December 10, 2013

NBC Planning New Musicals After SOUND Success

NBC got a blockbuster audience of nearly 19 million people to watch the live broadcast of a musical last week. Given those spectacular numbers, they are already planning to do it again next holiday season. There's an article in today's TIMES saying that they've been getting lots of suggestions and have already narrowed it down to a few choices.

Though there was a cacophony of criticism about Carrie Underwood's performance as Maria, I just think it's great they are bringing the musical form back to television. I've always believed there is so much talent in New York theatre that could be presented in this way--hey, it worked pretty well in the 1950s and introduced stars like James Dean and Paul Newman to a national audience. In fact, SOUND OF MUSIC did the exact same thing with Audra McDonald last week.

Mainly known in NYC as an amazing actor/singer/Tony winner, Ms. McDonald is now a national treasure with her showcasing as Mother Superior last Thursday night.  It was a remarkable performance which was easily the highlight of the show and, during one of their songs together, actually made Carrie Underwood even better in her role (as many bloggers and critics have noted). I have seen her many times here in the city, most memorably in one of her first roles in CAROUSEL, and she is a truly incredible talent who deserves more attention on the national stage.