Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times deemed that Underwood seemed to be “sleepwalking” through her part, meaning that all of the weight of the performance had to fall on Laura Benanti, who played Elsa Schrader.
Underwood tweeted a message of gratitude after the performance: Glory to God tonight...I couldn't be more proud. What a tough thing to pull off and we did it! I am so blessed!!!
Glory to God tonight...I couldn't be more proud. What a tough thing to pull off and we did it! I am so blessed!!!— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) December 6, 2013
People’s Tom Gliatto aimed more at the production design than any of the performances specifically, saying: “Neither performer was helped by the fact that the production stuck to the original Broadway show, which premiered more than half a century ago. It was full of business that might be delightful or even exciting on a stage - nuns gliding about while singing their alleluias, characters racing up and down grand, sweeping staircases - but on a wide-screen television it tended to look like just that, lots and lots of stage business.”
In the end, there was clearly room for improvement in NBC’s The Sound of Music. However, if the goal was a nice, uplifting holiday watch, the adaptation clearly served that purpose for lots of Americans.
The hills could have been a bit more alive, as far as some critics were concerned.
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