I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Sound of Music Live - U.K. Edition

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,

I literally found out that the U.K. TV station called ITV was doing a live TV special of The Sound of Music the day before it aired!  So yesterday, I set up my tunnelbear and watched through the ITV player and absolutely loved it!  How is it that England does things better?

Sooo... my initial impression when watching it was of the set design. Obviously that promo image I have illustrating this post, does not do it justice.  It was actually hard sometimes to believe that this was a live production.  The set design and the lighting were beautiful.  It looked very natural at times.  With the economy of sets too, it still seemed believable that we were in different buildings or outside.  They didn't really have a good hillside set-piece though, but then again that would have been very difficult.  It was miles and miles above what the NBC live version of The Sound of Music achieved.

Kara Tointon as Maria, was perfect too.  More subdued than Julie Andrews but Kara had this very winning, charming way about her, that was different to Julie, but almost just as appealing.  And Kara was 100% better in the acting department than Carrie Underwood.  Kara's singing was not as strong, but it was hardly noticeable really because she does have a wonderful voice.  It's just that she didn't really go for those high notes.  I think Kara's Maria was much more down-to-earth and... cute I guess, and it was perfect for the production.

Julian Ovenden played Capt. Von Trapp, and I'm not sure how I missed knowing about him.  He was even in a PBS concert version of Showboat a couple months ago, and I completely missed seeing that on TV.  Devastating.  His voice is so strong - a rich baritone - absolutely loved that.  And his performance reminded me of Stephen Moyer's from the NBC version - he was also a bit more subdued I think than Christopher Plummer, but Plummer did have a unique way of giving force and spark to the Captain.  I still think Julian was fantastic, and I was so happy with his performance.

It's starting to get ridiculous how much I can rave about the cast, because they were so perfect, but I'll just mention Katherine Kelly as Baroness Schrader was gorgeous - just perfectly pitched with a bit of selfishness, wariness over Maria, and pure elegance and charm. Loved her dynamic too with Max.

Overall, the production follows the live stage version, and somehow, it moved pretty fast.  I'm not sure why, but I was surprised by how quickly we got to certain scenes.  I think there were little things cut out here and there, but it still flowed well.  There was more of a darkness to the production too, when it came to the Nazis.  They showed some old, real footage of the Nazis, and Herr Zeller seemed a little more frightening to me in this.  I think it was an interesting approach, and I even liked how they did the song "No Way to Stop It" (which is probably my least favorite song from the musical) because it did feel very disturbing to see the Baroness and Max be so dismissive of what was happening, and the Captain was barely holding on to his temper.

So the emotion of the musical was definitely there, the acting, singing and cinematography (I can say that about a TV show right?) was fantastic - I feel like this production had serious intent to do justice to the story, and not just put on a show, and I so appreciated that.  It was very easy to watch this and forget that it was even live because everything was just quality.  Now I only wish they made a cast recording of this!

Thanks to this tumblr user - ta-dyvchina, here's one of my fave scenes! Although now that I'm watching it back, I wish the Captain had lingered just a little longer in the awkward, tension filled moment at the end. :D


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