The remaking of a classic such as The Sound of Music is a huge undertaking. The beloved movie, starring Julie Andrews, has been a treasure and a crowd pleaser for decades. The thought of a new production spotlighting one of our favorite things to watch, has brought criticism in some circles of skeptics. Wondering if it can be done, should it be done and why it is being done will be answered with the one night only LIVE TV performance, December 5 on NBC.
Carrie Underwood will be taking on the leading role of Maria and Stephen Moyer, of True Blood, will portray Captain von Trapp. The production is based on the 1959 Broadway play starring Mary Martin, telling the story of the singing von Trapp family of Austria. The Broadway play spawned a following of music lovers and was produced in movie form in 1965.
Julie Andrews was fresh out of the carpetbag as the lead in Mary Poppins when she went on to star in The Sound of Music the following year. She was age 30 when she starred as Maria, the same age Underwood is now. The years have rolled by, 48 to be exact, so why not have a fresh look at a beautiful echo of song and celebration. The musical will include all of the well known tunes such as Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, My Favorite Things and Edelweiss.
Surprisingly, Andrews has given her blessing to the project and wishes Underwood well with the live performance. Andrews has been busy as of late promoting her new children’s book The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart. A lifelong friend of Carol Burnett, Andrews was a special presenter for Burnett’s recent Mark Twain Prize For American Humor.
Andrews, now 78, has reaped the royalties and benefits of playing Maria long ago and will surely look forward to the televised rendition of The Sound of Music. She even wrote a spoof of the song My Favorite Things for her birthday when she turned 69. The AARP version included her favorite things as wheelchairs, hearing aids and false teeth.
Unlike Angela Lansbury, who is disturbed about the remaking of Murder, She Wrote, in which she originally starred, Andrews fully backs the new production of The Sound of Music. Remaking movies or TV shows can be tricky and insulting to the original star, as many can agree. For Andrews, she is all for the new version of The Sound of Music, as it serves as a tribute and honor to the well known actress.
To call it a remake of the original movie is not accurate, as it will be shown live on the air. It will be different, but with the same inspiring story of the von Trapp family and their singing talents. The von Trapp’s spirit of music and victories amidst their struggles is a story that can be retold forever.
Underwood, the 2005 American Idol winner is used to performing live through her concerts and hosting award shows. She has a strong, beautiful voice with a wide range and is a refreshing talent. Although an accomplished songstress, her acting ability is little. In 2010, she had a sizeable role in Soul Surfer, the story about champion surfer Bethany Hamilton, but acting has not been her main gig. Still, Carrie Marie Underwood has been rehearsing diligently and is ready for the challenge. The Sound of Music LIVE! is anticipated as a must see TV event and may well become one of our favorite things.
Update: The performance went off without a hitch. The actors did a fantastic job and the music was beautiful. Memories of the movie were rekindled, as well as high school productions of The Sound of Music. The strength of Underwood and Moyer’s singing voices blended together brought forth unexpected emotions, from this critic. The children were especially delightful. Hours of rehearsals certainly paid off to retell the beautiful story of the von Trapp family. Pleasantly surprised, Sound of Music LIVE! was an enjoyable experience and will surely go down in TV and music history.
By: Roanne H. FitzGibbon