5 Ways NBC Could Have Improved "The Sound of Music"

There is a saying that goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” There’s a similar saying that I just invented that goes “Stop telling people from American Idol that musical theatre is a good idea.”

I would defend Carrie Underwood as one of the most flawless people in existence. She is stunning, incredibly talented, and just looks like she would be very sweet and kind. She has a powerhouse of a voice and can sing circles around most others, but one thing she sorely lacks is acting chops. When they announced the casting decision for NBC’s live recording of the classic musical, The Sound of Music, I couldn’t help but picture Julie Andrews singing “Jesus Take the Wheel.” Pause and imagine that for one second – it will make your day.

Unfortunately, while critics agreed and praised Carrie for her beautiful singing voice, they absolutely ripped her poor acting apart. Even the original Gretl Von Trapp had some not-so-kind opinions to offer after witnessing the sub-par performance.

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Jeeze Gretl, tell us how you really feel.       Photo courtesy of Twitter

For my own sanity, and for the musical theatre nerds of the world, I’ve come up with a few minor adjustments that could have made this production slightly less unbearable.

5. More experienced Broadway actors

Anyone who is at all familiar with Broadway knows that Audra McDonald is practically royalty. The clear choice for Mother Abbess was one of theatre’s finest leading ladies with a voice that could knock you flat off your feet. The You know what? This production should have just stuck to Broadway actors and actresses and called it a day. Laura Benanti and Christian Borle were equally as fabulous in their roles, proving that Broadway training really does make a difference. Straying from trained thespians in favor of more recognizable celebrities (Underwood and Stephen Moyer) may have brought in the ratings, but it also took away from the quality of the show. How do you solve a problem like Maria? You don’t let a girl from Checotah, Oklahoma play an Austrian convent girl.

4. A younger Rolf

What on earth were they thinking when they casted Rolf?! He’s supposed to be a blond haired, blue eyed, teenage boy who for some reason is really jazzed up about joining the Nazi party. Instead, the casting directors scrounged up some tall, dark, and handsome man who looks way too old to play this part. Something about watching him fall in love with Liesl made me more uncomfortable than it should have. “Seventeen going on eighteen” feels a little more like twenty-nine going on creepy.

Image via Facebook/NBC

Image courtesy of Facebook/NBC

3. Stephen Moyer as Vampire Captain Von Trapp

Stephen Moyer is best known as the often-shirtless vampire Bill Compton on HBO’s hit show True Blood. He played a fairly decent Captain Von Trapp, but even he couldn’t breathe enough life into the character itself, which is stiff, unexciting, and has arguably the worst song in the entire show (does anyone even like “Edelweiss”?). Just think of how much cooler the Captain would be if he had fangs and was covered in blood like Vampire Bill! The Von Trapp kids could sing “So Long, Farewell” and then turn into little bats and flutter away into the night instead of just going to bed like boring human children. That’s some next-level musical theatre right there. Plus a vampire musical is totally original and has never been done before. Wait a second...

2. Two words: Julie Andrews

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How epic would it have been if the Maria made a cameo? True, Andrews may have a few too many years under her belt to pass for the beautiful ex-nun turned singing nanny, but she is this musical. It should have been a given that she would at least make a tiny guest appearance. NBC totally dropped the ball on that one. Shame.

1. If the show went a little more like this:

This is actually perfect. I’ve watched it over five times and I’m still laughing. This Saturday Night Live skit is the perfect response to NBC’s The Sound of Music for a number of reasons:

A) SNL is also an NBC show. Kudos to NBC for straight up making fun of itself for it’s slight disaster of a performance.

B) The spoof perfectly captured the absurd sexual tension between Maria and the Captain.

C) Kristen Wiig came back.

D) Wiig’s character of Dooneese is one of the most brilliantly hilarious characters to come out of SNL’s recent seasons. Any time she is featured, the sketch is basically a guaranteed success.

E) KRISTEN WIIG CAME BACK!!

Meme courtesy of Samantha Costanza, Assoc. Culture Editor
Featured Image courtesy of Facebook/NBC

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Samantha Costanza