Carrie Underwood Shines in “The Sound of Music: Live”

Carrie Underwood played Maria Von Trapp in the live performance of The Sound of Music.

Carrie Underwood played Maria Von Trapp in the live performance of “The Sound of Music.”

Colleen Rockwell

Carrie Underwood played Maria Von Trapp in the live performance of "The Sound of Music."
Carrie Underwood played Maria Von Trapp in the live performance of “The Sound of Music.”

“The Sound of Music,” a classic musical loved dearly by most, is fondly remembered for the one and only person who can play the part of Maria perfectly: Julie Andrews.  This musical came out in movie form in 1965, and no remake had been made of this popular movie until recently.  American Idol winner and country music sensation Carrie Underwood played the lovely Maria Von Trapp in the live version of “The Sound of Music” on NBC, which aired December 5, 2013.

When Carrie Underwood signed on to play Maria, fans of the original movie were a little skeptical of the country girl playing such a well-known, iconic character because she is not known as an actress.  The creation of a remake sometimes comes with angry protests because some directors make horrible mistakes and the remake is awful, falling significantly below expectations of fans of the original work.  Some people just do not like change; they never have and never will.  Belfast Telegraph asked Julie Andrews her thoughts about Underwood assuming the role and she said to the paper, “I think she’s great.”  If Andrews was fine with Carrie Underwood playing her role, why can’t everyone else be fine with the country superstar playing Maria?

Carrie Underwood did an amazing job as Maria considering that Underwood is not known for her acting chops.  While fans watched their favorite singer, they were surprised that she hid her southern accent very well.  It is no surprise that Underwood nailed all the songs she sang during the live production.  Even though every live production has its flaws, Underwood performed very well.  In “The “Lonely Goatherd” number, Underwood nailed all the yodeling in the song.  The “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” number between Rolf and Liesl was adorable—as is expected from a number about first love.

The acting is where the flaws came in.  Carrie Underwood should stick to her day job, singing to people in sold out arenas.  Her singing made up for the fact that her acting was flat.  Acting involves having emotions come out, but for Underwood, her acting was vacant.  Yes, people can make excuses up and say she is not used to acting  which is fine—not every singer can act, and not every actor can sing.  Underwood and Stephen Moyer (Captain Von Trapp) had no visible chemistry between the two what so ever.  A smarter decision for the casting director would have been to find a male actor who could portray chemistry with Underwood.  Audra McDonald who played Mother Abbess was really good with her powerhouse performance of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Maria,” and “Favorite Things.”  McDonald’s role as head of the singing nuns was warm and authoritative.  The rest of the supporting cast performed well; the Von Trapp children were very good and played the cute little kid factor well.  Also, there were no production malfunctions considering the musical was live.  No one fell, no one forgot their lines, no one had any wardrobe malfunctions.

Overall, NBC’s live version of “The Sound of Music” was pretty good.  Props to NBC for coming up with something new to try–well, old, rather.  Underwood came in as an amatuer and gave her all to the musical.  Hopefully, if she does decide to do more acting in the future, she will go to acting classes and come back stronger than she was in “The Sound of Music,” but she did perform very well and was tremendous while singing her songs.