There are a lot of differing opinions on Sound of Music Live, so I thought I’d add mine to the mix.
To start off with, I ought to tell you that I played Sister Margaretta in a community theatre production of Sound of Music last summer. So, I’m very familiar with the play version. I’m really getting tired of the reviews that complain about the songs being out of order or the lines being different. The play version IS different. They were doing the play version. The only thing they changed from the play was putting “Something Good” in the spot of the cheesy love song from the play version. (Thank goodness!) Also, there is no Baroness in this version. The character is FRAU Schraeder or Elsa Schraeder. She’s not a baroness in the play. Just a pet peeve thing. I wish people would do some research on the play version before writing reviews.
Okay, so with that issue out of the way, let’s deal with the other big complaint: Carrie Underwood as Maria. She can’t act. We’ll just get that out the way. She’s also not Julie Andrews. Of course not. No one should expect her to be. No two people are going to play a character the same. It would be really boring if they did. But despite her lack of acting skills, I thought Carrie did alright. You could tell she was really trying and every once in a while that sincerity came across in a way that almost made me forget she can’t act. And I thought she sang beautifully. And she was good sport about having to wear some awful, ill-fitting costumes. She was definitely the weakest person in the cast, but she never got to the point of ruining the whole thing for me.
Overall, I thought the rest of the cast was really good. Stephen Moyer was awkward at the beginning (Stephen, that is not how normal people cross their arms…), but got better as he went. (I’ve never watched True Blood, so there was no Vampire Bill distractions for me.) And that man looks good in a suit! He never quite got out of the too-harsh-for-Maria-to-fall-for zone, but for completely shallow reasons I forgave him. And his singing was pretty good, too, especially on “Edelweiss.”
The kids were all adorable and amazing singers. Max and Elsa were obviously trained professionals, but I didn’t find their characters as interesting or likable as I have in other productions, especially Max. Most of the nuns were pretty forgettable, too. Except of course Audra McDonald as Mother Superior. She was hands down the best actor and singer in the whole production.
The sets were gorgeous, if not always practical or lit well. The costumes were pretty hit and miss. I don’t think the costume designer was quite sure about what decade they were in. And don’t even get me started on Rolf’s shorts! But I thought Captain Von Trapp and Max’s suits, Elsa’s clothes, and the kids’ clothes (besides the uniforms and curtain clothes) were lovely.
All this being said, and despite its many flaws, I really enjoyed Sound of Music Live. It was charming. It kept me watching. I had fun watching it. It was like enjoying a night of theatre in my own home. And strangely enough, the more bad reviews I read, the more I like it. I guess it’s some perverse desire to protect the poor, picked on thing. *shrug*
Anyway, I’ve already bought the soundtrack, I intend to buy the DVD when it comes out. I actually really liked Sound of Music Live.