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My initial knee-jerk/panic reaction to the words NBC and The Sound of Music was uncertainty and borderline outrage at the thought of the network attempting to remake the classic musical starring Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews. But before you jump to the same conclusion, read on, as that's not exactly the case. In fact, what NBC is planning to do, along with Smash producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, is a live broadcast of The Sound of Music based on the original Broadway musical.
The Sound of Music is one of my all-time favorite musicals and classic films. As a child, it was all about the music. As an adult, I still find myself swept away by the romance of an innocent aspiring nun and the widower Captain falling in love with one another, brought together as a couple and a family by music. And the songs are still as great as ever (a credit to the lasting effect of Rodgers and Hammerstein's talents). While I'd likely scoff at the idea of anyone attempting to redo that movie, a live broadcast of the story based on the stage musical is an intriguing concept.
"It is our supreme pleasure to broadcast -- live -- a new version of the seminal Broadway musical 'The Sound of Music' for a whole new generation," said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment "There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live back in the 1950s and we're thrilled to do it once again with a musical that has been a family classic for five decades. There is no more talented and creative producing team than Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein's final - and most beloved - collaboration to network television in this groundbreaking live telecast."
So it sounds like a throwback to something that was fairly common back in the 50's, and what better way to do it than with a classic musical? Or maybe this is just my attempt at being optimistic, either as a fan of The Sound of Music or of musicals in general. I want this to be good and I think it can be. And the live aspect certainly adds a layer of suspense that should make for an especially interesting and exciting broadcast. NBC could make this a real event for viewers.
NBC says casting will begin immediately and we should expect to learn the air date soon.