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No Vampires in “The Sound of Music” Please!

on December 6, 2013

So… after I wrote this blog post, I felt obligated to watch “The Sound of Music Live” starring Carrie Underwood. Which I did last night.

I will start with the positives: I like Carrie Underwood and I think she is a talented singer. And while I admit I don’t understand the impulse to remake “The Sound of Music” (why mess with perfection?), I do  understand and admire the impulse to challenge yourself. And isn’t that what “The Sound of Music” is about – climbing every mountain?

The first negative thing I am going to say is just a consequence of the fact that we were watching a tv broadcast of the stage version of the show, not the movie. I missed the sheer bigness of the movie: the Austrian alps, the Alpine meadows, the sites of Salzburg, the magnificence of the Cathedral, the giant puppet theater,  and yes, Julie Andrews’ 4 octave voice.

Surprisingly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a stage version of the show, so that took a little getting used to. ( Throughout the nation, the millions of middle-aged women singing along to every song were abruptly silenced when Max and Baroness Schrader began to sing – where did that come from?)

And Stephen Moyer (aka Vampire Bill from “True Blood”) as Captain von Trapp? As my daughter pointed out “Christopher Plummer was way more beautiful”. When Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer danced the Laendler the sparks were flying. Unfortunately, when Carrie and Stephen danced, I kept waiting for him to bite her neck! One thing he got right? With both captains, I am never quite sure if they can actually sing. Part of the charm of the movie for me is Christopher Plummer sing/talking “Something Good”. One of my fears about Vampire Bill was that he would be a magnificent singer. He came close a couple of times, but fortunately avoided that trap.

And I really want to say, because I notice these things, that I thought the costumes were pretty bad and in some cases didn’t fit very well. Carrie Underwood is so beautiful – who would ever have guessed she could make such a frumpy looking bride? (so frumpy I can’t even find a picture of it on the internet!)

Maria Maria Von Trapp Julie Andrews Wedding

For years, my dream of being a bride was epitomized by this beautiful bride!

I would like to end with some positives:  Carrie Underwood is a great singer and when she just had to belt out a song  she seemed most natural and comfortable to me. In particular, I enjoyed “The Lonely Goat-herd” scene. I guess Carrie’s country roots helped her in the yodeling department. And I thought it was cute how they staged a mock puppet show with the kids under the bed.

My absolute favorite part of the evening was when Audra McDonald sang “Climb Every Mountain”. (dare I say it was the best I ever heard?) I’m sure Carrie Underwood and I were not the only ones with tears in ours eyes as she sang. So glad it was reprised at the end. (I was wishing for an encore of “Wheels of a Dream” – oh well, time to get out  my “Ragtime” CD.)

I spent the evening in my sewing room; quilting and singing along. I didn’t turn it off. I enjoyed comparing and contrasting. I might just do it again tonight – this time with “The Sound of Music” starring Julie Andrews DVD!

Finally, thank you to the magnificent Julie Andrews for the years and years of inspiration and joy!

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2 responses to “No Vampires in “The Sound of Music” Please!

  1. stacy says:

    agreed, agreed and agreed! (especially the costuming!!!!) I enjoyed, but I did make fun once in a while – and was not sure if some of what I missed was because it was a stage performance… like those additional songs! However, it was fun to text Lauren back and forth on what we did and did not like – and what I missed the most was the feeling of anticipation – it just did not build or feel dangerous… ah well – stage versus screen I guess – or maybe vampires can only be scary when their fangs show!

  2. Pat Stephenson says:

    Yes, Audra McDonald stole the show! Stacy, amongst my sisters we also watched together via texting. This is a VERY special musical for us and if we can all get together in one place at one time can recreate the entire movie. One of My Favorite Things.
    Pat Stephenson

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