I grew up watching the Sound of Music. It was a special that we only watched at my Gram's, and I loved it. The music, Julie Andrews, the story...it was a holiday staple. I am also a huge Julie Andrews fan - everything she's done, she's done incredibly well.
I also really like Carrie Underwood. I think she's an amazing singer, and was super excited to hear she'd star in the performance. That girl can sing!
When I decided to watch the Live production, I planned to watch it knowing it was not the original, and it's not fair to expect it to be the original. However, as it is carrying the same name I was quite surprised by how far from the original it really was.
Carrie, who I think is an extremely talented woman, put on a mediocre acting performance. Her singing was top notch, but her acting? Not so much. I'm not sure she knows how to act, because she looked like she was really trying hard but just couldn't find her way to Maria. A+ for effort, but still...not the best performance.
However, the rest of the cast was really good. The whole performance seemed a bit, showy, but still - pretty convincing roles. The children did well too, considering their ages, they did better than Carrie did.
The set and costumes surprised me. I expected it all to look more like a high budget production than like an impressive high school production. Not to say a TON of work didn't go into it all, I'm sure it did. I just expected the sets and costumes to be high level. The set was very fake. The lighting was also really odd. I mean, I've been to tons of plays and shows - but this lighting felt really uneven with lots of shadows which, I think, took away from the set and added to the fake look.
I was also surprised by the change in music and additional songs. I mean, this isn't the Julie Andrews version - however, it is still a remake of the original and you'd expect it to be a bit more similar. Especially given the fact that they must have known there would be thousands of die hard fans watching.
It felt kind of like they tried to modernize it - but let's be realistic, it's a story set in the 1940s ... that shouldn't be modernized! I have to say - I hated the wedding dress they had her wear - and, I'm not Cathlolic, but would the lace be sufficient to cover her shoulders? She got married in the Abbey after all. Most of the women I know who were married in a Catholic ceremony had a jacket or a full cover dress. I didn't care for Carrie's, and it certainly didn't look like it was time period appropriate either. Look at the difference below.
And the kiss! In Carrie's version, it's a full on make-out kiss...tongue and all. In Julie's, it's a much more modest kiss. I couldn't help but watch the scene last night through my fingers - that was not the way the story was initially portrayed. The kiss felt a little too intimate for me, and what can I say, I'm modest.
Over all, I didn't buy Carrie as Maria. She didn't seem comfortable with the role, because she struggled to portray her as the rest of the cast led the audience to believe she was. After the show, I was looking at some reviews and read that apparently the remaining Von Trapps wanted Anne Hathaway for Maria. As soon as I saw that, I thought now THAT is a great actress! And she can sing, quite beautifully. I know she's dark haired, but I honestly think they would have been far better off having Anne Hathaway than they did with Carrie Underwood.
I liked it ok standing on it's own. It was a decent production, the performance by the other adults and the children in it carried it through. The nuns were incredible. The singing was very well done. Over all, it wasn't bad. It wasn't nearly enough to carry on the legacy of Julie Andrews' The Sound of Music, but as it's own performance it wasn't bad.
Not what I expected, but then Julie Andrews is in her own league and you really can't compare her.
I might watch it again on TV, but I wouldn't buy it. It was just too hard not to compare it to the original, which I think was incredible, while this one is just mediocre.