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. Julie says:

    It was disappointing, I prefer the real Maria and the real reverend mother, not the real show.

  2. David says:

    The casting of Maria and the Capt. seemed driven more by name recognition than by suitability for the roles, although their efforts were noble, they seemed a bit miscast. The costume designer did Underwood no favors with odd-looking, poorly fitted dresses (particularly the first dress she wore to the von Trapp home and her wedding gown) and high heeled shoes that made her move more as if she were a diva strutting across a concert stage than a simple, yet elegant governess.

  3. Parker says:

    I kind of liked it. I thoutht Carrie did good (she definitely isn’t a broadway actress, but I was impressed with how she could adapt) but it is always weird for me to watch The Sound of Music because I am Austrian.

  4. Calishamanka says:

    Personally, I gave the show a Fail rating because on every count it failed. Lighting was not up to par, sound was atrocious (fading in and out and often unable to hear the children, particularly in Maria’s room), costumes were ridiculously wrong. And then let’s talk about the actors. Carrie Underwood has a voice. That’s it. No charisma, no acting talent, no ability to carry a scene. And I was absolutely floored by how bad Stephen Moyer was…. expected so much more from him. The rest of the cast were totally forgettable. I stopped watching at the absolutely cringe-worthy scene where he supposedly realized he’s in love with Maria, and she stares back at him with a vapid smile on her face. What a colossal waste of 9 million dollars. So glad I didn’t stay up for the whole thing. Blech.

  5. Endefr Mapa says:

    i love carrie but she’s terrible in acting…so the captain !!! what a shame…u guys ruined my ” the sound of music ” waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ! lol.

  6. Emily says:

    I think it was fabulous! People keep bringing up Julie Andrews, but Carrie wasn’t playing Julie Andrews in the movie. She was playing her own version of Maria von Trapp, and she had a similar approach to Mary Martin’s version from the stage version. Her singing was beautiful. I was skeptical as to whether she could leave the country music style behind for this role, but she did. I already bought the soundtrack because I think she and the rest of the cast are that good.

  7. Mikaela says:

    To all the haters out there ripping on Carrie Underwood an the whole production of The Sound of Music: I’d like to see you get up there and belt out iconic songs and lines on live TV. Yes Carrie’s not a classically trained actress. Yes it’s hard to see past the magic that is Julie Andrews. No that doesn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the production because of it. No that doesn’t mean that I feel the need to go online and scream foul because of it. No it doesn’t mean that I have the right to blast a talented singer for taking a step outside her comfort zone and do something that hasn’t been done in many years.

  8. 4theloveoffilm says:

    Carrie did a lovely job on all but the acting. But she tried her darnedest.

    Audra McDonald–As if anyone doubted she’d be wonderful.

    Joe West was a truly fabulous Kurt!

    LAURA BENANTI. LAURA FREAKIN’ BENANTI. Perfection. And what a classic beauty.

  9. Merry says:

    I pushed myself to watch over an hour of the show… Remaking a flawless film in the first place is a very bad day. Although the cast could sing beautifully, the acting (Carrie Underwood in specific) was not particularly skilled. Leave the best alone y’all!

      • HTGR says:

        It wasn’t a remake of the movie though!
        …..
        Yeah Carrie certainly was a bit stiff at times (as she was back on Idol) but she sang it pretty well and changed her natural style completely for it and did have some genuine spark in a few scenes (lightening storm,climb every mtn scene with McDonald,Captain needs to get in touch with his kids, just to name three) and in an odd way her underdog acting status was a bit like the underdog nature of Maria. Granted she did seem to be concentrating on the lines and not messing up on live TV and making sure to not revert to a drawl plenty of times and that does make it much tougher to put in a top acting performance, those two things are tricky for many and lines memorization is much trickier for plays/broadway (and soap operas) than for TV/cinema), but still she made it through and there was the right vibe from her for the part and I give her credit.
        .
        And Benani was amazing, great vocals, great little bits of acting, real stage presence, masterful. McDonald was pretty amazing. The guy who played Max was very good. Rinehart who played Liesel did very well. They really shown in particular. The rest were all pretty good too. The staging and shooting was very complex and must’ve been a panic inducing nightmare for the focus pullers and camera guys and so on and I really only saw one real mistake in all of that part of it where they over sped and overshot the zoom once, but I mean wow that was one second or less out of at least two hours of live, complex shooting!

  10. Yuka says:

    I was entertained and thought it was very watchable. Carrie is a talented singer but definitely could use some acting help. BUT she was not as bad as the critics say. Moyer surprised me in that his singing was not that bad. He was a little too stiff and emotionless in his acting. Overall a “B”.

  11. cjeffery7 says:

    i wasn’t expecting to be blown away by the production, and i wasn’t, but it was still very enjoyable. it was fun. just fun. there’s no use comparing it to anything else because it was distinctly its own thing. it was no more or less hokey than the usual christmas time television specials like charlie brown or the ten commandments.

  12. Jate says:

    Whoa slow down on the hate of Carrie Underwood acting. NBC made a wise choice in casting her as Maria. she was excellent with her singing and her acting was, well not very good. I gave her performance a B yes a B. for having the guts to play that part. Folks she is a singer not an actress. NBC wanted viewers and boy did they get them. Man give her a break. Almost 20 million tuned in and she held her audience. Mission accomplished.

  13. Kathleen Botka says:

    Did anyone else notice that Carrie tripped at the beginning of the show while she was ‘singing on the mountain’ and grimaced? She made a nice recovery, but it was an awkward moment for her!

  14. Paul says:

    That was Carrie Underwood? I thought it was Reese Witherspoon!

  15. Paul says:

    Its too bad the whole show isn’t sung. Carrie was a much better actress — more expressive and convincing — when she sang. She should have been in Les Miserable instead.

  16. Fortunato Angeli says:

    It makes me sick to read these repetitious negative comments about the acting not being good. How many times must it be said? The acting wasn’t Oscar worthy, but it was no where near as terrible as some would have you believe. Yes she was stiff for some lines, but not all. She was great with the kids, great with Audra and showed emotions that appeared real rather than pretend. Instead what we get is the needle stuck on ‘her acting wasn’t good’, and I’m sorry but that just isn’t correct. Not all her acting was poor. There were times she excelled. How about her vocals? They were stellar, pitch perfect, no twang, and how about those high notes? Who else in this show sang demanding songs while, running , climbing, jumping, laying face front? No-one but Carrie. And never missed a note, pitch, vibrato? Oh but that isn’t mentioned because it’s the negative critics are looking for. Instead it’s Audra who is mentioned, and yes she sang very well. So how many songs did she sing? And how about Laura how many did she sing? A fraction of Underwood’s repertoire. And all one can say is, but her acting wasn’t good. Really !
    I have no problem stating that Laura and Audra’s vocals were excellent. But so were Carrie’s who performed a number of her songs under very strenuous and difficult situations. How about giving credit where it ‘s due. And for as good as Audra and Laura’s vocals were, Carrie not only matched them but gave her songs energy and life, and probably did some of her best acting while singing.
    The problem with many but not all of the comments is that many sound like their fuelled by hate and mean spiritedness. What a way too go through life. In the end Ms. Underwood delivered what the producers, directors wanted: viewers, fantastic vocals, and a performance they were satisfied with……oh, and all live, for 3 hours, and no retakes, no lip synching. A daunting task, to be sure, and one that would probably have many if not all of the suggested actresses run for the hills rather than sing about them.
    BRAVO CARRIE,!

  17. singer actor says:

    Carrie’s singing was NOT GOOD. It’s alarming how many comments compliment her singing in this production! Listen to it again, I beg you. Every note she sang in the middle of her voice was strained and her vowels were shallow. It wasn’t pretty, it was harsh and screamy. Her larynx was raised and her sound lost any richness and roundness. This caused her to be gasping for air at times, interrupting phrases. Don’t accept this as good singing. Same goes for Moyer and his thin, shallow sound. Audra was fantastic and her singing was even, round, luscious and satisfying. Want to hear a real male Singer? Google Nathan Gunn. Full credit to Carrie for courage, but good singing it most certainly was not.

    • Fortunato Angeli says:

      Six-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood displayed vocals that were superb, exceptional, sublime…..as they always are. I have had the SOM CD on repeat and I’ve watched the show at least 2 more times I would suggest that you sit and listen to it again …but on second thought it iI have a strong feeling that it would be wasted on you.

    • Fortunato Angeli says:

      The only time there ‘appeared’ to be a very slight loss of air, which, by the way did not interrupt her delivery , was when she was required to do some ‘physical gymnastics’ while she was singing.
      Well gee whiz Carrie, how dare you.!

      • Jj says:

        It did disrupt her delivery. She could not get through her phrases in the goatherd song, and she wasn’t running around then. Her high notes were cringeworthy. She just doesn’t have the vocal chops to sing the part.
        And if she can’t move around on stage and sing, then she shouldn’t take roles of this nature.
        I’m speaking as a performer, and I have had to run around stage and sing much harder repertoire than this.
        Her vocal performance was very bad.

  18. Anon says:

    What about Lea Michele?

  19. B says:

    On the upside, the kids in this were wonderful. I especially liked Rinehart as Liesl and of course Audra as the Reverend Mother. I do have to give Carrie credit for how hard she obviously worked and the guts it takes to tackle such an iconic role. But I had to wince whenever she wasn’t singing. If this does become a regular thing with different shows, they need to choose people who can act as well as sing, at least for the leads, and they need to have some chemistry between them.

    For those who say they HAD to have Carrie to bring in viewers, why could they not have cast a big draw name for the Captain or even a more minor role? Heck, for that matter, several of the Glee kids might have been better picks and would certainly draw viewers ( and I say that as a non-Glee fan).

  20. Anna says:

    Carrie is a fabulous country singer! However, I think she should stay far away from classic! That twang ruined the music for me! Yes, her tone was great, but pronunciation was way off! In music, that’s very important and it threw the whole show off!

  21. Todd1952inSF says:

    The whole thing might have been an excellent TV version of the stage musical if not for Carrie Underwood, who can’t act while she’s merely speaking and, more important, can’t act while she’s singing. Audra McDonald showed the world what acting while singing is all about when she sang (and showed up) Carrie Underwood. Underwood was patently lackluster across the board and singing in a musical play is clearly overtaxing her talent as a singer. Just because you can sing at a microphone in front of an audience or in the recording studio doesn’t mean you have the wherewithal to do it onstage. My one other complaint is that they dropped the song “An Ordinary Couple” from the original stage production and substituted “Something Good” from the movie version. At least they kept “No Way to Stop It” and “How Can Love Survive”, two other songs the movie omitted, and at least they didn’t include “I Have Confidence” from the movie.

  22. Carmen says:

    She does not have the bearing and the persona of the Maria in the iriginal version.

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