I’ve listened to the Sound of Music television cast album* once through. Carrie Underwood is inoffensive but is not going to be anyone’s favorite recorded Maria. Ironically, I liked her best in “Something Good,” which is a song I detest.
Audra is the star of the recording for me. Her “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” is pure delight, taking full advantage of her smoky low register and her thrilling top notes. The entire chorus of nuns has a lot of fun with “Maria” too.
Laura Benanti is sort of affecting a snootiness that is appropriate to the character but keeps her songs from being quite as wonderful as they’d be out of context. Christian Borle is fine as Max, but it’s a thankless role. Ditto to Stephen Moyer as the Captain, although because no one is expecting much from him, I suspect he’ll get raves.
The kids are what they are. I don’t think any Sound of Music recording has lived or died on its younger cast.
So, like just about every television soundtrack before it, this disc won’t be essential, but you’ll want to get at least a few tracks for your “Ultimate Sound of Music” playlist.
* It’s a cast album, not a soundtrack, because the cast cut an album which is not being used as the, um, soundtrack for the actual film, since that’s being performed live. The Julie Andrews Cinderella and (sort of**) the Mary Martin/John Raitt Annie Get Your Gun albums fall into the same category.
** The Martin/Raitt Annie Get Your Gun album, while delightful, is even more of an oddity because it only preserves the songs of the leads with an anonymous chorus. I don’t think the arrangements are the same as those used in the broadcast. Regardless, it’s one of the few television soundtracks I would consider essential.
I’m watching Parenthood and just wondering - do none of the spouses (besides Jasmin) have families? Like, none of Joel’s family showed up to the adoption? WTF?
Or maybe you could tell your story differently?
I’d love for you to say more about this.
Because either race & ethnicity matter, or they don’t.
And if they do matter, then telling a story about existing in an insular circle where you only encounter people just like you if a very different story than one that features other perspectives. A large part of the story of Girls is about the naval-gazing insularity of Hannah and her friends (but especially Hannah). The fact that she doesn’t encounter people all that different from her is part of the story. It’s part of what makes her (as Jana put it) “a total asshole,” which is off-putting for some viewers and totally compelling to others.
Emily Nussbaum compared the character to Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, which I think is an apt comparison. (And I have never been able to get into Curb for that reason. I suspect the difference for me might be my relative distance from the characters, i.e. how much I can see myself in each of them.)