A thousand years ago when my children were growing up, their grandparents spoiled them by letting them stay up as late as they wanted when they went to visit their home in Southern California.
And when they stayed up late it was usually to watch ‘The Kids’….my children’s name for “The Sound of Music.” (Well, wouldn’t you call it that? After all, a captain with seven children…).
When Grandma and Grandpa sold their home and began to travel in their motorhome, they equipped it with a TV and a VCR to watch movies on VHS (you can Google it). They’d park in front of our house in Fresno for a two week visit and invite my son and daughter to come watch a movie. Out the back door, across the lawn and into Grandma and Grandpa’s trailer….and their own private movie land. There was ‘The Sound of Music’ in all its glory–they never tired of watching it.
I was enraptured with ‘The Sound of Music’ from the first time I saw the film. I drove my siblings crazy singing along with the movie (as the oldest of 5 children, I felt like a governess myself sometimes.) That love of song and dance on stage and in films is something I passed on to my children and now it’s been passed on to my grandchildren. Apparently, they waited in great anticipation of last week’s history-making television event, complete with costume-making of their own.
We all enjoyed it thoroughly, my daughter and daughter-in-law and I all chatting via Facebook during the commercials. (Then I HAD to stop so I could focus. People were singing, for Heaven’s sake….I couldn’t be distracted.)
Although I didn’t weigh in with the 4, 7 and 11 year olds, among the grown-ups in our family, I don’t think anyone was disappointed. I cried when Audra MacDonald (also from Fresno) sang ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’. How could you not? I smiled out loud when they children sang ‘So Long, Farewell’ at their father’s party. The nuns sounded heavenly, Uncle Max was a delight….I could go on and on.
I knew the scenes weren’t ‘real’, changed with lowering or raising of a backdrop–from Abbey to mountains and back again–no matter. The magic was still there, if you were looking for it.
Did I expect it to be like the original? Absolutely not–there is only one Julie Andrews.
But this wasn’t an attempt to copy or recreate anything–it was a fresh, new joyous experiment in television, and I think it worked. Say what you will about Carrie Underwood’s acting chops, the girl can SING. And, more importantly, she is the definition of brave–musical numbers in high heels up and down stairs (twice) with small children and well, high heels.
LIVE. In front of 18 million people.
Talk about being out of breath.
Talk about the pressure to be amazing.
Talk about the pressure to measure up.
Apparently Carrie Underwood didn’t care about any of that. I can only guess she tackled this once in a lifetime adventure because it looked like loads of fun and might just be what America needed–wholesome singing, dancing TV fare for the whole family.
And why not?
There were doubters and critics (whom she said ‘would be in her prayers‘) but I’m guessing her priorities are elsewhere–maybe to just use her gifts to bless other people and make Jesus look good? Without caring what anyone thought?
Just for the joy of it?
Gosh, I’d like to be like that–sold out to joy to make Jesus look good.