"'Cause they taped it on only one day..." - NBC's The Sound of Music

...The NBC-TV remake of Rogers & Hammerstein's THE SOUND OF MUSIC as a " live play " production's airing is about one month in the past now , and I meant to post about it here before that ! But I didn't...

  With 18 million viewers IIRC , it certainly qualified as " a hit " . NBC even repeated it a week-and-a-halfish later .

  I saw it both times:-) .

  It was meant to be a " TV play/live production " in the mode of the PLAYHOUSE 90/BELL TELEPHONE HOURs of yore , NBC claiming " For the first time in fifty years..." . I , myself , on the West Coast of the continguous 48 states of the USA (California) saw it as an immediate taped repeat , anyway , being 3 time zones to the west of the Eastern Time Zone , where it would have indeed shown live ~ along with the Central Time Zone .

  The Mountain Time Zone , especially for such a " holiday special " as this , I am not so sure about . Anyone ?????

  Has it shown outside of the U.S,. yet ~ I know we have Australian and Canadian residents here , others ???

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I haven't seen the stage version, but this article from last month says the Grease Live version will combine elements from both the stage and film versions.


Did anybody else watch Grease! Live

As promised, this version was a blend of the stage version, which I've never seen, and the movie. I've seen the movie in bits and pieces over the years and wasn't bowled over by it. (Partly because I'm not the biggest John Travolta fan.)

But I have to say Fox blew NBC out of the water with Grease! Live. The biggest difference is that it was sheer fun! And they definitely spared no expense in staging this version. They set it across two soundstages and even had a couple of outdoor sets, and let you see from time to time that they were using golf carts to get the actors from one place to another. It had a huge cast of extras and dancers, extended cameos from two actors from the movie, and winning performances by the young actors in the leads.

More than kudos goes to Vanessa Hudgens who performed live only a few hours after her father died of cancer.

Young performers' scandals and antics get more attention than their excellence and professionalism.

We just watched Grease Live on our DVR. It was very well done. I second the kudos to Vanessa Hudgens. Some fun casting was Didi Conn, who played Frenchie in the movie, playing Vi the waitress and interacting with the Frenchie character; also Eve Plumb (Jan of the Brady Bunch) playing Mrs. Murdock, the Auto Shop teacher.

NBC to present its first non-musical live stage production, A Few Good Men:


Just like the others, this TV production is based on the play, not the movie. 

A decade or so ago, CBS did a live TV production of the Cold War thriller Fail-Safe, produced by and starring George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Richard Dreyfus and other A-list stars. 

This is a trend I can get behind. 

There was an active popular theatre into at least the middle of last century, and I've not found it very easy to find out about. (My interest is in quality popular theatre, as opposed to art theatre. I want to read the mystery plays!) Interesting films based on plays that leap to mind include two of Hitchcock's, Rope and Dial ‘M’ for Murder (note that Hitchcock filmed these like plays); two of Capra's, You Can’t Take it With You and Arsenic and Old Lace; And Then There Were None(1) and Witness for the Prosecution, both based on plays by Agatha Christie; and The Odd Couple, Wait Until Dark, The Anniversary, Sleuth, and Deathtrap. His Girl Friday is a version of The Front Page(2) and Thunder on the Hill of Bonaventure(3). Gene Wilder starred in a really good version of Rhinoceros.

Irma la Douce is a rare case of a film version of a stage musical that dropped all the songs. The 1931 version of Dracula was based on a stage version, in which Lugosi had starred. And how could I neglect to mention Devil Girl from Mars?

(1) The René Clair version is in the public domain.

(2) With Hildy Johnson's gender switched. 

(3) I only mention this one because I saw an amateur production of Bonaventure once.

Luke, did you say you want to read the plays or see them?

In the last two years I've seen on stage:

You Can’t Take it With You
Arsenic and Old Lace
And Then There Were None
Wait Until Dark

I don't know how available they are as scripts to read. I believe the theaters have to pay fees to obtain the scripts and perform them.

To read them is all I hope for. I figure there were likely good plays that didn't get made into movies and are forgotten today. They're not terribly likely to be staged, and I shouldn't pretend to be a regular theatregoer.

At booksales one sometimes comes across old collections of plays. I have Dial "M" for Murder in Famous Plays of Today (1953). The publisher did a number of these volumes.

Our high school students did Arsenic and Old Lace a couple of years ago.

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