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I have to be honest here, I originally had no intention of watching this special, but when I found out it would be performed live, as they used to do in decades past, it piqued my curiosity. I also happened to turn on the TV just about the time it started, so decided to check it out.
In no way was I expecting it to compare to the 1965 film. This was obviously supposed to be more akin to the stage production. Having said that, I was far more impressed than I anticipated. The music was fantastic and I loved the live acting quality to it. I only have a couple criticisms.
I understand that Carrie Underwood was probably selected because they wanted to get a name to draw in viewers. Her singing was actually quite good, but her acting was sub-par, especially to the rest of the cast. I understand she is not an actress, so I give her kudos for putting herself on the line.
As for the rest of the cast, I was happy that they decided to use mostly unknown actors, who appeared to be trained for stage productions. It definitely added to the credibility of the show. I thought the kids were all great, except Gretel, who was definitely a star in the film version. This one did not seem especially gifted in acting or singing and even lacked charisma. I wondered if she might be the daughter of a producer or something. That was a shame because its another stand out role that suffered.
I was pretty pleased with everything else. The sets were gorgeous! The transitions were seamless. The music overall was very fun and enjoyable, hearing those great Rogers & Hammerstein songs never gets old! Was also nice that they included some songs that were not in the film version. I definitely don't feel I wasted my evening when there is so much other rubbish on TV. I hope people were open-minded and supportive, so perhaps we'll see another live musical special next year!
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