Carrie Underwood is going to tell you about a few of her favorite things on Thursday night (December 5), whether you want her to or not, so it’s best to be prepared. NBC airs “The Sound of Music Live!” is set to air a telecast based on the classic musical, starring “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer of “True Blood” fame.
Even if you’re just looking forward to Underwood donning the pinafore-style frock that Julie Andrews made famous in the 1965 film version of the musical, the impact of this one is going to be pretty much unavoidable. After all, nothing says “holiday spirit” like nuns in training bopping around the Alps, right?
So before you warm up for the inevitable Rodgers and Hammerstein sing-along at 8 p.m. ET, we’ve got everything you need to know about “The Sound of Music Live!”
There Will Be Curtains
All seven von Trapp children — and their curtain outfits, naturally — will be present. They are played by Ariane Rinehart (Liesl), Michael Nigro (Fredrich), Ella Watts-Gorman (Louisa), Joe West (Kurt), Sophia Caruso (Brigitta), Grace Rundhaug (Marta) and Peyton Ella (Gretl).
The cast supporting Underwood, Moyer and the adorable flock of youngins includes the talents of Laura Benanti (Elsa Schrader), Audra McDonald (Mother Abbess) and Christian Borle (Max Detweiler).
The Soundtrack Is Already Available
Need a little time to acclimate yourself to the idea of Underwood as Maria? Lucky for you, NBC has already released the music, and it’s streaming on Spotify. We’re not saying the rebooted “Do Re Mi” is the next “Before He Cheats” or anything, but we’re not not saying that, either.
NBC Spared No Expense
Hear that sound? It’s the sound of dollar bills. This isn’t a grade-school production: NBC reportedly spent in the ballpark of $9 million to really make those hills come alive.
The Production Is Andrews-Approved
About the big Julie Andrews issue: Mary Poppins is totally cool with the musical getting new blood. “Fifty years later, it’s time somebody had another crack at it,” Andrews told Zap2It of the production. “I had the best time of my life doing it, and it did wonderful things for me. I think it’s great that it’s being done again, but doing it live must be so daunting for Carrie.”
Purists, You’ll Get Your Chance
Never mind the fact that the Underwood production is faithful to the original Broadway stage production, when most people think of “The Sound of Music,” it’s Andrews’ version that comes to mind. ABC will still have its annual holiday airing of the classic movie on December 22. And if Underwood’s version is your bag, you’re in luck too: NBC will reportedly air at least one encore of the live version before Christmas Day.
It’ll Be Different From the Very Beginning
While the classic film opens in the daytime, the original lyrics for the opening number written by Rodgers & Hammerstein actually reference the nighttime. So from the moment Underwood opens her mouth, it’ll be a whole different experience. Additionally, “My Favorite Things” will be sung by Maria, and Mother Abbess and Maria will sing “The Lonely Goatherd” to the children in her bedroom, among other changes.
Producer Neil Meron told CultureMap Houston that the changes were deliberate. “We’d never want to remake the movie. The movie’s perfect.”
Music director David Chase agreed, adding, “I’m sure people will say, ‘That’s not what they did in the movie.’ Hopefully, they’ll say, ‘That’s not what they did — but that’s cool.’ ”
New School Goes Old School
Though the live telecast of a musical is a bold gamble not often attempted, the production is decidedly old school. “We’ve timed everything — costume and set changes — around commercials,” Chase told CultureMap. “They did it in much the same way back in the ’50s.”
The curtain doesn’t rise for a few more hours, but we’ll be waiting eagerly. Until then, we say so long, farewell …