I’d not realized how conditioned I’d become by mostly consuming highly produced stuff.
I listen to polished recordings, watch movies which cost millions in post-production, and, with some regularity, eat meals that have been developed in test kitchens and are assembled by chefs and served where I can’t see the dirty pans waiting for my post-meal ritual washing.
This morning I am applauding NBC and the cast/crew of a live theater production of The Sound of Music. Perfection? No. Innovative? Yes. Risky? Yes. Even in what I mentally labeled as #FAIL along the way, I am seeing aspects which are commendable.
In a world where reality television is produced, live theater delivered through the medium of pseudo-perfection is a challenge.
My friend Ashely (who is, by the way, a very talented singer and actress and designer in her own right) posted this review on Facebook:
Summation of “The Sound of Music: Live!”
Audra McDonald was flawless. FLAWLESS. Christian Borle was great as Max and hit all his jokes and had great chemistry with Laura Benanti, who was a stunning and beautifully nuanced Elsa. The kids all did great, especially Liesl. Rolf was too old (or at least looked it), but acted and sang great. The sets and set changes were AWESOME and the costumes (with the exception of the wedding dress) were perfect. Carrie Underwood is a VERY talented performer, but musical theatre is just not her thing.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this televised production (and discussing it with my peers) and hope that more Broadway makes it to the big and small screens in the future!
I fully agree that Audra McDonald’s portrayal of the Reverend Mother and the sets/set changes were the highlight of the production. I’d add that Stephen Moyer as Captain Von Trapp grew on me until I mentally added him to my list of reasons why I was still watching instead of sleeping in my very comfortable bed.
The take away for me, though, was not about the production. It was about my responses to it — my snarky, critical eye-rolling at, for example, Carrie Underwood who is not a “great” actress. By the final scenes I found myself letting go of my “standard of produced perfection” and remembering why I love live theater with all its imperfections. It is more like me…and it is more likely to inspire me to be better than something I can never achieve.