The Problem of Maria: Deacon Greg Says “Don’t Solve It”

One of my brothers owns a small community theater, and he always dreads it when they schedule The Sound of Music (or, as both he and Christopher Plummer refer to it, The Sound of Mucus). He has a love/hate relationship with the play, which always sells out but makes him long to follow it up with something a little less gooey and sentimental, like Urinetown.

For this reason, and this reason alone, I would never introduce my brother to Deacon Greg Kandra.

Deacon Greg Kandra has made no secret of the fact that he’s been dreading this new production, (and in fairness, that tense, breathless, and belabored performance by Carrie Underwood that he posted portended nothing good), but now he is really not hiding his disdain!:

A lot of us winced when this project was announced. Now it looks like it’s actually going to happen, airing live on December 5.

Emphasis mine. I read that and all I can hear is, “Oh, the humanity!” And I know that’s precisely his feeling on the matter.

In Greg’s world, all the pretty young performers get one message: “go the full Julie, or go home!”

I’m going to tell the world a big secret: Deacon Greg Kandra is a Julie Andrews fanboy, and for him nothing so thrills as her waspy, precise trills. In his eyes, there is only one Postulant Maria; no other performer can ever live up to a single one of Miss Andrews’ do-re-mi’s, and don’t even get him started on her little goatherds. When it comes the problem of Maria, the only solution is Andrews — and more Andrews, forever Andrews — will-o’-the wisping around the Alpine meadow, or clicking her heels like a vagabond, as she bellows on about confidence.

And then there is. . .Mary Poppins:

Photoshopped with the aid of the brilliant and generous Brandon Vogt

For all that he is a Disney fanatic, the Mouse better never consider remaking Mary Poppins, or the good deacon will need meds to cope.

And don’t think he doesn’t still resent Audrey Hepburn for playing Eliza Doolittle in the movie version of My Fair Lady. When Miss Hepburn was later terrorized in Wait Until Dark, Deacon Greg could be heard muttering, “serves her right, Miss Thing and her Marnie-Nixon-dubbing…”

I predict that when the new Sound of Mucus airs, both my brother and Deacon Greg will be instead catching up with The Walking Dead, and imagining flesh-eating zombies munching on whoever it was who thought a remake was necessary.

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  • Michael O’Keefe

    Carrie looks more German than Julie did. And I love Julie. It might be interesting and fun. Or it might be awkward like the Disney re-make of The Music Man which un did the humor of homogeny by doing a self concious multi cultural casting. Then there was the odd re do of ‘Lion in Winter” with Glen Close.

  • DeaconsBench

    I’m weeping here. I have to get a red striped jacket now…Thank you, Lizzie! :-)

  • Billiamo

    If it turns out to be bad, dear Lord, please let it be so-bad-it’s-good!

  • AnneG

    I have a special place in my heart for th Sound of Music even if it is sweet. My daughter and her husband were married in the Kloster Mondsee.
    I can send you a picture.

  • Win Nelson

    Please don’t forget the hat, Deacon Greg. That makes it all work. :)

  • austin fleming

    Just listened to Carrie on Greg’s original post. Can’t believe she takes a breath between “with the sound” and “of music!” Someone get this woman a vocal coach!

  • MeanLizzie

    Yes, her breath control is not impressive. She appears to have no head voice, only chest. But that could describe many modern singers. She sounded like she was going to die at “my heart will be blessed…”

  • Rebecca Duncan

    I like Ewan McGregor doing part of it in Moulin Rouge. :)

  • doughboy

    Just like George Cukor’s 1939 “The Women” should never *never* have been touched. I could not make it past 20 minutes of the remake … shaved off some time in Purgatory, I’m sure. Some things are sacrosanct.

  • KyPerson

    Thank you Deacon Greg! I thought I was the only one who thought that Audrey Hepburn was miscast in My Fair Lady.


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