTGR says:

      Creepy? Haha, isn’t she a sophomore or junior in college?? and he, horrors, an ANCIENT, ANCIENT senior in college? I mean even if he took some years off at some point, come on now, let’s not get crazy.
      .
      Just relax with the thinking up of all kinds of ridiculous nonsense and sit back and enjoy the show.

    • Scott says:

      That was my reaction too. Too old-looking to play 17. And he didn’t really pull of the Leiderhosen look well. (Who can?)

  13. tm says:

    It was very well done. Congrats to NBC for having the courage to do it live. Not evetyone can go to NYC to see broadway, this brougjt it home for everyone. I loved it !!!

  14. Kr says:

    Since this was live, I think the performance was outstanding!! A videotape can edit out any poor performance with retakes. These guys did their absolute best and it showed. Bravo!

  15. Linda says:

    Nothing compares to the original. That being said, there were amazing performances….Audra McDonald’s being one of them. The staging was terrific, too. I had fears that Carrie Underwood would over-sing it. She didn’t. Her acting was the weak point of the production…but overall, it was good entertainment.

  16. Cal says:

    Was this the greatest thing in the world? No, but I think NBC should consider doing more of it with seasoned actors. Maybe work on live specials for current Broadway or off-Broadway musicals/play that are close to reaching the end of their run. There’s an audience to tap into, definitely, they just need to realize that big names aren’t always going to be the ones audiences will be wowed by (Laura Benanti is someone I’m not familiar with at all beyond ‘Go On’ and she stole the show). If they won’t do it, more productions should work with PBS because the 2007 (??) production of Company was well done when it was part of their live performances series.

    • Laura Benanti was A-MAH-ZING. She’s stolen many a scene on the Broadway stage.

    • David says:

      I love the idea of broadway shows nearing their end. Can you imagine the ratings for a live version of Wicked? I would love to see a live production Miss Siagon done this way. Or A Chorus Line. The live recording of the final production of Rent was better than the movie ( but the movie had many of the original cast)

  17. KND says:

    I’m sorry Carrie and Vampire Bill were just so not good. On the other hand Audra McDonald and Laura Bernati were amazingly fantastic as they always are.

  18. junkdriver says:

    Carrie Underwood should have sung every line…..

  19. jane says:

    Carrie Underwood has a great voice, but seriously lacks any acting ability. She looked frightened and seemed to just be concentrating on not forgetting her lines. The children were good, especially Leisel. I know they needed a name to get people to tune in, but I think they could have done better. Didn’t she have to prove she could act even a little before they signed her? One of the commercials was for the new season of the Sing Off with Jewel as a judge. She would have been a much smarter choice. She can already yodel and at least has some acting experience.

  20. lmjo says:

    Sadly, I think Carrie was miscast, but the rest of the production was pretty good. Three hours of a live, televised performance cannot be easy to pull off, yet NBC did it. Nobody’s mic completely cut out for an entire scene. No set pieces fell on anyone. And any missed lines weren’t overly obvious (to me, anyway). Kudos, NBC.

    I hope other networks consider doing this, as not everyone has an opportunity to see Broadway shows in NYC.

  21. Danielle says:

    I thought it was done amazingly well. Of course, they’re going to have some snafus here and there and no, it’s not going to live up to the original. Get off your high horses and pop those bloated egos, eh? None of us are theatre critics. It was very well done for a remake, I thought as a fan of the original. Applause to all involved. Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer and Audra McDonald most of all. I was actually glad to see Audra was 100x better in this than in private practice.

    • Alice says:

      I first saw her in Ragtime. Always thought she was wasted on TV. That voice is a national treasure.

    • I don’t know what was more excruciating…Carrie’s acting or your post. And, believe me, no one would ever mistake you for a theatre critic. That was a 3hr joke with no punchline.

    • Kat says:

      I don’t need to be a theater critic to think Underwood’s acting was tolerable at best.

      • JB says:

        The same can be said of many, many film musicals. Many…or most to be honest…put singing (or dancing) ability above acting.

    • uh huh says:

      Audra McDonald has a house full of Tony awards. Never understood why she was wasting her talent on that stupid TV show for so long. That is a voice that deserves to be heard, all the time.

      • Ann says:

        Did Audra truly waste her talent on tv? How many people get to see a Broadway show compared to people who saw her on Private Practice? If anything, I think tv has helped her broaden her appeal for people who aren’t Broadway enthusiasts.

        • uh huh says:

          Yes, she was wasting her talent. Maybe not wasting her TIME because of the exposure she got, but if she’s not singing, yes, she is wasting her talent.

  22. Ok, so Carrie isn’t an experienced actor. We all knew that and it showed. But that girl walked backward up stairs and down stairs and ran and jumped on a bed all while singing extremely well in perfect pitch. Her best acting? Being angry at the Captain for not knowing his kids..(got her crying) and the moments with Audra McDonald. The experienced actors and singers did great but Carrie still did an awesome job and her singing was flawless.

    • Shan says:

      well said. Carrie did great considering the experience that she brought. Her singing was amazing as she sang live and consistently for long periods of time. Encore! Encore!

      • julie says:

        I agree! Carrie did a great job and had the guts to take on a huge risky project like this. If I remember correctly, the last live musical production. On TV was Cinderella with Leslie Ann Warren playing the lead who wasn’t an experienced singer but did a decent job in the part just like Carrie. I think it is wonderful that NBC has had the guts to do a live production like tthis! I hope it is the start of many more!

    • Linda VAGANOV says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed the performance Carrie’s singing was fabulous especially for someone not use to the Broadway type stage. Audra’s singing was superlative.

      Even Broadway is a business and it was Carrie’s success that provided an opportunity for everyone “to work.” Obviously Carrie is a novice at acting but I believe she put forth her best effort and I bet the Broadway pro’s appreciated that and are not as mean spirited as many of the critics who are so negative

    • tara17 says:

      My opinion also, well said.

    • Sunny says:

      Well stated.

  23. Candy Schachat says:

    I thought Carrie was ok, I just couldn’t get past hating the actor? Who played the captain – very dry, no voice or emotion, especially ruined Adelweiss for me. The numbers between Max and Elsa were new for me, I guess I never saw this on stage and I worship the movie. So I knew it wouldn’t compare, but overall enjoyed Carrie and the kids singing.

  24. Brenda says:

    First, NBC gets props for doing this. The directors get props for a well-staged, well-coordinated performance. Carrie is a good sport, clearly a singer, not an actress, but she powered through. Audra and Laura were stellar. Steven Moyer was a disappointment. I would watch more live musicals. Just make sure the leads can act.

  25. Loved it. Carrie’s vocal chops have improved so much since Idol and, acting wise, she surprised me. Solid cast. It really worked.

  26. Safroniamay says:

    I loved it – Carrie’s singing was amazing. Audra McDonald is a well established Broadway genius and was awesome, as always. The sets were fabulous as was the staging. Loved all the children, especially little Gretl. Bravo to NBC! More of this, please!

  27. Bob Mann says:

    I thought it was great, including Carrie Underwood. This was live tv, much different than a movie production (several takes), even a play (the television cameras provide close ups that can reveal hiccups you don’t have to worry about in the theater). Carrie’s voice was flawless and the kids did an amazing job! Great effort and investment on NBC’s part. I would love to see another effort like this next year. How about The Wizard of Oz!

  28. Mr. Beef says:

    Carrie Underwood can sing, there’s no doubt about that! I’ve loved her since her AI days (only season I’ve watched from beginning to end), her acting was so-so, she was at her best when she was singing. Could you imagine had they cast Taylor Swift? Popular as she may be, her voice is extremely thin and weak! I didn’t care for Stephen Moyer to be honest. Overall, id grade it a B+

  29. wasabi says:

    Loved Laura, Audra, and Christian, and the kids playing Liesl and Kurt. Hated the sound problems (dialogue drowned out in spots throughout the evening and Audra drowned out during the final song). Will NBC be tweaking the sound issues for their DVD?

  30. Pinkle says:

    It was OK….The best part was everyone on Twitter thinking they were watching an episode of Days of our Lives (because this looked like one).

    • David says:

      The moment you’re paying attention to “everyone on twitter” you’re in trouble. No idiots aren’t used to live shows, that’s why they think it looks like a soap.

      • mm says:

        The target demographic of this was older people who like musicals and aren’t on twitter. If it doesn’t involve “singers” with barely any clothes on, the teens are bored.

        • Becky Ann says:

          I’m 21, I’ve seen Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Next to Normal, Spring Awakening, Sister Act (The Musical) and Chicago live. I’m also a theater major. You were saying?

  31. Susan B says:

    Well done. I enjoyed the memories of the original screenplay/cast and fully knew that it wouldn’t be the same. No one can be Julie Andrews. Just appreciating the work done live. Nice.

  32. Evie Benton says:

    Carrie Underwood acted really well.. and sang beautifully. I really enjoyed it.. I actually cried during the scene, Climb every mountain… I totally bought it! Loved it. (And I grew up with the film, so love that as well.)

  33. Shelly says:

    Carrie did good not terrific. I do agree she was miscast but NBC needed a big name to get viewers. I can’t think of any other big name they could have cast that could sing, dance, and act. I thought the weak acting really stood out when she was in dialogue scenes with the adult actors. Stephen Moyer is a great actor and singer but I didn’t like him as the captain. The actress that played Elsa stole the show. Throw a blonde wig on her and she would have been a great Maria!

  34. Dan says:

    I enjoyed every bit of it. It made for a wonderful evening!

  35. caitlin says:

    David Archuleta out sings Audra McDonald in “Climb Every Mtn”…listen to him on youtube from his Christmas tour in 2011!

  36. Karen says:

    In my opinion I think it was a good production The cast was quite enjoyable these productions are few and far between so why not just enjoy it

  37. Denise says:

    Bravo. Please bring this entertainment into our homes more often. Thank you so much. I enjoyed it immensely.
    My favorite character was the woman he was at first engaged to. Her performance was stellar. The children were outstanding. Carrie was adorable and won me completely over. The nun was just amazing.
    Thank you for such a fantastic evening.

  38. I really like Carrie Underwood. I truly do but this is a mismatch for her as an entertainer in general. She’s very likable but she looked as young or younger than the kids that she was put in charge of. Everyone knows that the nuns in that time never had long hair for one thing…But it’s Carrie’s acting that just really fell flat…The ORIGINAL key of the songs we out of her range and they wisely lowered it Carrie’s. Carrie did sound good but she should have went to an acting coach for a little insight. Capt Von Trapp was unwatchable to me. Way too young looking. The kids were cute and the oldest daughter had a very limited vocal range as did her boyfriend. Audra McDonald easily overpowered Carrie on “A Few Of My Favorite Things.” Audra STOLE this show quite easily and proved that there is a difference between a manufactured talent very a finely honed one!….That said, it was a decent try but Carrie has to get stronger if she wants to be an actress…You can’t help but compare her to Julie Andrews and I’m sorry but she is out of her depth….Also, the nuns chorus fell flat to me. There was no harmony and the choices seemed to collide with each other instead of working in conjunction with one another….NBC got a hit but it’s no wonder they didn’t want to make this one into a movie……Sorry but true

  39. Teresa Elbin says:

    Carrie Underwood was laughable as Maria. She simply cannot act, period. Her singing was wonderful, but every time she spoke a line, I laughed. There was zero chemistry between her and Stephen Moyer, unlike what we saw between Christopher Plummer & Julie Andrews.

  40. Pam says:

    Loved the show and hats off to the great set and costume designers. Carrie is an incredible singer and I felt like I was there. The children were very well cast-they really looked like they were having fun.

  41. Baxxy says:

    Weird humming in background, not especially polished but Carrie’s singing is appealing, the acting not so much. An actress I would have chosen is Beth Behrs – saw her sing “Dance 10, Looks 3″ in a tribute to Marvin Hamlisch & she was terrific

  42. Disgustipated says:

    Was this directed by the reanimated corpse of Ed Wood?

  43. Lydia says:

    Wanted to love it, but……………………..
    Carrie was a HORRIBLE choice for Maria. Just because someone can sing country doesn’t mean they can sing Broadway. And her acting was worse than anything I’ve actually ever seen in a live performance. Her voice changed timbres in the middle of songs – sometimes it seemed like she just wanted to ‘belt it out’ as she would in a country song…..but Broadway requires a bit more finesse. The rest of the cast seemed fine and much more experienced……..
    I hope that TV does try this again, as it is a great way to bring live performance to those who don’t go to the theater (but next time with better casting)

    • Sarah says:

      Totally fair to criticize the acting, but I totally disagree about the singing. Considering how different it is from her typical country style, I thought she adapted her voice incredibly well and really showed that more theatrical Broadway style in her voice for this show.

    • mm says:

      You are not looking at the business side of this. There is no way NBC or any other broadcast network would agree to a live musical (considered outdated and boring for the new generation) without a big name like Carrie Underwood. Period. I dont get what’s so hard to understand. It’s not PBS where you would truly find the best Maria, it’s NBC where you need viewers. Plus it only cost a cool 9 mill.

  44. Teresa Elbin says:

    How was it that the Mother Superior was a black woman? For God’s sake, this was 1939 Austria under Nazi rule!!! That is absurd beyond belief. Maybe she was trying to be Whoopie Goldberg?

    • lmjo says:

      I had the same thought. But honestly, I think Audra McDonald was one of the best things about this production. Hell, if they could have gotten away with casting her as Maria, I wouldn’t have cared about plausibility. That woman has TALENT!

    • Cherokee says:

      Easy dude, this is 2013 America haven’t you heard? Be careful what you think and especially what you say. Be polite and embracing.

      • roberto von crisp says:

        i would have liked to have seen the arabic version of the show. show based in lebanon. characters dodging mullahs and finally crossing the border into saudi arabia to meet their 54 virgins. costumes could have been burquas. a missed opportunity again.

    • uh huh says:

      It’s called color-blind casting. I first saw Audra in the Broadway production of CAROUSEL, where she played Carrie Pipperidge. More color-blind casting. She won a Tony.

    • Brad says:

      What was an Oklahoman doing playing an Austrian postulate?

  45. Sarah says:

    I wanted to like this very badly – I really like Carrie and I love The Sound of Music. I thought Carrie did incredibly well with all of the singing, but as much as I hate to say it the acting really wasn’t there. I wasn’t even trying to compare her to Julie Andrews, which would be unfair, I had seen the stage version in Papermill Playhouse last year and the actree who played Maria – Elena Shaddow was incredible in the role. She brought a sense of comedy to the play that I hadn’t picked up on in the movie. I hate that people feel the need to bash Carrie for the performance and call it a ‘career ender.’ She was out of her element with the acting of it all and in retrospect they probably needed to cast a Broadway veteran for the role. I also think they really suffered by not having a live audience. I’m sure the logistics would have been a nightmare, but that stage version of the play really does have a more comedic tone in spots that I don’t think came off well in this production.

  46. Cherokee says:

    Great career move by Carrie. Live production is the most demanding and most rewarding. Genuine talent is showcased. Andrews was never tested. Can’t think of another female performer today who could have pulled it off as well. Great story and message, something we needed in today’s grind. Can’t believe “NBC” had the intellect. Maybe there’s hope?

    • Jonsey says:

      You’ve got to be kidding. You can’t think of another performer who could have pulled it off as well? She’s certainly a dern toot’n good country singer but come on….Broadway, The Sound of Music? It just goes to show it’s all about money. I really feel for Carrie having to go through the aftershock of this performance but she will survive for sure. She has a wonderful talent. She just needs better management.

    • Greg says:

      Andrews wasn’t tested? To educate you, the last musical done live for television was Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella staring Julie Andrews.

    • Nell on Wheels says:

      Andrews was never tested? Are you kidding? The movie came out in 1965 when she was 30 years old. Before that?

      Broadway: “The Boy Friend” (1954) Broadway debut (she was 19). Eliza in “My Fair Lady” (1956), nominated for Best Actress in a Musical Tony award (age 20). Guinevere in “Camelot” (1961), nominated for Best Actress in a Musical (age 26). Eight shows a week, two on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

      Movies: “Mary Poppins” (1964) Academy Award Best Actress (age 29)

      TV: “Cinderella” (1957) Live (age 21). “Julie and Carol [Burnett] at Carnegie Hall” (1962)

    • YeahSure says:

      Julie Andrews was never tested? She was on broadway both acting and singing live for audiences 8 performances a week. Through experience she honed both acting and perforning. Prior to moving to American she sang on live in england since she was a child. As other potinted out, She performed musical live on TV. So she’s been tested. throughly. While Underwood has certainly sung live in a concert that’s not the same thing as performing dialog in a natural manner and creating a character. She has not done a lot of acting and that inexperience showed painfully, at times. This isn’t a slam, I like Carrie — and I give her props for having the guts to try. And next time she’ll be better. But she needs a LOT more musical theater training because it’s not just about the singing.

      • PDBHDK says:

        You’re kidding, right? She doesn’t sing anymore. She sang a little bit in Princess Diaries two, which was ten + years ago (I forget the specific year).She said that high C was a hard note to hit back in 1965.

  47. Just another critic says:

    It’s unfortunate the shots were blocked like a film, because it invited unfair comparisons. It would’ve felt more special, and been kinder to Ms. Underwood, if it had been shot as a play…on a conventional stage. The tight shots only reminded us that the leading lady is not an actor. It felt like she was constantly thinking to herself, “I’ve only got one chance to get this right.” Full points for courage. The close mic-ing, with the vocals sitting way to forward in the mix, emphasized her every gasp, as she struggled to sing the way she always does…but while doing calisthenics. The uncomfortable silence following the musical numbers begged for a live audience reaction. Unfortunately, the whole thing came off as a $9 million stunt…one that may not have tarnished the legacy of the show, but it certainly didn’t do anything for the image of its star.

  48. Julie says:

    Stephen Moyer makes for one sexy captain!

  49. Vanessa Weber says:

    I think the kids did a terrific job! I’m not going to repeat what has been said about the adults. Great sets. The costumes were very mixed. Some were great but it was all a bit too artificial, which was disappointing. I have few complaints about the singing and I thought Carrie’s acting got better as the production proceeded. By the end she seemed more believable. I gave it a B. I’m very familiar with the original movie.

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