Thursday, December 12, 2013

Carrie Underwood: Sound of Music

Along with many others, I watched NBC's The Sound of Music: Live starring Carrie Underwood. I was super pumped and excited to see how she, and the rest of the cast and crew, would pull it off. As you know, I am a theatre geek. So I was thrilled to hear that a major network was producing some live entertainment (besides award shows and football games). I realize that not everyone enjoyed the production as much as I did because most people were focused on and believed that "Carrie trying to replace Julie Andrews", "they are trying to re-do The Sound of Music", and that "Carrie wasn't a good choice for this part." Well let me just drop a few words of wisdom on your head…

First. I do not believe that Carrie Underwood was trying to "replace" Julie Andrews. She personally said that she hears "'You’re not Julie Andrews!' (and replies) I know I’m not — nobody is, and I would never pretend that I was. I know my place, you know?" (Entertainment Weekly). She was there to sing her heart out and try something new. She was given the opportunity to play this part and she took it. She worked just as hard as anyone else would have if they were given that part. We know that Carrie is not an actress, but she went out there and performed to the best of her ability. She was not afraid of failure. If you were not a gifted actor/ actress, would you have the guts to perform live, in front of over 18 million viewers? Well, she did! And even though her acting ability was not the strongest, her love for the children was real. Her tears in the Abbey scene were real. And I truly believe that her heart was in it and she felt the character of Maria come alive in her. She probably was not the perfect pick for many viewers, but who better than Carrie Underwood to play a compassionate and godly woman, with a passion for song, who loves unconditionally?

When asked about her acting she responded,
"Well, I should first say that I will never take great performances in acting for granted again. I feel like we are so spoiled and we go to the movie theater and we just see these incredible performances or we go to a Broadway show and we see these incredible performances and we just expect them to be wonderful. I will never take that for granted again, because it’s hard. And I’m so glad I’ve realized that, not that I ever thought it was easy, but you know, it’s definitely a challenge." (Entertainment Weekly)

I believe that she did have some great moments in this production. We need to take a step back and instead of criticizing her for the thing she did "badly", we should praise her for the amazing things that she did accomplish. For example, she sang for three hours straight and didn't even crack (obviously she has some practice at that with concerts and other live performances). But, not only that but she sang in a completely different style than what she is used to. Also, she is completely new at this whole acting thing, but she was willing and she was dedicated to her part. The whole show rode on her shoulders and she did not let the pressure get to her! Did you know that they prepared for this whole production in the course of two months!? Could you do that? Kudos to Carrie for taking on this responsibility. 

Second. They definitely are not trying to remake the movie! I'm pretty sure they are using the stage script. I have read so many reviews about how "it wasn't like the movie at all!" Well of course not! It's based on the stage version! No one wants to remake anything. They are simply paying tribute to the Von Trapp's and the original Sound of Music. This live production is a token of appreciation. People need to take a chill pill! And even if they were "remaking" it, who cares? They do it all the time. Footloose? The Parent Trap? King Kong? Hair Spray!? 

NBC is trying to show appreciation for a classic. Is that so bad? When Broadway produces "Revival shows" do people get their panties in a wad? I do not think so. In my time acting and performing, my director always told us to "never to try and reproduce what you did yesterday, because then it isn't real. Live in the moment…" I believe that is what the cast of The Sound of Music: Live was doing. They are not trying to reproduce anything. They are trying to bring the hills to life again with music by paying respect and honoring those who have done so in the past.

Third. Let us all take a moment and appreciate what live entertainment is. We are so spoiled when it comes to television and movies because there are no mistakes in that area. We are expecting perfection every time because that is what we have been conditioned with. But when it comes to live theatre, anything can happen! Sets can fall apart, people can break their ankle in the middle of a dance number, actors can forget their lines! It happens. The entertainment business got it's start where? Live theatre. We would be no where without people who were willing to risk everything and perform in front of live audiences. Live audiences where you can hear their reactions. Their laughs at jokes, or even mistakes. Their sobs or gasps at suspenseful moments. And especially their silence. Live theatre is something that not everyone has an appreciation for and that is sad. I believe that NBC and others are doing their part in trying to bring us back to the basics. And I thank them for it, too. 

A beautiful shot from the production.
So I conclude with this extremely long, but very passionate post with this. A "thank-you" to Carrie Underwood and the rest of the amazing cast and crew of The Sound of Music: Live. A "kudos" to NBC for doing something out of the norm. And a very big *hug* of appreciation to those who took the time to read this. Please try and congratulate instead of criticize. 

No comments:

Post a Comment