TV: The Sound of Music Live!

Premiered: December 5, 2013


Starring: Carrie Underwood, Stephen Moyer, Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti, Christian Borle, Jessica Molaskey, Elena Shaddow, Christiane Noll, Ariane Rinehart, Michael Nigro, Ella Watts-Gorman, Sophia Anne Caruso, Grace Rundhaug, Peyton Ella, Michael Campayno, Sean Cullen, Kristine Nielsen, C.J. Wilson, Michael Park, Paula Leggett Chase & John Bolger

The first live musical special in almost 50 years on NBC, The Sound of Music Live! ushered in a new wave of entertainment.

When postulant Maria (Carrie Underwood) leaves the Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, she becomes a governess for the seven children of Captain Von Trapp (Stephen Moyer). As a romance blooms between them, tensions in Austria rise as Nazi Germany tries to take over.

While she uses her impressive vocals, music superstar Underwood doesn’t have the acting chops to match. She tries, but is unsuccessful throughout the show. There’s little chemistry between her and the stiff Moyer.

Supporting actors – and Broadway standouts – Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle all give scene-stealing performances. McDonald will reduce you to tears with her beautiful rendition of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.”

Final say: The hills are alive, even if the performances are not. ★★★☆☆

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