The holidays are typically all about tradition. This means we meet up with the same people, cook the same dishes, and go through many of the same other routines. Our television during the holiday season is also generally subject to this routine. Many fans are ardent supporters of It’s A Wonderful Life or A Charlie Brown Christmas airings, while other stray toward A Christmas Story or even The Sound of Music, which despite its lack of a holiday theme, has become a holiday favorite over the years. There’s obviously a lot to like about traditions like these, but it’s kind of nice to change things up on occasion, and NBC has gotten really innovative with the Sound of Music Live, a treat which should prove to be one of the best ideas NBC has had in a long time.
For one thing, The Sound of Music Live has found a sweet spot in NBC’s schedule. The live performance has been tucked right in between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, a perfect time to schedule unique programming, considering a lot of network TV programming is wrapping up for winter hiatus over the next couple of weeks. The December 5 airing of the live performance is also a great Sunday to air because kids are done with fall sports and there is not nearly as much going on in December for families. People can relax, sit back, and enjoy some “Do-Re-Mi” without having to feel guilty about not getting work done.
We’ve already seen a preview for The Sound of Music live performance, but if you haven’t seen it yet, reserve all judgment until you watch the video, below.
A few of the actors involved with the production are primed for a performance like this one, having both theatrical and television experience. NBC favorites Christian Borle and Laura Benanti, as well as Audra McDonald, all have been onstage enough to nab roles in the big event. But what I like best about the preview for the live event is how well Stephen Moyer and Carrie Underwood sound. I had no idea that the True Blood actor could belt out notes as well as he is able to. Oppositely, I was worried a vocal powerhouse like Underwood would not be able to mesh in well with an ensemble cast, especially since she doesn’t have a theatrical background. The preview shows a gal with great vocal control who is ready to take on a role as iconic as Maria.
Underwood is not trying to channel Julie Andrews with her role. She’s taken the iconic gig and turned it into an event suitable for a gal with big hair and a little bit of a wicked smile. NBC’s performance looks like it will be magical, and while it will feature the same music as the iconic original, with a theatrical setting and a live performance, the network has taken great pains to make sure that The Sound of Music Live is a separate program from the original people love.
The live gimmick also heightens things a little. I’m sure there will be no nipple slips or f-bombs thrown out during NBC’s family-friendly special, but there will be an extra bit of nerves and tension. A prop could fall, a person could be dropped during a lift, someone could forget their lines. In the moment, someone could deliver the best monologue TV has ever seen or even a legendary musical moment. Even if The Sound of Music Live doesn’t feature one of the most epic moments of all time, it’s a chance for a large group of people to come together and tune in for one event, like sporting events or awards shows. Its novelty is something to celebrate, and it will be worth your time.
You can catch The Sound of Music Live event on Thursday, December 5 at 8 p.m. ET.
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.