Monday, December 10, 2012

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

We've known for a while that NBC was doing a one-time live broadcast of The Sound of Music, but now the first casting news is out: Carrie Underwood will star as Maria von Trapp. I've known this for ten days and still haven't decided how I feel about it, though I think I'm cautiously optimistic. I honestly don't know whether she can act, but at least she can sing. A lot will depend on who they cast opposite her, which is quite a puzzle. I've discussed it with a few friends and none of us can come up with any obvious candidates. (If you were the network who already had Matt Bomer in your employ, and you were going to stage a musical, wouldn't you pick one with a major role for him? But I digress.) Scandal's Tony Goldwyn played the Captain at a benefit recently, and . . . I would not object if they went with him. But we'll see.

In general, though, I've seen a lot of outrage about this adaptation, and I just don't share it. That realization sort of surprised me, since The Sound of Music is my favorite movie ever. But the movie is an adaptation of the stage show, and there have been countless productions of that. (And, of course, the show itself was an adaptation of a real person's memoirs.) This NBC version (which, for the record, is being billed as a production of the show, not a remake of the movie) is just another in a long line. It doesn't take anything away from the movie. Julie Andrews will still be there on your DVDs, I promise. So while I think there are a lot of ways that this version could go wrong, I don't think the fact that it's based on the same show as my favorite movie is in itself a negative. I am in favor of more things being like the things I like! So I'm eager to give this Sound of Music a chance.

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