For Carrie Underwood the hills are alive with the sound of disatisfaction. Her performance in the live NBC production of The Sound of Music did not have a prayer of a chance with her in the lead role as Maria Von Trapp. At least that is what critics are saying. No one, it seems, was overly pleased with Carrie’s rendition in the acting arena.
The 30 year-old country music singer/songwriter was thrilled at how well she thought the show went. After many audience members took to Twitter to tweet their complaints about Ms Underwood’s lack of “acting chops,” she responded by tweeting that she would “pray” for all those nay-sayers.
Ms Underwood is listed in her bio as being a singer/songwriter and an actress. Considering that she has only appeared in three other productions: one of which was voicing a character on Sesame Street called Carrie Underworm, that extra credit of actress could be a bit overenthusiastic.
Carrie took the criticisms aimed at her less than wonderful performance in her stride. Explaining that all those “mean people” who dissed her needed Jesus in their lives, she went on to praise the other actors in the live production. It does seem that Underwood agreed with at least one of her critics, Kym Karath, who liked the performance of Stephen Moyer, aka Bill Compton, from True Blood. The Sound of Music prayer from Underwood is aimed at all those folks who used Twitter to pan her performance.
Moyer won faint praise from the original Gretl Von Trapp from the 1965 film which starred Julie Andrews as Maria. The 55 year-old actress watched the live show with fellow The Sound of Music stars 61 year-old Angela Cartwright – she played Brigitta and 70 year-old Charmian Carr – who was Liesl in the original movie.
Karath tweeted that although she loved Underwood’s singing voice, she did not have what it takes to pull of the acting side of the performance. Unlike Kym’s Maria, Ms Julie Andrews, who had both singing voice talent and acting chops to spare. It is unlikely that NBC put a lot of thought into the lack of Carrie’s acting credentials. The singer’s film debut was the 2011 film Soul Surfer and apart from her Sesame Street spot, she worked on How I Met Your Mother, so she didn’t have a lot of experience in front of the camera in a non-singing capacity.
In the singing department, the season four winner of American Idol was a clear fan favorite and after winning she was inducted into the Grand Old Opry in 2008 and later was welcomed into the Country Music Hall of Fame. So it is pretty clear that Carrie was hired for her pipes not her Hamlet skills.
NBC obviously know their demographic. The award winning Before He Cheats singer, along with Stephen Moyer, pulled in a massive 18.5 million viewers when the three hour Sound of Music Live! was aired. Television executives share a lot with Hollywood film producers, the main roles go to the popular “flavor of the moment.” For example, True Blood‘s Stephen Moyer guaranteed a certain amount of Bill Compton fans would tune in to see the “vampire” as Captain Von Trapp.
In the studio’s defence, it does make sense to cast a singer in a role that requires a lot of Julie Andrews type singing. Getting to Know You doesn’t necessarily need an opera star to perform the song, but, while a Glenn Close “type” could act her costars off the “stage,” she would probably lose a lot in the vocal performance of My Favorite Things.
For those people who felt so strongly about Carrie Underwood’s “lack” of performance skills in The Sound of Music that they got onto Twitter to complain, the singer has promised to say a little prayer for them. Ms Underwood may not be on par with Glenn Close or Meryl Streep in the acting stakes, but, she sure knows how to turn the other cheek.
By Michael Smith