ICYMI: The Magic of Live TV Musicals

This week, we were treated to the second installment of NBC’s annual live musical, featuring a flying Girl (boy), Lost Men, and less offensive Native Americans. If you didn’t watch it, we did for you.

Peter Pan Live! – A LaterBlog

Well folks, it happened. Months of waiting and anticipating and dreading NBC’s live version of Peter Pan culminated in a two hour show last night, and boy did we have a lot of thoughts on it. Like last year’s Sound of Music Live! special, Peter Pan dominated social media last night and we’re still talking about it today. But if you didn’t get a chance to watch with the other millions of folks who tuned in, here’s your opportunity to join in on the conversation with our own recap/liveblog/laterblog of the show (queue up your DVRs or streaming devices or watch on NBC.com if you want to follow along). And if you did watch it, let us know what you thought of a flying Allison Williams and dancing Walken!

Molly: Allison Williams requested that our inner children watch and live tweet this program. I am watching with my 7 and 5 year old nephews and they are already rooting for disaster. You tried, Marnie.

M: Either the audio and video tracks aren’t synchronized or all of this dialogue is lip synced to Ashlee Simpson-level cruddiness.

M: The harmonies on Tender Shepherd are pretty good! The kids are so cute, but the little one seriously looks like Timmy from Passions (who was adorable, so no shade).

Traci: Kelli O’Hara ::emoji with heart eyes:: (she is Broadway royalty, get to know her)

THAT’S A REAL ACTOR DOG, Y’ALL

“I am the master of this house!” – Mr. Darling/ Monsieur Thénardier

T: THAT’S NOT A REAL TINKERBELL, Y’ALL

M: AW is the identical hair twin of Androgynous Gym Girl, my college gym’s resident elliptical hog. A.G.G. had that haircut because it was the most workout-efficient, we theorized. And she only ate foods in bar or shake form because they metabolized better. Again, all conjecture. She just really loved that elliptical. Bitch.

T: Yo, Tink is a little bitch, doe.

M: Okay, Gotta Crow was sort of charming. I probably would have had a weird crush on this Peter Pan when I was 10. Crushed on a LOT of gay musical theater boys, y’all.

T: How do babies just “fall out” of their carriages??? #LostBoysMoreLikeDumbBoys

“Girls are much too clever to fall out of their carriage” BUT WAIT THIS IS SO TRUE

M: My 7-year-old nephew just says that Peter “has more magic than my Elf on the Shelf, even.” Okay, Allison Williams. You win this round.

M: Screw it. I’m Flying is charming as hell.

T: Guys, AW is great. Whatever. I HAVE A LOT OF FEELS ABOUT THAT I’M FLYING SONG GOING INTO NEVERLAND THIS IS AMAZING. But also, stop integrating Shazam into my programs.


 

While we both thought that this year’s production of Peter Pan was pretty much better than last year’s Sound of Music, it’s still worth noting that SoM wasn’t completely horrible. Read on…

‘The Sound of Music Live!’ Live Blog

I’m having a real Jessie Spano moment right now: I’m so excited, but I’m also so scared. Tonight, Carrie Underwood will be starring as Maria in  The Sound of Music Live!, and like life itself, it has the potential to be either so wonderful or so very, very awful.

A Few Ground Rules:

  • We really like musicals, so if you do, too, you’re in a safe place. And if you don’t … well, let me tell you a little story. When I was a kid, and the Bills were in the Super Bowl (you can stop laughing… I’ll wait…) a neighbor brought his friend to our house – a friend who was rooting for the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn’t pretty. The whole thing culminated in my dad standing up and shouting “You’re in MY HOUSE and when you’re in MY HOUSE you do things MY WAY!” So, just be advised that you’re in our (blog) house, and it’s a house that likes a good Rodgers & Hammerstein. Also, that I come from a line of people who throw adult temper tantrums, apparently.
  • You can sing along! We can’t hear you, anyway. But extra points if you say the phrase “sound of music” in the style of Chandler Bing:

0:02 AUDRA. When we were discussing this on email, Traci mentioned how nervous she was that Carrie Underwood would slip up (because we love Carrie Underwood). Basically, we want Audra to take all of the parts – just, really Orphan Black it. In the alternative, Tatiana Maslany’s probably up to the task.

0:03 While we do looove musicals, listening to a bunch of nuns sing church songs wasn’t that (read: any) fun back in Catholic school, and it isn’t fun now. Let’s solve that problem like Maria already.

0:04 WOW. Anyone else really thrown off by Carrie Underwood singing in a musical theater voice? She doesn’t sound bad, it’s just kind of throaty. I just hope throaty doesn’t turn … Kermit-y. Hate when that happens.

0:06 Is Maria a postulate or a French maid? Because with this costume, I’m not so sure…

0:08: All of these “problems” with Maria would just be “adorkable” qualities in modern sitcoms. Manic Pixie Dream Postulate?

0:08: T: “Maria, Maria RRRrrrainer” oh my GOD, could you BE any more from Oklahoma?

0:09 Just so we’re clear, all of these nuns are straight-up describing girl crushes on Maria. It’s Carrie Underwood, so I understand, but I guess it just goes to show that some of those nun rumors were true?

0:11 Nope, the phrase “on my knees all night” never doesn’t sound dirty.

Also, Underwood’s stilted musical theater dialogue delivery reminds me of every bad musical I was ever in. And also kind of that Vanessa Bayer character:

The “Star of Tomorrow”? Anyone?

0:13 Carrie’s kind of bringing it with Favorite Things, though. But just when the blocking starts to feel really high school musical-y, Audra’s here to save the day.

0:18 Sorry for the pause but there was a lot of ACTING going on there. When I was a kid, and really into acting, I remember going to my sister’s high school plays and wondering why everyone said their LINES like THIS! Then I learned that they mostly couldn’t act. That’s what this production is sounding like so far.

However — this part of the movie was always really boring to me, too. I have high hopes and I bet Underwood will have great chemistry with the kids and with Stephen Moyer’s cheekbones.

Commercial Break: If you were wondering, here is Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp:

And HERE is Swiss Miss, of cocoa packaging fame:

It’s just not the same without Julie Andrews’ Dorothy Hammill haircut.

0:28 Let’s hear it for this soundstage! Or whatever they’re filming this on. I’m serious. It’s great now that they’re indoors. Those mountains and trees were a little depressing. It looked like that one Full House episode when they take a donkey up a mountain.

0:29 There were so many pauses in dialog that I thought someone had forgotten a line.

0:31 Freidrich is kind of adorable? The older girls are coiffed like those dead Romanov princesses:

Once upon a December…

0:35 This has always bothered me about Do-Re-Mi. What sort of dumb-dumb would think teaching a kid how to sing with nonsense syllables is really the best way? Brigitta knows what I’m talkin’ about.

0:37 I don’t care what that one bratty girl says, I think the shirtdress is really working for Underwood.

0:37 T: Carrie needs to practice running while singing more. Breath control is real, y’all.

0:38 Whoever was in charge of the outdoor backdrop clearly blew up the image that’s your great-aunt’s screensaver on her PC. Props to the lighting person, though. Maybe we should get him/her out there to do some acting.

0:39 I cannot with this cheery happy family they have in this ad. We’ve already talked about how the Duggars and Quiver-fillers are secretly creepy, remember.

0:43 Sometimes weird things that are just… not right make me want to throw up. I know it sounds odd, but for instance, there’s this one crosswalk where I get off of my bus, and pressing the button does NOTHING to make the light turn faster. There’s this one guy who presses it constantly, for minutes on end, til it turns. It makes me want to vomit. It’s like he’s trying so hard but is doing a terrible job.

Anyway. That’s how I feel about this outdoor set.

0:45 The way I get through Sixteen Going On Seventeen is pretending that the entire song is totally tongue-in-cheek from both characters’ perspectives.

0:46 Where the gazebo at though?

0:48 A teenaged boy wearing short-pants/hosen in a musical is only hot in Spring Awakening

0:49 DO IT ON THE HILL RIGHT THERE ON THE HILL

0:50 No just kidding nobody’s doing anything on the hill because (a) this isn’t Spring Awakening and (b) Liesl just sang an entire song disavowing her sexual agency

0:51 Why is Maria wearing Felicity Merriman’s nightclothes?

0:54 I think they’re about to launch into My Favorite Things and will somebody please explain me why that’s a Christmas song now? Is it because they say presents that ONE TIME? Because I also get presents at birthdays and graduations and stuff but nobody sings me My Favorite Things then.

0:56 Nope. Lonely Goatherd. Underwood is the least wooden I’ve seen her so far! She actually seems really natural here.

0:57 Ahh the little girl’s yodel-voice is the cutest! Gretl? Brigitta? Tiny, looks like Kirsten Larson? Not sorry for the American Girls Collection references.

Commercial Break: I should mention that Traci might be popping in, but she isn’t here tonight because, well first of all it’s 6pm where she is and she’s working, but also she’s seeing Jimmy Fallon tonight because she lives in LA where that can happen. I live in Rochester, where sometimes your car doesn’t start because it’s cold.

1:04 Stephen Moyer why do you always look like you have to poop really badly?

1:06 Anyone else fill in “damn hell ass kings!” anytime somebody says the phrase “live like a king?”

1:07 We’ve talked about bitchy resting face and how sometimes that is just how your face is, and I think that maybe is the thing with Moyer? See?

1:09 Millionaires with dreams make the WORST musical characters. Yeah, I see you, Daddy Warbucks.

1:13 Guys if I tried to wear a curtain dress I’d be wearing naked because I’m too broke for curtains right now.

1:15 Oh, Frau Schrader. You look like a straight-up fraulein with that sassy hair do.

1:16 I FIGURED IT OUT. Moyer is doing Joey Tribbiani’s patented “Smell the fart acting.”

1:24 See, I usually think they just do dance breaks like this in musical theatre when they’re changing the sets or an actor has a costume change. I don’t know why they’re doing it now.

1:26 There are so many whimsical braided hairdos in this movie that I feel like it was filmed inside of a hipster girl’s tumblr.

1:28 Do you think Maria’s friends are ever all “girl, do you have to wear a dirndl EVERY DAMN DAY!”?

1:31 Maria’s mad that she’s getting moved off of the kids’ table? Kids’ table is the best. I get it.

1:32 The little girl who’s not Brigitta or Gretl (…I’m blanking) is giving off some serious young Dakota Fanning vibes.

1:33 I love So Long, Farewell. If any of you have ever studied abroad, you’ve found two things: (1) that kids speaking foreign languages are ADORABLE, and (2)  you know, yourself, probably.

1:35 Related sidenote: my 3-yr-old nephew says goodnight in a bunch of languages, but he always does guten nacht in an angry German scream-voice. It’s precious.

Commercial Break: Did Jewel get her teeth fixed? And isn’t it so weird when you see people outside of their usual context, like your high school teachers at the mall or Jewel in … not 1997?

1:40 T: Hey guys – Traci here! sorry I’ve been absent – I’m still at work and legit avoiding it right now to do this, so I mean, I’m a star employee. I don’t watch True Blood, but just knowing that he’s a vampire and now playing captain von Trapp is disturbing. wait, he’s a vampire right?(M: Clearly neither of us watches True Blood. Also I’ll add a T before Traci’s posts so you guys can like… picture this, or whatever)

1: 43  T: Fun Fact: I’ve seen Carrie in concert 4 times in concert and i cry every time. EVERY TIME. watching her sing Sound of Music is no different. She’s just that good, folks. She’s just that good.

Fun Fact #2: I played an Asian Sister Margaretta in my church’s production of SoM in like 2001 (honestly can’t remember what year it was). Playing an Asian Sister Margaretta is surprisingly the same as playing White Sister Margaretta. I imagine Audra had this same thought.

1:44 Oh Maria, to ask for the Captain’s heart would be wrong but you can totally come on to Liesl? Yeah, I saw. We all saw.

1:47 It’s like Audra’s face is acting double-time to make up for all of the other non-acting in this production

1:48 T: Also, it’s worth nothing that apparently NBC execs decide to cast former actors from their cancelled shows in live TV musicals. RIP Go On.

Commercial Break: T:

Christian Borle was totally channeling Tim Curry’s Rooster from Annie:

Commercial Break throwback commentary: T: AHH I forgot about how can love survive. It’s finally beginning to feel like a true musical with Christian and Laura. Although that sound you hear is a bunch of SoM movie fans switching the channel to the X Factor because they don’t recognize this song. JK… No one’s switching to X Factor.

1:53 T: Re the first Lonely Goatherd: Umm how comfy does that bed look right now? #things27yearoldsstillatworksaywhilewatchingsoundofmusiclive

1:56 So, I just IMDB’d the kids, and one of them is named Peyton Ella. That’s like, clearly a made-up name, right? It sounds like my/every professional adult’s name on Facebook, because you don’t want your boss to find you. Peyton Ella, you can use your last name. Your future bosses probably aren’t watching.

1:57  T: Per the SoM behind the scenes special I watched by accident last week, the girl who plays Liesl is a junior in college studying like art and some foreign language as a minor… Basically not theater. this is how you do it, kids.

M: “Accidentally?” Girl… okay.

1:59 T: I’ve always wondered why these folks have British accents despite the fact they live in Austria. Am I missing something here?

2:00 T: WAIT. Did Carrie just come back (forward?) from the 1960s? Like did she come in from the set of Catch Me if You Can??

M: As reader Christopher just noted, it looks like polyester.

Commercial Break: T: Also, It’s 7:00pm here, which is the time I usually watch #Scandal at work because I’m a freak and like to live tweet and also watch Parenthood at 10pm PST (because I’m insane).. ANYWAYS – I’’m skipping Scandal to watch Carrie’s bad acting/excellent singing. The struggle is real.
M: I KNOW. Shit’s getting real this week. AND I’m manning Twitter. I’m doing this for you, Underwood.

2:06 M: You know, if you lived in a world where you’d never seen Sound of Music, and therefore didn’t just accept it as normal, would it seem really really weird that everyone’s all “La la la, goatherds! Do Re Mi, Curtain Dresses!” AND THEN THE NAZIS COME?!

… and the fine folks behind Sound of Music are just all:

2:10 T: WERK LAURA BENANTI. WERK. She looks perfect!!!

2:11 M: There’s no reason to dislike Frau Schrader EXACTLY, but auf wiedersehen!

2:15 M: Now we’re setting up the mother Abbess and BRIGITTA?

2:16 T: For the record, Something Good is my favorite song from this show. I feel like it’s often overlooked and Carrie does a beautiful job with it. Julie would be proud.

2:16 M: Agreed! It’s so pretty and Carrie sounds great. But why does she look like Alice in Wonderland…? This wig is killing me.

2:17 T: WHOA. WHOA. WAS THERE TONGUE IN THAT KISS?? THIS IS TELEVISION THERE ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE TONGUE. I’M OFFENDED (unless there wasn’t tongue, in which case, kudos for making it look real and uncomfy)

2:19 M: This wedding dress looks like it was made either in a high school home ec class (or whatever fake-sounding thing they call home ec now), or in a 10-minute challenge on Project Runway where they had to use table cloths.

2:25 M: Oh no… when you hear “1938” and “new flag” within a minute, you know shit’s getting bad. By the way, that Nazi was wearing a red geometric-patterned tie that looked like my dad’s work clothes in the early 90s.

2:28 T: Huh. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Nazi on live TV. Refreshing? Nah.


2:29 T:
I’m pretty sure Carrie just broke the 4th wall. This isn’t American Idol.

2:31: M: Oh God. “Love isn’t love until you give it away” sounds like a terrible abstinence-only education slogan. Or, like… maybe the opposite of that? Also, the real adventure begins when you belong to your husband? I’m clearly more of a millennial/ feminist/ curmudgeon than Rodgers & Hammerstein could have possibly envisioned in their audience…

I’m shocked too, Li. I’m shocked too.

2:37 M: SING THE NAZIS AWAY. Why didn’t the allied forces ever think of that?

2:38 T: Oh, so the Nazi stadium is where they’ve been hiding the live audience this entire time!!

2:43 M: Eidelweiss is reminding me that I once read this blog where these American parents were living in like Austria or Germany, and they had to petition the government to name their daughter Eidelweiss. So, I mean, I’m sure your daughter will really appreciate how you stuck it to the man so that you could name her Eidelweiss.

2:43 M: How much did NBC spend on this wig that’s making Underwood look like a live-action, adult version of the Sleeping Beauty cartoon?

2:43 M: Silly Nazis. The von Traps are halfway across the Alps by now.  In their… you know… leiderhosen. I hope they brought warm clothes.

2:55 M: Yep, crouching down behind fountains is always the BEST WAY to hide from Nazis.

2:57 M: When I was in second grade, I thought it would be fun to be a nun because they got to live with all of their  friends. Obviously I just wanted to live in a dorm eventually, and then die alone and unmarried. But anyway, the SoM nuns DO make it look kind of fun.

2:58 There are leaves on the trees and it’s snowing. Although… again, Rochester here. My hair freezes if I go outside at the wrong time.

2:59 The most animated I’ve seen everyone is in the rehearsal footage they showed over the credits. The heck?

3:00 Our friend Tori, via Facebook: “I love Carrie Underwood but that girl is just a single threat.”

Well, that’s all folks. Thanks for tuning in! I will say that as much as we snarked on it, I still do love a good musical. And, say what I will about her acting, Carrie Underwood has a great voice. And, I tended to forget that they were doing the WHOLE THING LIVE , which is impressive.

Will it replace the movie? No, never. But as a weeknight novelty watch, I had fun watching – and blogging. Hope you all liked reading along, too!

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One thought on “ICYMI: The Magic of Live TV Musicals

  1. Pingback: Playlist of the Month: Songs From Musicals We’ve Been In | cookies + sangria

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