Tonight is the CRAPFEST EXTRAVAGANZA The Sound of Music LIVE with CARRIE UNDERWOOD on NBC! There has been A LOT of necessary internet bitching about this (I may have possibly gone on a very LONG rant during our Emmys liveblog) because of ALL the musicals in the world NBC decides to fuck with one of, if not the most, beloved –oh NBC everything you do seems to blow up in your face.
Before our LIVE coverage (you better believe we are liveblogging this bitch), I thought I would talk about the good (Audra McDonald), the bad (Carrie Underwood), the most potential for being amazingly awesome/horrendous (Stephen Moyer) and what musicals NBC SHOULD have done LIVE (umm, White Christmas)!
Broadway babies Audra McDonald (Mother Abyss), Christian Borle (Max Detweiler), and Laura Benanti (Elsa Schrader) are going to be FANTASTIC in supporting roles. Audra McDonald’s voice is PERFECT for “Climb Every Mountain” and as an avid listener to Sirius XM’s, ON Broadway I am TOTES excited to listen to this a lot. Christian Borle was one of the best things about Smash (OH NBC) and will be funny and smarmy as Max the music promoter and the Captain’s BFF (FUN FACT: Borle used to be married to SLLS fave Sutton Foster and they are still BFFs –also think about how different we would feel if it was Sutton playing Maria and NOT Carrie Underwood) [If they didn’t want a pop star Sutton would have been so much better. -M]. I am also super excited that Eli Stone, The Playboy Club and Go On alum Laura Benanti playing the Baroness Elsa Schrader (IF ONLY SHE WERE MARIA). [RIP Go On, I miss you every time Sean Saves the World comes on after Parks & Rec. -M]
Okay I have a confession, I have no idea what Carrie Underwood sounds like when she sings her normal pop-country songs, I didn’t watch her season of Idol and I’m not really a fan of pop music so for all I know she could be fantastic, but her version of “My Favorite Things” (which is NOT a Christmas song no matter how fabulous the Barbara Streisand version is) in the video at the top of the post makes me want to DIE. She CLEARLY does not understand how to sing a showtune and emote at the same time. In her defense, she isn’t an actress BUT you need an actress for a musical in fact an actress who can kind of sing (Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd) is better than a singer in a musical who can’t act. I will give her credit for the enthusiasm she clearly has for the project. In all honesty, they could have cast Sutton Foster and I would probably be upset –people should not fuck with The Sound of Music. [I also think she looks 20 with those damn braids and therefore not appropriate to play Maria, who falls in love with a dude who has a 16-going-on-17-year old. -M]
The most potential for being amazingly awesome/horrendous
To those of you who read my recaps of True Blood you know I have issues with Stephen Moyer. I’m not sure if it’s that I just HATE Bill Compton, if Moyer is a bad actor, or a combination of both but I am not a fan. I will say this for my old friend Stephen from the clips I have seen he can at least sing and seems to be able to act at the same time –HUZZAH! His acting might also be improved because he is not being asked to play an asshole vampire with a southern accent, hopefully they will allow him to keep his natural British accent. I kind of hope he pulls this off as I have started to kind of like him in interviews (don’t worry, I will never like Bill Compton). [I am so excited to see if Bill can act for real! -M]
What musicals NBC SHOULD have done LIVE
If your going to piss people off by staging a LIVE version of a beloved musical in December wouldn’t you pick White Christmas which has FOUR leads –FOUR POP STARS INSTEAD OF ONE! [And who DOESN’T need an updated version of “Sisters”? It would be a huge sensation! -M]
One of the musicals Marni Nixon sang lead for
There was a time when Hollywood would cast musicals with popular leading ladies and dub their singing voice with Marni Nixon (FUN FACT: Nixon played one of the nuns in the original The Sound of Music). Here are three musicals that won’t piss off musical purists because the leading lady did not sing and therefore is not thought of as beloved as Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music: The family classic The King of I, which starred Yul Brynner (might piss people off because Brynner basically played this role until his death) and Deborah Kerr, it has lots of kids; My Fair Lady may not scream FAMILY but it would be tons of fun watching a pop princess try a cockney accent (seriously, everyone wins); and West Side Story because NOTHING says Christmas like DOOMED young love (quite frankly when you compare this to Nazi’s it’s kind of a toss up) also and this is no disrespect to Natalie Wood, but wouldn’t it be awesome for a POC to play Maria? [I would love to see a more diverse West Side Story. Also, I think it would be great to have a British pop star like Rita Ora play Eliza Doollittle. -M]
Another less known Rogers & Hammerstein musical
Rogers and Hammerstein have other musicals that could be awesome broadcast LIVE on TV. Cinderella, which is currently on Broadway, was performed on TV with Julie Andrews in 1957, with Lesley Ann Warren in 1965, and in 1997 staring pop-singer and Moesha star Brandy, so it has precedence and is current. Also, though many love these productions, none are iconic as The Sound of Music. Other Rogers and Hammerstein musicals are The King and I (mentioned above), South Pacific (which has also been on TV and was recently on Broadway), Oklahoma! (I just recently watched the Hugh Jackman version on PBS and it would be amazing live because of all of the dancing), Flower Drum Song (it would be nice to have an update from the 1961 film especially since the book was rewritten in 2002 for the Broadway revival), and lastly the often forgotten musicals State Fair and Carousel (Audra McDonald was in the revival of this on Broadway). [Katie, thank you for mentioning MY favorite R&H musical, State Fair, which was finally adapted to Broadway in 1996 after 3 movies (one of them awful, poor Booby Darin). Also, Show Boat, which I am really into after reading a book on Edna Ferber. That would have been a great live show, with the boat and all. -M]
If you enjoyed this bit of Sound of Music snark, come back tonight at 8 for our LIVEBLOG!!!