Carrie Underwood never claimed to be an actress. In fact, she has never pursued acting classes or real training outside of her handful of film and TV roles. Heading into Thursday’s (Dec. 5) live broadcast of “The Sound Of Music,” I approached the production with an open mind. Having a personal connection to the 1965 Julie Andrews-starring film (and having mounted my own production in high school), I knew this 2013 version would be vastly different. I welcomed a new, fresh interpretation on what has become truly iconic material. Separate the lovely Andrews from the true-story script for a moment, and what’ll you find is an inspiring story about overcoming adversity and freedom. Everyone can relate to this.
I applaud Underwood for taking on such a challenging role. She took a risk in her career, and no one can say she makes predictable choices anymore. Not many current superstars would have the guts to do what she did — boldly declaring her worth and upholding three hours of live singing, twirling and yodeling. Instead of finding destructive ways to tear her down, as a culture, we should be supportive in our critiques. We owe her that much, at least.
Vocally, the 30-year-old has never sounded better. Upon listening to the official soundtrack, there were several occasions that I had to stop and remind myself that it was actually Underwood singing. Her hard work is clearly evident. She did everything in her power to strip her powerhouse voice of any hint of twang. Impressive. On “My Favorite Things,” for example, she held her own up against the likes of five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, and during the latter’s emotional “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” the country singer even showed remarkable promise as tears streamed down her face. Sure, she’s not going to win an awards with this performance, but that wasn’t the point. She exposed a new generation with a love of musicals.
What I think we all need to take away from this live experience (considering 18.6 million viewers tuned in) is… 1) people are hungry for more theatre on TV and 2) we all need to take a step back and breath once in a while.
So, what did you guys think of Underwood and “The Sound Of Music Live!”? Did it live up to your expectations? Sound off below!
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