Friday, December 6

Sound of Music Live!

I had the strangest experience last night watching The Sound of Music Live! on television.

I had actually forgotten about it until my daughter sent me a text from college asking, "are you watching?"  Jumped right on it.  This coming from a girl who played this movie every day when she was a toddler and acted out all the scenes.  I just had to watch.

On the one hand, it was wildly uncomfortable, sorry to say.  I have a lot of respect for these kinds of productions; I understand what goes into them, particularly when they are live.  Holy cow!  But it was just so awkward.  I'm sorry to say that Broadway is made for the stage, not for the small screen.  Acting on a stage just somehow doesn't translate to a television production.  Sorry.

I think the real problem is the The Sound of Music is a "thing" in our culture ... it's my youth to tell you the truth, and evidently the same for my daughter.  So it's very hard to separate from the screen version with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.  Actually we WANT the screen version with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.  And while the singing was fabulous, the story didn't flow the same and many of the songs were different and therefore felt out of place.  I personally didn't want the stage version, I wanted the original version.  I wanted the BRAND!  According to the texts from my daughter, she and her friends wanted that as well.

But there were some wonderful moments.  It's very difficult to replicate or reinvent cultural icons but Audra McDonald singing "Climb Every Mountain" live on stage on tv was a show stopper for sure.  Brought tears to my eyes.  There were a couple of moments like that, although honestly I think it was more nostalgia than anything.

I do applaud the guts and creativity.  I'm all into that.  Reinvention and trying something new is what I am all about.  So Bravo for the effort.  And Carrie Underwood, you can sing girl and sing you shall!  Now available on DVD at Walmart!

A+ for effort, and we'll leave it at that.  Thanks for the memories though.  So long, farwell ...

Now from a marketing perspective, I've gotta give it to DiGiorno's Pizza for their live tweeting.  The pizza brand's little pops about "Dough Ray Me" and "Rolph the Delivery Boy" were so well timed and entertaining, it made the whole event (and the brand) seem super fresh.  Curiously, "Why Isn't Pizza One of Her Favorite Things?"  Gotta give them a round of applause for timliness, creativity, and living in the moment.

Honorable mention to Walmart for some very well-timed and well-executed advertising integrations, themed to the key songs of the show, all throughout the show, with a retail tie-in of the CD/DVD to boot.  Bravo for that too!

What's your experience?  Jim.


  1. The media is saying it was the biggest ratings ever for a Thursday night. Wow. Commentary is saying that many people were watching to see the screw-ups! I have a feeling we'll see more of these things!

  2. NBC just announced that due to this success, there will be another musical next year. jIM.