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Carrie's mountain to climb

NBC's live telecast of "The Sound of Music" with Carrie Underwood caught many at the right time because we were iced in and it was good family television.

Underwood has been criticized  heavily by some for her performance and she deflected that nicely by saying she would pray for the haters.

Granted, Underwood's acting ability (no real experience) doesn't measure up to her singing, which is on a high level. But I thought the production was outstanding given it was a stage play done live, which is difficult to do and you don't see much anymore.

That said, some things need to be understood:

Underwood is no Julie Andrews, the iconic Maria Von Trapp and and she didn't try to be. Andrews is the gold standard, no question, but several others (including Mrs. Brady Florence Henderson and Mary Martin) have performed the role well on stage. I admire Underwood's courage for taking on a role that would automatically generate criticism.

It was a stage play, with entirely different logistics and situations from the movie. It was a live stage play at that (can't do takes to get it perfect).

Underwood showed a lot of courage by taking on the role in the enormous shadow of such a musical Mount Rushmore actress (Andrews) in the role that defined her for generations.

There is no way you can translate the set of the stage production to the grand Austrian outdoor wonderland in the Alps. It's like comparing a painting of the Grand Canyon to the real thing.

A stage play and a movie are not apples and apples. Some scenes and the songs are different. The dynamics are different.

My wife and I have seen "Sound of Music" a couple of times at Murry's Dinner Playhouse. That, too, couldn't have the scale or scope of the movie but it was very enjoyable and entertaining.

It's a matter of perspective. It's actually nice to enjoy things for what they are.


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