Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Hills Are Alive...with the Sound of Bitching

If you didn't watch it, shut up. If you did watch it, shut up. There has been such a negative response to poor Carrie Underwood's attempt at interpreting Julie Andrews' impeccable Maria in The Sound of Music that I feel the need (okay egotistical desire) to weigh in (no poundage jokes people) on the subject.
Yes, I watched it. Yes it was uneven and awkward at times. And yes, I read the vitriol of certain, sometimes envious (& usually anonymous) actors, on the web griping about it. Pretty much no one could reproduce Andrews' classic performance in the film  or anywhere else. But the role requires clear soaring vocals that nail the vocalises in this story. But hey, Carrie never said she was better than Andrews, Carrie (as far as I know) never said she was better than anyone else and she never claimed to be an actress or a dancer. For those who complain that that was the problem, I doubt Katy Perry or even Madonna (who went to GREAT trouble to secure the Evita film role) let alone any other pop princess could have handled them, good vocalists that they are.
Actors who are eating their sour grapes should be gracious enough to realize that hitting your marks while singing your ass off isn't the same as singing/doing The Hokey Pokey even when you ARE trained to do so. I think those actors (the aforementioned "anonymous" ones) who complained owe an apology to someone who was freakin' brave enough to take it on--namely Carrie. She gave it her best shot and personally I think perhaps the direction might have been a little shaky or perhaps awkwardness inducing at the least.
If you want to complain, you might point out the Captain's housekeeper (checked IMDB couldn't find her credit) who spoke to Maria with an odd, hesitating response to questions and then repeated the lines in the same way. 
I'd have probably re-cast Audra McDonald as the Mother Abbess only because her vocals took the songs to operatic levels, a lovely ability but a bit out of orbit for a Broadway type performance.
When I read those "anonymous" actors whining I wanted to scream out "Hey, get an agent if you're so damned talented and professional, THEN you might have enough standing to criticize someone else!" (It's always the cowardly "anonymous" ones who complain the most bitterly and loudly.)
Now I realize that any creative careers for lack of a better term this late at night, are to say the least FRUSTRATING. Not to mention COMPETITIVE. But that's the nature of these beasts and I might be naive in thinking we can dredge up some type of graciousness but I still think Carrie Underwood deserves an E for effort. Like I said, live performance is hard even if you've been classically trained since you could gurgle out "mama" as a ten-month-old.
Everybody step back and think about your scariest live performance (or imagine one if you don't actually sing/act/dance) and give Miss Underwood a little credit. 

The Egypsy Has Spoken.