NBC’s broadcast of The Sound of Music Live! is certainly an ambitious endeavor on the part of the network and all parties involved in putting it together, but when taking the cast into account, not to mention the popularity of the 1965 film based on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s stage musical, I’m thinking there’s a good chance the viewers will turn up. Possibly in droves. While NBC obviously can’t offer us a look at the finished product, as that won’t be ready until Thursday, December 5 when the broadcast airs, the network has been sharing some great behind-the-scenes looks at the rehearsals for the production, which offer us an earful of the soundtrack and a glimpse at some of the sets, which are apparently set up in a NASA hanger.
“We’re not trying to remake the movie,” actor Laura Benanti says. “Nobody can remake the movie.” This is true and not true. We can say no one can remake it, but let's face it, Hollywood wouldn’t be above trying to remake the classic film, which starred Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews. If they can come up with a sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life, anything is possible (and apparently nothing is off limits). I’ve expressed some skepticism about how this production will turn out, and as a fan of the movie, I’m still approaching The Sound of Music Live! tentatively, keeping expectations low when it comes to hope that this event will manage to capture my heart the way the film did, particularly as it relates to the love story between the young governess Maria (Carrie Underwood) and the stern Captain von Trapp (Stephen Moyer).
On the bright side, everything we’ve heard from the music sounds great, including Moyer’s voice. Why hasn’t Bill Compton been singing all this time? There’s some major talent there. And obviously, Underwood can sing, so there’s a good chance the music will be the highlight of this broadcast. Billboard reports that Sony Masterworks will be releasing the soundtrack two days ahead of the live broadcast. If you’re scratching your head wondering how that will work, the album, which will be available for purchase December 3, will include studio recordings of all the musical numbers set to be performed by the cast during the live broadcast.
Produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, The Sound of Music Live! airs Thursday, December 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC.
In related news, it looks like NBC may poised to win the holiday season among the major networks. Not only do they have The Sound of Music Live! lined up, but they also have The Sing Off Season 4 scheduled to debut December 9. And then there’s the annual broadcast(s) of It’s A Wonderful Life, which are set for December 14 and December 24.