With Fox having just announced it will stage a live version of Grease in 2015, we can't help but wonder what lessons the network will take away from the heavily-watched, critically-panned The Sound of Music adaptation NBC put on last December.
Though NBC should be applauded for being the first to give the live musical a go, we can only hope Fox carefully studies what worked and, more importantly, what didn't work in the production.
Below, find our top 4 The Sound of Music Live! mistakes we really hope Grease Live! won't repeat!
1. Don't hire singers who can't act or actors who can't sing.
It's not a good sign when critics label the worst part of a production the lead performer. No one will dispute that Carrie Underwood can sing. But that's only 50% of what the actress playing Maria von Trapp is required to do. Instead of being able to focus on Carrie's gorgeous vocals, everyone was pointing out her wooden, emotionless acting.
And Stephen Moyer, whose acting talent is evident in HBO's True Blood, made some odd choices as Captain von Trapp. He was almost too rough around the edges. Plus, his vocals didn't hold up alongside the likes of Broadway vets Audra McDonald (Mother Abbess) and Christian Borle (Max Detweiler).
2. You may have better luck basing Grease off the 1978 movie, rather than the 1971 musical.
Though The Sound of Music Live! was a stage adaptation, therefore based off of the 1959 musical rather than the Julie Andrews-helmed 1965 film, the producers may have garnered more positive reviews if they had based it off the infinitely more popular Oscar-winning film.
The fact that "My Favorite Things" wasn't sung in Maria's bedroom during a thunderstorm caused outrage on social media. Can you imagine what will happen if they actually let Kenickie sing "Greased Lightnin" instead of Danny?!
3. Make sure the orchestra doesn't overpower the singers.
If you watched The Sound of Music Live!, you know what I mean when I say the orchestra was at times much too loud over the vocalists. Given that the cast was singing along with orchestral pre-recorded tracks instead of a live orchestra, I'm not sure why they couldn't just lower the volume. But take notes, Grease producers. The audience shouldn't have to strain to hear the lyrics.
4. As a precaution, don't let the original stars — of either the musical or movie — anywhere near Twitter during the broadcast.
As we all saw with Kym Karath (who played Gretl in the 1965 film), the original cast of characters will surely have opinions about the production. Kym tweeted during the broadcast, “Mystified & disappointed so far by SOM special. So far only happy with Stephen Moyer (Captain von Trapp). Must admit some scenes are actually painful to watch.” Step away from the keyboard, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John!
Tell us whether you'll tune in for Grease Live! in our new poll!
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