the sound of music

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The Sound of Music tribute at the 87th Academy Awards was a much-needed boost of adrenaline in an otherwise boring telecast. Lady Gaga was universally praised for it. Julie Andrews raved about Mother Monster’s rendition of the iconic songs and even gave her a heartwarming hug on stage.

One person who had a massively different take on the performance was Shonda Rhimes. The prolific television producer, responsible for so many OMG moments on ABC Thursday night, slammed the performance. She typically exhibits excellent taste when it comes to selecting songs featured on her shows. Perhaps she stole one too many of Olivia Pope’s gigantic glasses of wine.

“That was not okay. I mean, Idina is there. She is right there. RIGHT THERE. And oh dear God, Julie had to hear that. #Oscars2015.” – Shonda Rhimes via Twitter

When fans disagreed with her sentiment, Rhimes replied, “I probably did miss the point. Everyone else loved it. That’s okay.”

While I love Idina Menzel, I’m glad producers chose Lady Gaga. She slayed it. Gaga’s charming performance was powerfully restrained and included just the right amount theatricality. She stole the show in my opinion. Sometimes her outrageous antics take away focus from how gifted a vocalist she truly is. Relive the most memorable moment at the 2015 Oscars below.

relive Gaga’s magic after the jump


Quelle surprise! On the heels of the staggering success of the ambitious The Sound of Music Live!, NBC hired Smash producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan to executive produce another beloved musical for 2014. As expected, last week’s event heralded in a new holiday tradition. With 18.6 million viewers, the peacock network would’ve been stupid to not stage another production. No word on what musical just yet, but here’s what NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told The New York Times.

“All weekend, people have been calling us and emailing us,” Greenblatt told the Times. “Rights holders of musicals have said, ‘Please do one of our shows.’ We’re excited to try it again.”

Reportedly, the only requirement is that it must be a family-friendly Broadway classic with a slew of familiar songs. I guess that rules out Priscilla! Queen of the Desert, Rent or The Book of Mormon 😉 With recent movie renditions of Hairspray, Mamma Mia and Les Miserables, that also rules them out. I’m betting they do another Julie Andrews classic. Mary Poppins anyone? Or something from the hey day of musicals.

Although the Sound of Music Live! production took over 18 months to orchestrate, all parties involved confidently believe it won’t take nearly as long, having gone through the experience already. The Carrie Underwood starrer cost reportedly $9 million to produce. With a 22-song soundtrack available on iTunes and a DVD/Blu-Ray release next week, I’m sure the network will be raking in the profits for years to come. I also foresee jacked up commercial prices for the next musical.

In other Sound of Music-related news, a cast member from the beloved movie passed away Monday. For those who didn’t believe Underwood killed it with her performance, clearly they were wrong 😉 Obviously, I’m joking, albeit in bad taste.

find out which original cast member passed away after the jump


NBC’s big gamble (reportedly $9 million production) paid off. The live special of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer scored boffo ratings. It was NBC’s best Thursday performance (excluding sports) in the adult demo since the ER finale on April 2, 2009 and best overall viewing since the Frasier finale in 2004. The musical earned a 4.6 adults 18-49 rating, peaking at 19.3 million viewers during the 9pm hour. The NBC offices were definitely alive with the sound of music today for sure.

No doubt, Carrie’s huge fan base tuned in to support Nashville’s favorite daughter. I’m sure a fair amount also checked it out to see how Underwood would handle the iconic role of Maria von Trapp which was immortalized on film by the legendary Julie Andrews. While no one can ever touch Andrews, especially in this role, I thought Carrie handled the musical numbers quite well. Her acting, however, left something to be desired. Not surprisingly, she was quite wooden. With exception to very few outlets, Underwood was raked over the coals. Check out some of the scathing reviews in between the musical numbers below.

On a more positive note, I thought the Von Trapp kids were fantastic. “Do Re Mi” and Liesl’s duet with Rolf on “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” were two of my favorites. Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess was simply divine. Her Broadway roots definitely shined through. Acting opposite her, must’ve been daunting for Underwood. Also props to NBC for pulling this off so masterfully. Given the scope and logistical nightmare, I’m shocked there were no major technical problems. I hope NBC plans to bring another beloved musical to television next year. This is one holiday tradition I can get behind.

watch all the performances and read the reviews after the jump

We’ve only seen Carrie Underwood dressed as Maria Von Trap, but now we finally get to hear snippets of her singing. While no one can ever truly fill Julie Andrews’ fräulein shoes, I think the “Blown Away” singer can pull it off without tarnishing the iconic image and more importantly, not embarrassing herself.

NBC just released a promo featuring the main cast singing. It’s only 30 seconds long so it’s not much, but you get a hint of what’s to come. Underwood sounds fantastic on “My Favorite Things” and on “The Sound of Music.”

While I”m not completely sold on True Blood’s Stephen Moyer taking on Capt. Georg von Trapp, I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt. On the flip side, I predict watching Private Practice’s Audra McDonald (Mother Abbess), Go On’s Laura Benanti (Elsa Schrader) and Smash’s Christian Borle (Max Dettweiler) will be both a visual and aural treat.

The live NBC musical production of The Sound of Music will be a three hour telecast airing Thursday, December 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Check out the promo below.

watch the promo after the jump

Meet Carrie Underwood’s Von Trapp Kids

In: Donovan, TV Shows

We’ve known for well over a year now that Carrie Underwood would be stepping into Julie Andrew’s shoes for NBC’s holiday special, The Sound of Music Live! The other supporting players soon followed. True Blood’s Stephen Moyer stepped in to play Captain Georg Von Trapp, while Laura Benanti as Elsa Schrader, Christian Borle as Max Detweiler, and Audra McDonald as Mother Abbess were announced shortly thereafter. At long last, we find out who the adorable Von Trapp kids are.

Not surprisingly for the most part, the kids are relative unknowns with theater backgrounds. The one with the recognizable credits is Ariane Rinehart who plays 16-going-on-17 Liesl. She’s appeared in Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” music video and will appear in Darren Aronofsky’s biblical epic, Noah. Check out the kids below, along with the first promo NBC released earlier this week. The three-hour The Sound of Music Live! airs on Thursday, December 5 at 8 p.m.

check out the kids and the promo after the jump

As much as I love Carrie Underwood, I think doing a remake of such a classic film is a recipe for disaster. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t check out NBC’s star-studded live production of The Sound of Music airing this December. You never know, it actually might do the original justice. The network teams up with Smash producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron for The Sound of Music Live!.

Joining Underwood in the remake are a handful of Tony award-winning Broadway vets and even a True Blood hunk. Find out who’s playing Captain Van Trapp below, along with a few other key parts. On a side tangent, doesn’t Carrie do a pretty good job of channeling Julie Andrews in the recently-released artwork above?

find out who else is part of the cast after the jump

When NBC announced it was planning on remaking the seminal musical for the small screen, I nearly had a heart attack. One on hand, I was excited to see what the Smash producers would have in store for us. On the other hand, The Sound of Music is truly one of my favorite things and tinkering around with a classic is difficult endeavor. I have faith though that Craig Zadan and Neil Meron won’t let me down. After all, they did work on the film versions of Hairspray and Chicago.

“It isn’t our intention to produce a remake of the movie version of ‘The Sound of Music’ – that would be artistic blasphemy,” Craig Zadan says in a statement. “What we want to do, instead, is to give audiences a completely fresh experience of this great Tony Award-winning stage musical in the form of a classic television event, combined with the spontaneity of a live performance. And all of the actors will be singing live; there will be no lip-synching to pre-recordings.”

As with any great musical, casting is key. If you don’t have the right person playing the lead parts, you’re up sh*t creek without a paddle. Maria Von Trapp is definitely one of the most iconic roles in musical history. Trying to follow in the footsteps of Julie Andrews is a tall order. Let’s face it. Anyone who’s cast in NBC’s remake is going to have a few naysayers. Personally, I love their choice. Find out who it is below.

find out who after the jump

Adele released her sophomore album, 21, in the United States on February 22, 2011. It debuted at No. 1 with 352,000 copies during its first week. Since then, it’s made a permanent home in the Top 10 of the Billboard Top 200. This week it lands at No. 8 on the album chart. Check it out below.

This Week’s Top 10 Of Billboard’s Top 200 Chart

  • 1. 2 Chainz, Based On A T.R.U Story *new*
  • 2. Various, NOW That’s What I Call Music 43
  • 3. Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don’t
  • 4. Insane Clown Posse, Mighty Death Pop *new*
  • 5. Maroon 5, Overexposed
  • 6. Justin Bieber, Believe
  • 7. One Direction, Up All Night
  • 8. Adele, 21
  • 9. Zac Brown Band, Uncaged
  • 10. Yellowcard, Southern Air *new*

As it stands right now, the LP has racked up 78 weeks in the Top 10, putting it in a tie with Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Def Leppard’s Hysteria as the albums spending the most weeks in the Top 10. The trio are tied at No. 3 with the longest runs in the top tier of the Billboard Top 200. Who would’ve ever thought Adele would be in the same sentence as Def Leppard and Jackson. Talk about random threesome. The album is selling well and will most likely break out of the three-way tie next week.

find out how many weeks she needs to catch Bruce & Julie after the jump

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