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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

One More Mountain To Climb.

Allow me to be the last one to comment on NBC's production of "The Sound of Music".
Also, allow me to be the last to take a dump on Carrie Underwood.
It's not that I have anything against country music singers.
And it's not that I have anything against country music.
Let me amend that.
I have plenty against country music.
With the exceptions of Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, and the very recently departed Ray Price.
All are, or were, wonderful.
And I have nothing against country music stars appearing in Broadway shows.
Reba McIntyre was terrific in "South Pacific" and ""Annie Get Your Gun".
She has an enormously positive personality.
But I would never think of buying or even listening to any of her albums.
So it's not the genre.
And Carrie Underwood sings like a bird..
And she was totally responsible for this sumptuous production of this really good show to appear in Prime Time, somewhere other than PBS, where young kids were most likely exposed to their first Broadway musical.
This is all a very good thing.
What mitigates it all to some extent is that Carrie Underwood cannot act her way out of a paper bag.
She recites every one of her lines as if she was trying to remember them, or if they were being read off of cue cards.
Her eyes were completely vacuous.
This is a major setback.
Much was made of going back to the original play, restoring all the songs that were cut from the movie.
But even there, accommodations were made to fit Ms. Underwood.
They retained one of the songs from the movie, arguably the worst non-original song, "Something Good", and still dropped one of the  best original songs, "An Ordinary Couple"
I think that decision was made because it was best suited for a more mature woman like Mary Martin.
You know, someone who can act.
There were two directors:  The TV director, calling the shots, and the performance director.
The physical production and shot selection were handled superbly, so no blame can be laid at the TV director's doorstep.
Just about everyone else in the cast was wonderful, but the performance director must be judged by his weakest link.
Or maybe it was political.
He simply didn't want to get into it with Ms, Underwood about how much she stunk.
But all in all, it was a an event worthy of everyone's attention.
It was live.
There was a great supporting cast.
I was particularly taken with Laura Benanti as the Baroness, who eventually loses the Captain to Maria.
Benanti was so appealing and likeable and three-dimensional, and Underwood was such a lox, that I actually developed a rooting interest for Benanti to end up with the Captain.
Unfortunately, that was short-lived.
They made no bones about there being no live audience, even though it was a live event.
They were true to themselves, and did not suffer for it.
Unlike two other Broadway shows that attempted productions in other media, and suffered mightily for their efforts.
More about that next time.


My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays", and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."