News

T.V., Twitter alive with the ‘Sound of Music’

T.V., Twitter alive with the ‘Sound of Music’

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE: Not everyone was a fan of Carrie Underwood's performance. Photo: Associated Press

By Jill Serjeant

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. television was alive with “The Sound of Music” on Thursday as country singer Carrie Underwood and “True Blood” actor Stephen Moyer starred in a live version of the classic musical about an aspiring nun who falls in love with an Austrian captain.

Filmed on vast movie sets and with lavish costumes but without an audience, the NBC television broadcast harked back to the traditions of the 1950s and 1960s when live musicals were often shown on American television.

Thursday’s three-hour show was based on the 1959 stage version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein show rather than the Oscar-winning 1965 musical starring Julie Andrews.

After heavy promotion for weeks, the live broadcast was the No. 2 topic on Twitter on Thursday, behind the death of South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.

EXTRA: Carrie Underwood climbs ‘Sound of Music’ mountain

But not everyone found the new version one of their favorite things, with many viewers taking to social media to snipe over the quality of Underwood’s acting and bemoan a lack of atmosphere and chemistry between some of the key characters.

“Don’t get me wrong. I love me some Carrie Underwood but I am not digging this version,” tweeted TV viewer Heather Whitford.

“Nothing will beat an original, but doing this live on TV is amazing!” countered Lonz on the micro-blogging website.

Underwood, 30, who has become one of America’s biggest county stars since winning “American Idol” in 2005, has scant experience as an actress.

“I just want to say before the craziness starts…I am truly honored to be in #TheSoundofMusicLive. This is an exciting/moving moment,” Underwood tweeted before the broadcast from New York got under way.

Moyer, 44, is best known as the star of HBO’s quirky vampire drama “True Blood.” While not known as a singer, he performed in a musical version of “Chicago” at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this year.

Moyer played the strict widower with seven children who falls in love with aspiring nun Maria, played by Underwood, on the cusp of World War Two.

Veteran Broadway stars Audra McDonald (Mother Abbess), Laura Benanti (Elsa Schrader) and Christian Borle (Max Detweiler) rounded out the cast.

More than a year ago, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron came up with the idea of doing a live version of “The Sound of Music” – whose hit songs “My Favorite Things” and “Edelweiss” have made it a beloved musical for several generations.

They told Reuters earlier that they hoped it would spark a resumption of the tradition of showing live musicals on U.S. television

Latest Stories

in Entertainment

Tracy Morgan settles suit with Walmart over fatal crash

tracymorgan

The "SNL" star sued the retail giant over a semi crash that killed one man and left Morgan and two friends seriously injured.

in Entertainment

LiLo is (finally) finishing her community service

lindsaylohan

The "Mean Girls" star had to log 125 hours before May 28 after a judge rejected her previous effort.

in Music

U2’s longtime road manager dead as band prepares for L.A. shows

U2

The tour manager worked with the band for more than three decades.

in Entertainment

Bob Barker is a boss at retirement

11-overlay6

The former "Price is Right" host and avid animal lover says he is a "complete success" at retirement, and is enjoying his free time.

in Entertainment

Want something sold? Get Liam Neeson to pitch it

liamneeson

The "Taken" star has edged out fellow Irish actor Pierce Brosnan to be named the most effective celebrity pitchman.