NBC has solved its Maria problem, and now the network is releasing a first look at Carrie Underwood in the iconic role of of Maria Von Trapp courtesy of a new promotional poster for its The Sound of Music special. In it, the American Idol alum, wearing a corseted dress and her hair in milkmaid-style braids, strikes a pose reminiscent of Julie Andrews.
The television special, which will also star Stephen Moyer as Captain Georg Von Trapp, will not be based on the 1965 film, but rather the 1959 stage play. It’s an important distinction to for Underwood, as it will probably afford her the greatest opportunity to break out of Andrews’ shadow. Comparisons between the two are inevitable, but the poster does Underwood no favors by being both heavily photoshopped and a direct allusion to the iconic film. Here’s hoping that despite this, Underwood will indeed be able to make Maria “come alive again”, as the ad promises.
In addition to releasing the poster, NBC also announced three new cast members – all of them Tony Award winners – who will take part in the special. Smash star Christian Borle will play the role of Max Detweiler, while Audra McDonald, formerly of Private Practice, will play Mother Abbess. Finally, Laura Benanti will take on the part of Elsa Schrader, Captain Von Trapp’s former fianceé. The live television production of The Sound of Music will air on December 5.
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