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Elizabeth is a Social Media and Creative Director at The Hudsucker. The Vancouver-based storyteller loves to explore her passions for music, film, literature, fashion, art, travel, and people. She is a human jukebox, an old soul who's young at heart, and a crazy corgi lady. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @ElizabethThe.

Why NBC’s The Sound of Music Live Matters

On December 5th, NBC aired the biggest television event of the holiday season – The Sound of Music Live! This tribute to the beloved stage musical, The Sound of Music, starred Grammy Award-winning recording-artist Carrie Underwood as the iconic Maria and True Blood‘s Stephen Moyer as Captain Von Trapp in the two lead roles, and featured a spectacular supporting cast consisting of Broadway vets Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti, and Christian Borle, and a troupe of young newcomers led by Ariane Rinehart and Michael Campayno.

The multi-talented performers sung and danced their way through classic numbers from the Rodgers & Hammerstein songbook, including “Do-Re-Mi“, “My Favourite Things“, “Sixteen Going On Seventeen“, “So Long, Farewell“, the showstopping “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” (if McDonald’s version doesn’t motivate you to climb up to the highest mountain top, I don’t know what will) and the title track, “The Sound of Music“. Overall, it was a delightful and commendable adaptation of the show that celebrates the love of family and music – and isn’t that exactly what the holidays are about?

Although I enjoyed The Sound of Music Live!, the reactions from fans of the musical were mixed, with many even questioning why NBC even dared to take on the daunting task of “remaking” a musical perfected by the talents and grace of the legendary Julie Andrews in the popular film version. The way I see it, regardless of what you thought of the casting or whether you thought the production was astonishing or atrocious, this revival is the start of something really good and grand for musical lovers across the nation and around the world. Yes, it was an extremely risky venture to translate a musical favourite into television, but the fact that it was a live (and may I stress that again, LIVE!) presentation broadcasted to a primetime audience is a big deal. The last time musical theatre productions were staged and televised live was over fifty years ago, with productions such as CBS’ Cinderella (starring Andrews) in 1957 and NBC’s Peter Pan (with the original Maria Von Trapp, Mary Martin) in 1955. By allowing people to watch a musical spectacle from the comforts of their home, they opened up the world of Broadway and theatre to those who have not seen many live theatre productions, if at all before, as they were meant to be experienced. Personally, I have been incredibly fortunate enough to have seen RENT on Broadway back in 2007, along with local/national productions of other favourite musicals, West Side Story and Grease, but I definitely know how inaccessible live theatre can be. Movie musicals are great, but they don’t offer the same experience you get from seeing the shows on stage.

Mary Martin in “Peter Pan”

I have tremendous respect for this gutsy cast and crew for courageously taking on the challenge of participating in this ambitious project, knowing the onslaught of criticism they would face no matter what, and yet doing so with great sincerity, passion, and devotion. Thanks to The Sound of Music Live!, television has piloted a new way for musical theatre enthusiasts to experience their favourite shows, and I am all for inviting everyone to join in and hear the hills come alive with musicals once more, and moreover…

I hope to see another televised Broadway show in the near future. And with 18.5 million viewers tuning in for The Sound of Music Live? More encores are highly likely!

Image and Video Credit: NBC

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