• Fri, Dec 6 - 3:39 pm ET

Actors Who Would Have Saved The Sound Of Music Live From Being A Disaster

It’s the day after NBC aired its sad attempt to recreate The Sound of Musicand without a doubt the network’s live performance succeeded in accomplishing two things: 1) Getting every song from The Sound of Music stuck in my head and 2) Convincing me that the casting directors for the 1965 film version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic were criminally underpaid.

I have no idea how much money said casting directors received, i just know that it wasn’t enough. I know that because, thanks to NBC’s far inferior version, it’s clear that with bad casting, this beloved musical becomes a pretty big flop.I mean, if last night’s performance had been put on by some small community theater group, I would have been pretty impressed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. It was put on one of the country’s biggest TV networks.

So why did it feel so amateur? They completely screwed up the casting, that’s why. Which is totally frustrating because the perfect cast could have been theirs, if only NBC had bothered to call and ask me who I thought should play each part.

I know it’s too late to save the show now, but here are the actors NBC should have cast in its Sound of Music remake.

1. Captain Von Trapp: Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman Opening Night of After Midnight November 3 2013 New York City NY

(Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

Rather than choosing Carrie Underwood as the cast’s resident Hollywood star, why not pick a guy like Hugh Jackman whose talent has already earned him respect in both the Hollywood and Broadway circles?

This choice seems like a win-win situation to me. And a pretty obvious one at that. Step up your game, NBC.

2. Maria: Kelli O’Hara

Kelli O Hara Opening Night of Far From Heaven June 2 2013 New York City NY

(Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

Oh Rev. Mother, how do you solve a problem like Maria? I confess, Maria is the role I’ve found hardest to recast. After all, this is a part first made famous by Broadway legend and Rodgers and Hammerstein muse Mary Martin and later immortalized by Julie Andrews. Those are pretty big shoes for anyone to fill.

But come on NBC, Carrie Underwood? Truly, I mean no disrespect; Carrie is undoubtedly a talented singer. However, this role demands a freak-of-nature, classically trained singer, and Carrie Underwood is certainly not that.

Kelli O’Hara may not the household name that Carrie is, but she’s a four-time Tony nominee that most any Broadway fan would recognize. Plus, she’s already conquered one Rodgers and Hammerstein’s role first made famous by Mary Martin (Nellie Forbush in South Pacific), so why not another?

3. Liesl: Lea Michelle

Lea Michele ELLE's Annual Women In Hollywood Event October 22 2013 Los Angeles CA

(Photo: Brian To/WENN)

At 27 years of age, Lea Michele is arguably a bit old to be playing Captain von Trapp’s 16-going-on-17 daughter. But Hollywood loves casting adults to play teenagers, right?

Also, Lea Michele’s voice has pretty much no vibrato. This is something that usually drives me crazy about her singing (Why don’t you have a vibrato, Lea?! All the other cool Broadway kids are doing it!). However, it does cause her voice to sound much younger than her 27 years, so I think she’d be a perfect fit for Liesl.

4. Rolf: Aaron Tveit

Aaron Tveit Good Television Opening Night June 5 2013 New York City NY

(Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

Another obvious choice overlooked. Do NBC executives not read Crushable.com or something? Didn’t I just go over how Aaron Tveit is the most adorably talented guy on the planet?

Sure, he’d be a 30-year-old man playing a 17-going-on-18-year-old boy, but wouldn’t that make him a perfect match for the also too-old-for-her-role Lea Michele? If only NBC had given him a razor and put his boyishly beautiful face on stage, then we could have saved this performance.

5. Baroness Elsa Schraeder: Sutton Foster

Sutton Foster Shrek The Musical October 18 2013 New York City

(Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

Before I start praising Sutton Foster, let me first say that I actually thought Laura Benanti, NBC’s pick for this part, did a perfectly fine job. But since I’m recasting every other part, why not recast hers, too?

Former Bunhead star Sutton Foster is another Hugh Jackman-esque celebrity with Broadway and Hollywood appeal, and she has the perfect voice for the part. Basically, she’s a slightly more-famous and more-talented version of Laura Benanti.

6. Max: Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris Opening Night For Nothing to Hide November 7 2013 New York City

(Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

Let’s start by reviewing some tidbits to keep in mind when casting the part of Max: This confident, money-hungry guy is your show’s comic relief. He’s a bit of an asshole, but in a lovable way.

Gee, doesn’t that sound exactly like Neil Patrick Harris’s How I Met Your Mother character, Barney Stinson? If only NPH could sing… Oh wait, he can. And everyone knows it. So, why didn’t NBC cast him, again?

7. Rev Mother: Keep Audra McDonald. Obviously.

Audra McDonald Opening Night of Little Miss Sunshine November 15 2013 New York City

(Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

In my first draft of this article, I picked Audra McDonald to play all of the roles. ALL OF THE ROLES. But things got a bit messy when I tried to envision The Sound of Music as a one-man show. Thus I’ve sadly arrived at the conclusion that Audra can only play one character.

That one character can be whomever she wants, as far as I’m concerned–Maria, Captain von Trapp, 5-year-old Gretl…you name it, she can have it. Personally, I am partial to her as Rev Mother, if only so that I can hear her sing “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” which I plan to listen to on repeat for the rest of the afternoon.

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