I know there’s a lot of hate and judging going on for the Sound of Music Live, and while I probably agree with most of it (and find some hilarious), I think it’s important to give a big kudos to everyone involved in the production. It definitely isn’t perfect, but it’s something I’ve wanted to see done in my lifetime. I mean, musical theater was on TV! Live! In prime time! And it was billed as a big event that probably brought people who rarely or even never would go to a theater to sit down and watch it. Sure, it’s no Cathy Rigby Peter Pan (which definitely had its flaws as well), but it’s something. Something that I believe we can grow from.
As a lover of musical theater, I never get to see what I want easily, and sharing the things I love with others is difficult. With something like this, a story that’s shaped my life is being beamed into people’s homes in a fresh, new way that makes them take notice. Even if they don’t love this production, even if I don’t, maybe it will remind people how much they loved the old one, and they’ll watch that again; I know I’m planning to.
Frankly, I hope this show inspires other productions to follow in its footsteps, learning from the lessons this taught us. Musical theater is great for far too many reasons to elaborate here, and I would love it if it were able to come into our lives just a little bit more, even if just in a little way for a little while. It’s a notoriously difficult genre to translate into other mediums like film or television because it’s so perfectly suited to its natural environment. That’s why we have entire buildings dedicated to it! But this was a step, and we can learn from it.
It just makes me excited to think that a story like that, told in a style like that, was deemed worthy to be put on a major network. They decided it was important enough to take the time slots of two to four other shows, popular shows, that people would normally watch on this night. That’s a huge risk for a network to take, especially today. It’s impressive. It gives me hope for my future as an actor and the future of the arts in general.
So I’m happy. I don’t live anywhere near Broadway, and I got to see Christian Borle, Laura Benanti, and Audra McDonald perform live in one of my favorite shows with some talented folks. Thanks to whoever came up with that idea; I hope there are more in the future.