NBC Will Air ‘The Seem of Music’ Reside on Dec. 5

December 5th, 2013

Weeks ahead of “The Audio of Music” goes live for one evening only on NBC, the actors had been fretting about some scenes more than others.

Carrie Underwood, who stars as the transformative governess, Maria, was nervous about pulling off her prolonged, spin-weighty dance scene with Stephen Moyer’s Captain von Trapp. Christian Borle, who will perform the captain’s buddy Max Detweiler, was banking ad-libs, he mentioned, in situation he breaks his nose for the duration of 1 scene that involves a blindfolded tumble into a fountain.

But for the folks charged with making the high-wire spectacle, which will be broadcast on Thursday night, the concerns have been fairly broader. “I have 3 several hours to screw up,” stated Beth McCarthy-Miller, who will direct the telecast. “Mikes could go out, tunes cues could not come about, cameras could go down — there are so several things that could go improper.”

She additional, deadpan: “Thank you for bringing it up.”

Conceived by the producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, veteran interpreters of Broadway for television and motion pictures, this new “Sound of Music” seeks to reprise not the hallowed 1965 Julie Andrews film but the first Rodgers and Hammerstein display, which opened on Broadway in 1959 and won the Tony for best musical.

Most of the chatter about the manufacturing has surrounded the casting of Ms. Underwood, the country tunes celebrity — an unforeseen selection that truly makes sense for numerous inventive and professional causes. “I was acquiring hate-tweets like, ‘I cannot feel you’re performing this,’ ” she mentioned.

But the massive shock is that at a time when standard wisdom holds that any live singing or dancing contest gets decent scores, at least to begin with, somebody is attempting to make a lavish two-hour-additionally musical, with a number of sets and non-Broadway actors in higher-profile roles, stay for presumably thousands and thousands of viewers. (People on the West Coast will observe a delayed airing.)

The man or woman most dependable for creating sure every little thing arrives off gracefully is Ms. McCarthy-Miller, who is exceptional amid television directors in that she is a stay specialist. Soon after breaking in at MTV directing “Unplugged” and particular events, some reside and some not, she was at the helm of “Saturday Night Live” for eleven several years and, more lately, two stay broadcasts of “30 Rock.”

“The Seem of Songs,” staged by Ms. McCarthy-Miller’s co-director, Rob Ashford, is “kind of a distinctive beast,” she mentioned. Unlike, say, “30 Rock,” there is no proven template, but as opposed to a Online video Tunes Awards telecast, there is a narrative movement that need to be conveyed along with the singing and dancing.

“It’s type of interesting,” Ms. McCarthy-Miller stated. “It’s like ‘Kraft Theater Provides.’ ”

Certainly, the undertaking harks again to the fifties, when related productions of “Peter Pan” and “Cinderella” ended up early television landmarks.

The motivations are extensively modern day, nevertheless, as broadcasters find new techniques to mitigate the ratings attrition introduced on by delayed DVR viewing. Celebration applications like athletics contests and award shows, and truth competitions like NBC’s possess “The Voice,” are amid the couple of offerings that both reliably attract viewers throughout the broadcast and produce genuine-time buzz by means of social media. Although earlier juggernauts like the “American Idol” results displays have fallen off in current a long time, programmers are even now “looking for approaches to provide the viewers in that will observe factors dwell,” explained Jennifer Salke, president of leisure for NBC.

In addition, television’s renewed curiosity in musicals, though possibly not as intense as in the peak “Glee” days, is nonetheless clear. (See, for example, the musical edition of USA’s “Psych” scheduled for Dec. fifteen.)

By reinterpreting the Broadway staging of the von Trapp saga, the producers (whose credits include “Cinderella” and “Annie” for television, “Chicago” for movie) say they can trade on the warm emotions people have for the film with out possessing to contend with it. In wide strokes, the two are similar — an Austrian nun-turned-governess redeems and then joins a household, sings, flees from Nazis — but devotees will notice variances. For case in point, “My Favorite Issues,” sung by Maria in the movie to calm the kids throughout a thunderstorm, is in the phase display a duet between the character and the Mother Abbess, portrayed by Audra McDonald. (The forged also consists of the actress and singer Laura Benanti as the Baroness and dancers borrowed from current Broadway displays such as “Spider-Gentleman: Turn Off the Dark” and “Motown: The Musical.”)

Mr. Ashford, who labored with the producers on the modern Broadway revival of “How to Realize success in Business With out Genuinely Trying” and this year’s Oscars telecast, oversaw the rehearsals in TriBeCa and geared up the actors as he would for a straightforward stage musical. The performers will sing dwell to a recorded rating and do so for no one particular but the crew — there will be no viewers.

“You finish a amount and nobody’s clapping,” stated Mr. Borle, a theater veteran who permitted that acquiring employed to the silence was tough. On Broadway, it implies “I am failing,” he mentioned.

In Ms. Underwood the producers have a telegenic performer with multiplatinum pipes who provides lots of encounter singing reside on excursions, awards demonstrates and tv — her crack came in 2005 when she gained “American Idol” — as effectively as a “great crossover audience,” Ms. Salke explained. (Ms. McCarthy-Miller extra that her own time at MTV taught her that region artists are the least difficult musicians to operate with.)

This post has been revised to replicate the following correction:

Correction: December four, 2013

An previously model of this article misstated the role of the 1957 stay CBS creation of “Cinderella” in the heritage of tv. There have been other dwell Television versions of musicals following “Cinderella” — it was not the very last a single.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.