When it comes to remakes of the iconic classics, usually, I’m one of the first to say, “I’m in!” Others take a more rigid approach and stand by their favorite version of the film, which is all well and good. When I discovered that the Brits had produced a live performance of The Sound of Music, of course, I simply had to see this The Sound of Music: Live! (2015) version for myself.
The Sound of Music: Live! (2015) ITV Review
With her head in the clouds, a young novice named Maria (Kara Tointon) is about to take her vows. Or so she thinks. You see, the Mother Abess (Maria Friedman) has other ideas. She believes Maria isn’t yet ready to make this commitment so she sends her out into the world in the hopes she’ll return.
Maria’s task is to work as governess of a widowed military captain’s seven children. Not only does Maria have the task of helping these children break free from rigid rules, she also must convince the rule-keeper, Captain von Trapp (Julian Ovenden) of this.
We all know the timeless story that is The Sound of Music; and love the two people who made the love story what it is today, which is an icon. This is a British version of the story that’s a little bit different than a major motion picture. Not only is it live, it’s also got a much different “feel” to it.
Not unlike NBC’s controversial live version of this story (which I really liked), this production makes the attempt to recreate the story we all love. Given my memory of it, the NBC version does a much better task of capturing the “feeling” of this story. While this interpretation does feature strong, talented leads, it doesn’t have the essence that is The Sound of Music.
Perhaps this is partly due to the children. I didn’t think all of them were cast well, or perhaps it’s more that they seem nervous, and therefore this affects their performance. (Something I sympathize with!) The bond between Maria and the children just doesn’t have the same affection, and it affects the core of the picture. They’re more engaged and “present” in the 2013 NBC telecast. That said, it’s wonderful to see Kara Tointon in something post Mr. Selfridge.
What really caught my attention is the inclusion of Julian Ovenden as leading man; Julian is of course, a familiar face to those of us who loved (and still miss) ITV’s WWII drama, Foyle’s War. Both of them are fantastic individually, and I love the chance to see them in new roles. Katherine Kelly (also from Mr. Selfridge) also co-stars.
If you enjoy this story, then ITV’s live version is worth a watch. The costumes are more authentic than NBC’s, despite it missing some of the “heart” of what makes it so beautiful. As is the case with anything we compare and contrast, there will be pros and cons for both of the comparison participants. That’s my ultimate takeaway with this British version. There are aspects I really like (Kara’s Maria, and Julian’s VonTrapp) in this version, but there’s also a lot I still love about NBC’s (sets, cast, romance).
For those of us who enjoy revisiting this timeless classic in a new way, this live adaptation is a lovely experience.Experience the beloved classic unlike anything you've seen before with ITV's The Sound of Music Live! (2015) Click To Tweet
ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a royal mess in “Disorder + Feedback”!