'The Sound of Music' live on NBC - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 301 Old 12-06-2013, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

It was "opening night" of a production mounted by a cast and crew that had never done a live TV musical before. And in HD, with surround sound, which has never been done at all, ever.

Everybody was nervous, everybody was stiff, everybody made mistakes (even the vaunted Audra, who found herself standing in the wrong place with her back to the camera more than once). I would not judge anyone's ultimate abilities by this sample... and If this cast were doing the show on Broadway, I'd pay to see the 50th performance.

It was still exciting and wonderful, even moving, a reminder of a time when television strove to embrace the best of our culture, instead of inventing the worst.

Well said,
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post #92 of 301 Old 12-06-2013, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

It was "opening night" of a production mounted by a cast and crew that had never done a live TV musical before. And in HD, with surround sound, which has never been done at all, ever.

Everybody was nervous, everybody was stiff, everybody made mistakes (even the vaunted Audra, who found herself standing in the wrong place with her back to the camera more than once). I would not judge anyone's ultimate abilities by this sample... and If this cast were doing the show on Broadway, I'd pay to see the 50th performance.

It was still exciting and wonderful, even moving, a reminder of a time when television strove to embrace the best of our culture, instead of inventing the worst.

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Well said,
rdclark

You beat me to it, it was indeed, "still exciting and wonderful, even moving." My hat is off to the Broadway veterans,, McDonald, Benati, and Borle, but particularly to the musical theater rookies, Underwood and Moyer. They all took a big chance and inevitably stumbled here and there but the bottom line is they put on a terrific show.

Upon mature reflection, I think this production's biggest weakness was that there was no audience, whose reactions the performers as well as the rest of us could have used use as a gauge for the effectiveness of their performances. The danger of this, of course, is that producers might be tempted to use the dreaded laugh track instead of relying on the genuine reactions of a real audience. Although I missed the kind of reactions we see when we attend a live musical theater performance or even see a film of a live performance, I understand the producers quandary and can't say that the their decision to film the show on an empty soundstage was wrong.
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post #93 of 301 Old 12-06-2013, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by jonathan_little View Post

The audio on WCSH via TWC in Portland, ME was unlistenable. Full of pops. I stopped watching after 15 minutes in frustration.

That's TWC. OTA, the audio was crystal clear with no pops or problems at all. The only problem was the audio mix.
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post #94 of 301 Old 12-06-2013, 07:39 PM
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@gwsat - I'm with ya. I love Broadway musicals and musicals in general. Got my kids hooked on Guys and Dolls, Singing in the Rain, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, etc. Grew up in the time of live tv so I'm very partial to what NBC attempted here. Sure, it had issues but to attempt a live production in this day and age says a lot. I hope to see more. As far as Carrie Underwood goes, I think she did an excellent job knowing what she was going to be compared to.
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post #95 of 301 Old 12-06-2013, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto Pylot View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan_little View Post

The audio on WCSH via TWC in Portland, ME was unlistenable. Full of pops. I stopped watching after 15 minutes in frustration.

That's TWC. OTA, the audio was crystal clear with no pops or problems at all. The only problem was the audio mix.

 

I'm at the opposite coast, just south of Portland, OR, watching via Comcast. I heard two or three pops near the beginning of the production, and that was it for the popping. There was also a very low volume of hissing but I didn't notice that once I was engaged.


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post #96 of 301 Old 12-06-2013, 08:51 PM
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^^^ yeah, the audio mix was less than desirerable but nothing like what the other poster experienced. TWC seems to be having issues. I'm on another forum and there are quite a few issues right now with TWC.
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post #97 of 301 Old 12-06-2013, 09:03 PM
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I'm glad it got the ratings it did, that is a positive sign that there is an appetite for something different and challenging.

I'd give the actors a solid B, none were outstanding but they did do good work. Carrie was OK, this was not her type of music and I didn't get the feeling she got to the meat of the music. You can sing the words to the tune and be OK, but real talent emotes with the music, I didn't get that from her most of the time. I hope she had a good time doing this with more experience in this genre I do think she could grow into a very good Broadway performer. Kudos for stepping out of her comfort zone.

As to the sound, I would have had zero issues if they used wireless mikes. The sound was atrocious and the chief audio engineer should be banished to a small local TV station in N. Dakota - and I'd feel sorry for those folks.
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post #98 of 301 Old 12-06-2013, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt L View Post

As to the sound, I would have had zero issues if they used wireless mikes. The sound was atrocious and the chief audio engineer should be banished to a small local TV station in N. Dakota - and I'd feel sorry for those folks.

 

In addition to the slight hissing, I also noticed that the S's seemed to be accentuated. Is that also a characteristic of some mikes?


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post #99 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 04:42 AM
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And yet, you did.smile.gif

Look, it's just my opinion. But, I have worked with hundred of singers going back to my New Christy Minstrel days when, as musical director, I had nine singers to arrange for, right up to today, when I have singers in my studio every week. So, my comment's not quite as ignorant as you seem to think it is. And, I stand by it. She's a decent singer who has been extremely smart about her career, but that's about it for me.
I never meant to imply you were ignorant. As for The New Christy Minstrels, when I was very young, I saw them live (in person) during the Randy Sparks/Barry McGuire era. They were a great group for their time, but had way too many personnel changes.
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post #100 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 07:20 AM
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Having watched about a quarter of this so far (thru the Do-Re-Mi song), it's pretty clear that all the shortcomings mentioned above are present. Jandron is spot on with his criticism of Carrie's pipes. She's an adequate singer (let's not mention her acting), but her lack of experience in this type of musical theater is especially evident when she performs opposite a real pro like the Mother Superior. All that said, my affection for this quintessential piece of American theater means I'm enjoying it for what it is.

What would I have liked to see NBC do with all of their resources? The Metropolitan Opera has taken to filming their live operatic performances and beaming them out - live - to movie houses around the country. They're set up to do this and have already worked out the audio/video kinks that plagued this production. Wouldn't it have been amazing to see a live performance of The Sound of Music, at the Met, with a real professional cast and full orchestra? Imagine Lea Michelle as Maria, or some other trained Broadway musical actress in such a pivotal role. Be still my beating heart!

At a time when the Met, and all theater companies for that matter, are facing financial difficulties and an aging audience, consider what a shot in the arm a big, broadcast television production of something like this could do. NBC could inject a big infusion of cash into the Met's machine, and millions of people around the country could have an opportunity to see what they're missing by not attending their own local theater productions. I suspect that a real professional production at the Met, with an appropriate amount of publicity, could have generated at least as big an audience as this performance did. Now that would have been an event for the ages!

Something to think about, perhaps for the future.
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post #101 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BoilerJim View Post

I never meant to imply you were ignorant. As for The New Christy Minstrels, when I was very young, I saw them live (in person) during the Randy Sparks/Barry McGuire era. They were a great group for their time, but had way too many personnel changes.
You're right; by the time I was in the group in the early 70's all the originals were gone. It was a fun experience, though-- played in every state in the union, and everything from an army base for a few guys to the Kentucky Derby for thousands. Great learning experience, too--nothing like learning to arrange vocals with.eight people staring at you!
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post #102 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 11:12 AM
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I have been loving this thread! It's refreshing to see so many posters weigh in on the performance of a Broadway musical. As a fan of the genre, it makes me feel a bit less lonely. I was starting to fear than nobody but my kids and grandkids cared anymore. Apologies to those of you with whom I exchanged a lot of impressions in the old Smash thread, we know who we are. smile.gif This makes me hope that NBC, or somebody, gives us more filmed versions of classic Broadway musicals.
I don't think it is at all fair to refer to this as a broadway musical. That should be offensive to actual broadway level talent who had to witness the tarnishing of their brand by the two leads in this performance.
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post #103 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 11:32 AM
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Last I checked, The Sound of Music opened on Broadway in 1959, which makes Thursday's performance a live TV broadcast of a Broadway musical, which is the way I'll always refer to it.

rdclark said it best, this was like watching a live broadcast of opening night of this version of The Sound of Music on Broadway. If the cast was performing this 6 times a week, clearly the live performance would have been even better after 50 performances (acting performances and emotions would have been slowly tweaked with each performance, etc.).

For me, the real treasure in this project is the CD soundtrack. Since everyone involved had several takes in the studio, the CD soundtrack is like listening to the "after 50 performances" live performance (though the musical numbers on Thursday were already well done). The CD has every song from the live broadcast, plus several orchestra numbers, while the 24-page booklet includes lyrics for all songs and a 4-page summary of the plot (and where each musical number fits). Everyone sounds great on the CD, which I'll be listening to for many years to come, right alongside the CD soundtrack of the film.
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post #104 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 11:43 AM
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Last I checked, The Sound of Music opened on Broadway in 1959, which makes Thursday's performance a live TV broadcast of a Broadway musical, which is the way I'll always refer to it.

rdclark said it best, this was like watching a live broadcast of opening night of this version of The Sound of Music on Broadway. If the cast was performing this 6 times a week, clearly the live performance would have been even better after 50 performances (acting performances and emotions would have been slowly tweaked with each performance, etc.).

For me, the real treasure in this project is the CD soundtrack. Since everyone involved had several takes in the studio, the CD soundtrack is like listening to the "after 50 performances" live performance (though the musical numbers on Thursday were already well done). The CD has every song from the live broadcast, plus several orchestra numbers, while the 24-page booklet includes lyrics for all songs and a 4-page summary of the plot (and where each musical number fits). Everyone sounds great on the CD, which I'll be listening to for many years to come, right alongside the CD soundtrack of the film.
Yet we would still have Carrie Underwood coming up short in the talent department for this type of performance. She fits perfectly in her own realm, but this is well outside of that.
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post #105 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 12:28 PM
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While you are entitled to your opinion, it is clearly in the minority from a survey online. While no one thinks Carrie Underwood gave a tour-de-force acting performance Thursday night, the general feeling from my online survey is that she did a decent job acting and a wonderful job singing. I was thoroughly entertained by the entire cast for three hours, and will be listening to the CD soundtrack for years to come, long after the people complaining about Underwood's performance have moved on to complain about another topic.
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post #106 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by diditagain View Post

While you are entitled to your opinion, it is clearly in the minority from a survey online. While no one thinks Carrie Underwood gave a tour-de-force acting performance Thursday night, the general feeling from my online survey is that she did a decent job acting and a wonderful job singing. I was thoroughly entertained by the entire cast for three hours, and will be listening to the CD soundtrack for years to come, long after the people complaining about Underwood's performance have moved on to complain about another topic.
Where was the online survey taken?
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post #107 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 12:33 PM
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This grousing over Carrie Underwood's performance. It's not as if she murdered Blanche DuBois. She was playing an uncomplicated, unworldly young woman. The complicated people were the supporting players, and they all did extremely well. The childred did pretty well, considered they were obviously cast for their voices and not their acting chops.

How nice it would be if NBC were to do more of these. Camelot particularly, as the movie was such an unspeakable misfire. And they really need to do continue to do them live. And I bet they would have people begging to be in a studio audience, no matter how obscured the performance would be by the cameras.

CW Hinkle
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post #108 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 01:20 PM
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Shaded, the producers probably had to cut that scene for time after the final run-through!

I hope NBC does this again next December -- there are quite a few great musicals from which to choose.

For those interested in the CD soundtrack, the 25% coupon code R9Y4A7X can be used at Barnes & Noble online until tomorrow (a post at DVD Talk says the coupon works only at the mobile version of the website -- m.barnesandnoble.com). Also, DVD Talk says B&N will have a one-day online coupon code (GMONDAY25) valid on December 9. The current online price is $9.42, so the 25% off coupon makes the CD just $7.06.
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post #109 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 02:44 PM
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I watched it all, but really was put off by the wooden performances of the leads. You have to have personality with your face AND ACT as you sing these songs, and sadly Carrie is just untrained. Yes, I agree... seeing Lea Michele in this production would seemingly be wondrous.

Anyway, I find myself drawn to Connie Fisher as Maria, in the 2006-era David Ian revival of the show in London's West End which played there for three years and then toured England for a few more years. Connie was crowned the audience-chosen Maria in a BBC reality series created by Andrew Lloyd Weber and hosted by Graham Norton in the summer of 2006, which produced GIANT RATINGS and this wondrous 23-year old Maria.

Although online video from the series is scarce, and nothing exists of the stage show itself, there are a few not very high-quality snippets available that demonstrate her remarkable soprano voice and youthfulness and personality. Now THIS IS CHARM!!! This is what you want in a Maria.

This is a sample of her singing from the Royal Variety performance in 2006 (a variety stage show).

And here she is on the Alan Titchmarsh show from 2007.

In contrast, here's her actual live "competitive performance" version of the same song during the HDYSAPLM series itself on BBC (which was re-shown in America on BBCA during the summer of 2009, which is when I stumbled into it and also fell in love with Connie as Maria as millions of Brits had already done three years earlier).


NOTE: Connie's finale competitive performance song on the reality show was "As Long As He Needs Me" from Oliver. Although there is no online video of that performance (although I have my own private video recording of the show itself), it definitely "tipped the balance" of the final two contestants. The unique musical arrangement and performance by the orchestra, not to mention her own personality and gigantic vocal delivery, made it impossible not to vote for her to be Maria in the upcoming stage performance of SOM. You really just fell over with exhaustion, the rendition was so emotional.

Although she subsequently recorded a studio version of what immediately became her "signature song" which appears on her first CD, in my opinion it didn't really match the live broadcast's competitive drama and sensational vocal presentation of that same song.

Anyway, here's the studio version of Connie's "As Long As He Needs Me" from the CD, used as background music for a BBC TV show video.


I submit for your approval: Connie Fisher as Maria.
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post #110 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 03:18 PM
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I also just watched it(after reading up through post 100 of this thread) and even though I'm a Carrie Underwood fan I think she was a little over her head in both singing and acting. Don't get me wrong, she does a great job on her CDs and other performances I've seen her in but this wasn't one of my favorites of her.

As for the sound, listening in 5.1 I agree with basically all that has been said, there was a definite background hiss and at times the vocals were a little sharp and tinny. Of course being a live performance I realize this isn't going to sound like a CD, but it was noticeable. Oh yes, I also saw Carrie stumble on her way down the hill in the beginning, not sure I would have thought more than twice about it but having read this thread when I saw it I thought, auh thats what they were talking about.

For those who say someone other than Carrie could have done a better job I'd have to agree but then without Carrie I really doubt as many people would have watched the event(I doubt my teens would have) and because of that I think they made a wise decision in their casting. I mean to me a big point of such a program isn't to get the best singer or actor possible but the ones that people will actually tune into to watch and do a decent job at that, once hooked people may seek out other such performances which will only help for promoting more of these events.

I too look forward to similar events in the future and with the ratings this program got I think I may get my wish :)

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post #111 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 06:48 PM
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I
I don't think it is at all fair to refer to this as a broadway musical. That should be offensive to actual broadway level talent who had to witness the tarnishing of their brand by the two leads in this performance.

I have seen many, many Broadway musical theater presentations over the past 40 plus years. Obviously, those I saw that were presented in a Broadway theater were better than either National Touring Company productions or made for TV productions but most professional companies do a terrific job and I thought that the NBC production of The Sound of Music was at least as good as most of them. Let's face it, Broadway is Broadway and the pinnacle of the genre, so we can at least agree that the NBC production of The Sound of Music probably wasn't as good as a Broadway revival of the show would have been -- but so what?
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post #112 of 301 Old 12-07-2013, 06:50 PM
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I would love to see west Side Story next please!

Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk
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post #113 of 301 Old 12-08-2013, 07:46 AM
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Wow this show must have been popular, the entire opening segment of last nights SNL was a parody of this show, of course both are on NBC but still.

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post #114 of 301 Old 12-08-2013, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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just so you won't have to search for it...the saturday night live skit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Yn84NVnSI&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLRUSbbQynOdGClEBbLxNA49_XW1rj3_HI
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post #115 of 301 Old 12-08-2013, 12:47 PM
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Wow this show must have been popular, the entire opening segment of last nights SNL was a parody of this show, of course both are on NBC but still.
Apparently it was done without having seen Thursday's broadcast, because Kate McKinnon did Maria with a British accent à la Julie Andrews.  The main point of the sketch was to give Kristen Wiig a chance to reprise Dooneese, so McKinnon could have delivered Maria's lines in dolphin squeals and it wouldn't have mattered.

Speaking of accents, suppressing a twang seems to lead to flubbing the name.  I posted the anecdote above of how Mary Martin did it; Thursday Underwood introduced herself as Maria Rehner, as if "Rainer" were to be pronounced like an English-language name.  That was probably the bad idea of one of the directors, though, not of Underwood herself.  (Maria's real maiden name was apparently Kutschera, just as the children's real first names, their relative ages, and the timeline were changed for the musical.)

In the end, they got the CD recorded and the show aired while Michael Nigro could still reach Friedrich's high notes.  Another couple months and he probably won't be able.
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post #116 of 301 Old 12-08-2013, 01:14 PM
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Apparently it was done without having seen Thursday's broadcast, because Kate McKinnon did Maria with a British accent à la Julie Andrews....

My guess is the accent was done more for the people who saw the original and maybe not the latest version. The way they talked about her dress and the very similar look of the dress had me thinking the opposite of you, I thought they must have gotten a preview of Thrusdays show and since both programs were on NBC I thought it possible....

All in all I got a chuckle out of it.

I wonder if the actual Sound of Music event will be repeated? My daughter wanted a copy of it but my recording had several breakups(curtsey of our ATSC system and bad Wx here). I kind of doubt this is an event that would be repeated but NBC doesn't have a whole lot other things to air and this was highly rated, so who knows.

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post #117 of 301 Old 12-08-2013, 01:41 PM
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You may well have a point about the dress references, Jjeff.  If so, that made it a strainge mixture of working off the new live broadcast and working off the movie.
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post #118 of 301 Old 12-08-2013, 01:46 PM
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I wonder if the actual Sound of Music event will be repeated?

The website said it was available for watching for a limited time from the website.

CW Hinkle
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post #119 of 301 Old 12-08-2013, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by spike jones View Post

just so you won't have to search for it...the saturday night live skit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1Yn84NVnSI&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLRUSbbQynOdGClEBbLxNA49_XW1rj3_HI

That was funny stuff! Thanks for the link.
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post #120 of 301 Old 12-08-2013, 07:44 PM
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Having watched about a quarter of this so far (thru the Do-Re-Mi song), it's pretty clear that all the shortcomings mentioned above are present. Jandron is spot on with his criticism of Carrie's pipes. She's an adequate singer (let's not mention her acting), but her lack of experience in this type of musical theater is especially evident when she performs opposite a real pro like the Mother Superior. All that said, my affection for this quintessential piece of American theater means I'm enjoying it for what it is.

What would I have liked to see NBC do with all of their resources? The Metropolitan Opera has taken to filming their live operatic performances and beaming them out - live - to movie houses around the country. They're set up to do this and have already worked out the audio/video kinks that plagued this production. Wouldn't it have been amazing to see a live performance of The Sound of Music, at the Met, with a real professional cast and full orchestra? Imagine Lea Michelle as Maria, or some other trained Broadway musical actress in such a pivotal role. Be still my beating heart!

At a time when the Met, and all theater companies for that matter, are facing financial difficulties and an aging audience, consider what a shot in the arm a big, broadcast television production of something like this could do. NBC could inject a big infusion of cash into the Met's machine, and millions of people around the country could have an opportunity to see what they're missing by not attending their own local theater productions. I suspect that a real professional production at the Met, with an appropriate amount of publicity, could have generated at least as big an audience as this performance did. Now that would have been an event for the ages!

Something to think about, perhaps for the future.

Interesting idea-- the Met. cool.gif Not sure what their books look like-- what their financial situation is- but I do know that they are trying to attract a broader audience. We recently attended a performance of the new-- and I do mean new--production of Rigoletto. If you're not familiar, it's set in Vegas circa early 60's. Neon lights, strippers and a '59 caddy adorn the stage. The Duke does lines of coke on a coffee table and dances around a strippers pole. eek.gifwink.giftongue.gif Never thought I'd be describing a Metropolitan Opera House presentation with those images. biggrin.gif

Point being, I think they would be better served doing what you suggested. They certainly can handle every aspect of the production. There are plenty to choose from-- West Side Story, South Pacific, Porgy and Bess, Oklahoma, The King and I etc., etc., etc. wink.gif

Larry

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