How do you solve a casting problem like Maria? Hire Carrie Underwood to play the role!
NBC has cast the country-pop superstar in the part of the nun turned governess turned Nazi-fighting choirmaster in the new version of The Sound of Music they’re planning to air during the 2013 holiday season. Though the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical debuted on Broadway in 1959, it was the 1965 Oscar-winner for Best Picture that truly immortalized Maria von Trapp, played by Julie Andrews. The acting challenge that awaits Underwood is about as daunting as climbing a mountain, especially considering that it’s her first major dramatic role.
The Peacock’s presentation of the musical is intended to be a three-hour live broadcasting event. It’ll be produced by Smash’s Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who are also helming this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Speaking about Underwood’s addition to the cast, Zadan and Meron said in a statement, “It’s a particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch into new territory with this classic musical.” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt also added, “Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn’t be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp. She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist.”
Do you think Underwood is right for the role? And will this leave more of an impression than Brandy‘s 1997 version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella? It’s at least gotta be better than that 2001 made-for-TV remake of South Pacific starring Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jr., right? (Yes, that happened.)
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
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