"'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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Back in the ‘90s I went through a Broadway musical phase. I was new to TWA and still enjoying the novelty of my flight benefits, and I flew to NYC all the time. When I finally stopped, the next show I had planned to see was Rent. Turns out that’s one of Tracy’s favorite shows. I finally saw it a couple of years ago when the original cast was touring and Came to Dallas. Got a little closure there. On my other side sat a teenage girl who was there with her mother. During intermission, the girl turned to me and asked, “Isn’t this the best show ever!?” I didn’t want to dampen her enthusiasm so I said that yes, was, but I’m more of a Hair man myself.

I watch the CW shows on my DVR. I watch my (many) ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC shows on my Roku player, so I plan to watch Rent today. I've never seen it on stage but I enjoyed the movie.

I first saw Jesus Christ Superstar on stage in 1972 in London(UK) when my mother and I made our first visit to where I was born. Her oldest brother had died in 1971, which inspired her to fly on a plane for the first time. It was not the original cast, but was mind-blowing. My mother was more traditionally religious than I but had no problem with it. Whether you are religious or not, I recommend seeing the 1973 movie. It gives an interesting overview of the political reasons why the Romans and their collaborators went after Jesus. Much of it is from Judas’ point of view, fearing they would all be destroyed by the occupying army. I don’t remember how it was handled in the 1972 stage production, but the live production on TV was well-done except for failing to show God’s answer to Jesus’ question “will I be remembered?” The several images of paintings in the movie should have been featured in any stage production. Instead, Jesus doesn’t appear to get an answer. The film is also able to show jarring imagery that would be cost-prohibitive in a stage production. Like I said, the movie should be worth watching for anyone, religious or not.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Back in the ‘90s I went through a Broadway musical phase. I was new to TWA and still enjoying the novelty of my flight benefits, and I flew to NYC all the time. When I finally stopped, the next show I had planned to see was Rent. Turns out that’s one of Tracy’s favorite shows. I finally saw it a couple of years ago when the original cast was touring and Came to Dallas. Got a little closure there. On my other side sat a teenage girl who was there with her mother. During intermission, the girl turned to me and asked, “Isn’t this the best show ever!?” I didn’t want to dampen her enthusiasm so I said that yes, was, but I’m more of a Hair man myself.

You're in luck: NBC's next musical is Hair Live!, to be aired Sunday, May 19.

Casting hasn't been announced yet, but the directors are Diane Paulus, who won a Tony Award for the 2009 revival (Best Revival of a Musical) and Alex Rudzinski, who will serve as live television director.

From TV Line: "Ratings: Rent Tops Sunday, But Trails All TV Musicals That Came Before It"

TV Line wrote:

Here is how TV’s musical events of the past five-plus years have netted out in the Nielsen finals:
Sound of Music Live (NBC, Dec. 2013):                    18.6 mil/4.6
Grease Live (Fox, Jan. 2016):                                   12.2 mil/4.3
The Wiz Live (NBC, Dec. 2015):                               11.5 mil/3.4
Peter Pan Live (NBC, Dec. 2014):                              9.2 mil/2.4
Hairspray Live (NBC, Jan. 2017):                               9.1 mil/2.3
Jesus Christ Superstar Live (NBC, April 2018):         9.6 mil/1.7
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Fox, Oct. 2016):     5 mil/1.7
The Passion (Fox, March 2016):                                6.6 mil/1.6
A Christmas Story Live (Fox, Dec. 2017):                  4.5 mil/1.5
Rent (Fox, Jan. 2019):                                               3.4 mil/1.4 (per fast nationals)

I'm surprised The Sound of Music Live is still at the top of the list, because several of the other ones are better. I guess it's the advantage of being first. 

“You're in luck: NBC's next musical is Hair Live!, to be aired Sunday, May 19.”

Cool! I’ll make a note of it.

“Strangely, these TV plays don't have understudies at the ready.”

According to the coverage I heard on NPR, understudies are never chosen until after the premiere performance, because up until that time changes are often still being made.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

“You're in luck: NBC's next musical is Hair Live!, to be aired Sunday, May 19.”

Cool! I’ll make a note of it.

You're out of luck: "NBC Scraps Hair Live! Musical Event"

Seems the network now wants more "family-friendly" musicals. So why even choose Hair in the first place? 

AW, I'm disappointed! (I marked my caledar and everything.)

To be honest, I was wondering how they were going to handle the infamous "nude scene."

well, thanks for letting me know.

At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Charlie Collier, chairman of entertainment at Fox, says he regrets saying "break a leg" to the cast the day before Rent Live! aired. He also says it would have been a "Herculean investment" to have understudies.

From Deadline Hollywood Daily: "Fox Chief Charlie Collier Defends ‘Rent’ and Ratings: Understudies...

...I've never seen HAIR on stage. Do modern-era professional productions tend to include the nude first-aid finale? I sorta thought that that might tend to be thought of as " a little of its time "!:-) The movie came up with a not-breaking-the-fourth-wall equivalent by showing two characterss, one male and one female, taking off their clothes, showing brief full frontal nudity on both - and jumping into the Central Park Resevoir! ICKKK!

I saw Hair! performed live at the Fox Theater in St. Louis in the 1990s. Yes, they did the nude scene. In the production I saw, they brought a huge unfurled silk parachute on stage. the entire ensemble got beneath it and disobed. Then the parachute was removed and the entire cast stood in place and finished singing the song naked.

The Hollywood Reporter looks at the state of things with live TV musicals: "Network TV's Live Musical Boom Hits Sour Note"

NBC scrapped Hair, in part because the executive who greenlighted it doesn't work there anymore and the new leadership is wary of the returns on these musicals relative to their cost. It's got a remake of Bye, Bye Birdie in limbo, as well as A Few Good Men (although that one wasn't planned to be a musical). Also, ABC has backed off The Little Mermaid.

Although NBC and Fox are retrenching -- and CBS seems uninterested in even trying -- the live musical isn't dead. Being live has a value they want to keep, so long as the right properties can be found. 

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