"'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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Right.

Armstrong Tile sponsored TV remakes of this one and also Carousel, Kismet and Kiss Me Kate. You could get the soundtrack LPs for a dollar at their stores, and can still find used copies of these  in thrift stores.

They never had video releases, which is too bad.



Luke Blanchard said:

A TV version of Brigadoon appeared in 1966. Robert Goulet played Tommy and Sally Ann Howes played Fiona. Peter Falk played Jeff.

The part that's unsaid so far is that the networks like to bring in the 18 to 49 demographic in prime time in order to justify the higher cost charged for the advertisement. Ideally, they need a musical that will appeal to all ages. It has to be tough to find one.

Sure. And so far, NBC has found that the really old chestnuts like Peter Pan don't cut it. That's why they put on The Wiz Live!, which was a big hit, and did Hairspray Live! and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert and are planning to do Hair.

...There was a TV Damn Yankees in the 60s.

  Would.Cole Porter"the s ANYTHING GOES be too much of another time?

  BTW, I recall a previous wave of TV musical remakes in more modern times - In the 90s, I remember the same producer/s?? for all of this series doing TV-movie - not live - remakes of Bye Bye Birdie (with Vanessa Williams), The Music Man, others. I mean the same producer did all of these.

A TV version of Annie appeared in 1999. Wikipedia lists four producers. The net tells me it had multiple producers. The late Craig Zadan might be the one you have in mind.

Damn Yankees was done on NBC, 1966 I think, when the real Yankees were terrible, so it had to run on nostalgia. The stars were Lee Remick and Phil Silvers, with Joe Garagiola introducing it. I remember that it was a curious production. Much of the scenery was flat cutouts, much as in a stage production. Yet some action scenes were animated. Very messy.

One of the networks did the Broadway show It's a Bird It's a Plane It's Superman sometime in the 1970s, They shouldn't have bothered. I suspect that a good version could be made out of this if they spent some $ on it. (I got the punctuation correct in that title. Honest, that's how it was.)

...Some months ago, RIVERDALE ran a musical episode ~ revolving around the gang putting on a production of an already-existing musical...the musical based on Stephen King's CARRIE, to be precise...which was " a Notorious/Fabulous Flop Of Broadway " in the 80s - and had a revision produced this millenium that, though not a hit, I guess rescued its reputation.  I presume the Archie gang would have done the 2000s version.

  I only found out about this later...when I found an LP version of a soundtrack LP of the episode on sale at Urban Outfitters, with bonus track and colored vinyl!!!!! I bought it, but haven't been able to play it yet. I presume that there would be a shorter digital download and CD version of the soundtrack LP, as well. Did  anyone here see ~ or hear ~ it?

I found the bits of the Carrie musical interesting, but it was very fragmentary within the Riverdale episode.

Fox announces the cast for the live TV musical of Rent, which includes Vanessa Hudgens from Grease! Live and Powerless.

From Vulture:  "Brandon Victor Dixon, Vanessa Hudgens to Go Ouuuuut Tonight With Live Rent Musical"

The Fox network is broadcasting a live production of the Broadway show Rent tonight. Wikipedia says:

"Rent is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson, loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in Manhattan's East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS."

Tonight's Production

The 2005 Movie

We watched Rent: Live, only to find it was mostly not. One of the leads, Brennin Hunt, broke his right ankle the day before, during the dress rehearsal. 

At the first commercial break, the cast informed us of this and said footage will be used from the Saturday dress rehearsal. Strangely, these TV plays don't have understudies at the ready. Our friend Vanessa Hudgens, who personifies the "show must go on" spirit, informed the audience that the final act was reworked so Hunt could participate live on the air. As it happens, the cast did the whole show Sunday with Hunt in a wheelchair, but the TV audience didn't see it save for the final act.

Just before I watched the show, I read a spate of articles questioning how Rent can be made to be relevant, because it is very much a product of its time. It's gone from being all the rage to being an embarrassment because of its campiness to being cool all over again -- much like Batman the TV series.

I mostly enjoyed it. I've never seen the play, but I have seen the movie, which I am given to understand is a pale approximation of the musical, even if six of the seven original Broadway cast members reprised their roles. This includes our other old friend Jesse L. Martin. At the time Rent the movie was being made, he was on Law & Order, which obligingly wrote him out of the show for a few episodes (by having Detective Green get shot) so he could participate. (Those are the episodes in which Michael Imperioli was partnered with Dennis Farina.)

The critics loved Hudgens, who, as we have come to expect, gave it her all. Brandon Victor Dixon, who almost wiped John Legend off the screen in his role as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar! Live in Concert, gave another rousing performance here.

Martin and the original Broadway cast members appeared at the end of the TV broadcast to sing a reprise of Rent's biggest hit, "Seasons of Love," along with the TV cast. Martin seemed recovered from that back injury that sidelined him on The Flash

Now that I know Hunt performed Sunday night's show in a wheelchair, I wish they had let us see it.

TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture.com says Fox made the wrong call in not showing the Sunday performance in its entirety, and should show it anyway: "Rent: Live Should Have Made TV History. Instead, It Wasn’t Even Live."

Matt Zoller Seitz wrote:

“The producers & cast wanted to do SOMETHING for the 1000+ audience members on the stage tonight,” [director of photodgraphy Dylan] Sanford tweeted. “So, the full cast (Brennin included, in a wheelchair) effectively did a high energy table read with live vocals & the band doing their best to synchronize to the broadcast.” This was 85 percent of their production on Sunday night. The rest was the cast and crew watching dress rehearsal footage of sequences that were impossible to do in the “high energy table read” format.

Doesn’t that sound incredible?

Doesn’t that sound like something you’d talk about for the rest of your life, if it happened on any stage of any scale, from Broadway to your local community college?

You can be damn sure I’d never shut up about it. I’d tell the story so many times that people would seek court injunctions to stop me from telling it again, and I’d still tell it again: the story of the time that a production of Rent was threatened by a lead actor’s broken bone — he literally broke a leg, people! — and the production performed it anyway, as a table read with an orchestra, the whole production adapting to the changed circumstance as best they could.

Do Fox executives really think we didn’t want to see something like that? Do they really think we wouldn’t have made many more allowances for awkwardness and mistakes? Do they really think we would’ve watched a production that had been cobbled together from the ashes of misfortune and served up with a giving and generous spirit, and rejected it?

I sure wouldn’t have.

I bet you wouldn’t have, either. You would’ve marveled at the resourcefulness, the heroism, the sheer nerve of going on with the show after something like that.

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