I wasn't thrilled when I heard the headliners for NBC's big production of The Sound of Music were Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer. I let the disappointment in casting keep me from really considering the potential that a live Broadway-style performance on national television could offer.
This is not a review post, because I was only able to watch about twenty minutes of the show. We only get two TV channels at our house - and NBC is not one of them. So we caught a little bit at my parents' house before we had to take the kids home for bed.
My first impression was to be unimpressed. It was pretty, it was entertaining. I had no issue with the supporting cast. I just wasn't thrilled. There was no "wow" factor.
But the more I consider it, I've changed my mind. There is a wow - this full-scale production was put on for a live television audience of millions. Broadway productions just aren't shared like this. There are two occasions each year when I specifically plan to watch network TV for a glimpse of Broadway - the Tony Awards show and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. But the number of people who, because of this broadcast, were exposed to a live production - many of them probably for the first time - is astounding!
I can't comment on the full production since I was not able to view it all. But I hope to (soon) have the chance to sit down and watch it in its entirety. Perhaps the lead characters did not live up to the expectations of all. But you know what? I'm sure it took a lot of courage to perform in front of an audience of millions. A Broadway leading lady may not have been able to draw that kind of audience, so I think overall it was a smart casting decision. If nothing else, the door has certainly been opened for more productions of this kind. I'm personally hoping Sutton Foster stars in the next big live broadcast.
And if our experience is any indication, there might be a whole lot of little girls out there dreaming about singing and dancing and acting their little hearts out. And whether or not they ever set foot on a Broadway stage, I think that certainly means that this production was a worthwhile endeavor.
Did you watch the live show? What did you think?