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GRAMMY-WINNING SUPERSTAR CARRIE UNDERWOOD TO STAR AS MARIA VON TRAPP IN NBC’S LIVE BROADCAST OF ‘THE SOUND OF MUSIC,’ BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MUSICAL

Five-time Grammy winner Carrie Underwood will star in the coveted role of Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of “The Sound of Music,” based on the original Broadway musical, it was announced today by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. The live telecast of “The Sound of Music” will be a three-hour event on a date to be announced near the holidays in 2013.

NBC is partnering with the acclaimed "Smash" producing team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (film versions of the Oscar-winning "Chicago" and "Hairspray") for “The Sound of Music.” The pair also is producing the upcoming “85th Annual Academy Awards.”

“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,” said Greenblatt. “She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist.”

"We're thrilled to be presenting the Broadway version of ‘The Sound of Music’ live,” said Zadan and Meron, “and having Carrie Underwood as the star brings it to a new generation who will fall in love with it for the first time as many millions of people already have. It's a particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch into new territory with this classic musical."

"To have a star like Carrie Underwood perform Maria in ‘The Sound of Music’ – and in such a very special and unique production -- is exciting beyond words,” said Ted Chapin, President, Rodgers & Hammerstein. “Part of the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein is how their work has adapted itself to so many different incarnations, and I am certain the fresh spirit Underwood brings to her own songs will transition into exciting versions of the classic songs we all know and love.”

"The Sound of Music," set in pre-WWII Austria, is based on the romantic true story of Maria von Trapp, an aspiring nun who leaves the abbey to become a governess for the widower Captain von Trapp's seven children and finds herself falling in love with her employer and questioning her religious calling. It premiered on Broadway in 1959, where it broke box-office records and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The 1965 film version won the Best Picture Oscar. Today it is an evergreen classic -- as popular in opera houses and outdoor amphitheaters as it is in high school auditoriums. "The Sound of Music" features a libretto by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse and a score by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) that includes "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," "Edelweiss," and "So Long, Farewell."

With more than 15 million albums sold worldwide, 16 #1 singles (seven of which were co-written by
Underwood) and five Grammys, Underwood is fueled by a restless creative spirit as she released her most ambitious project yet in her current platinum-selling album “Blown Away.”

She’s won a vast array of awards, including three female vocalist awards from both the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM). In 2010, when Underwood garnered her second win as ACM Entertainer of the Year, she became the first female artist in history to win the award twice. Underwood also received the ACM Triple Crown Award, thanks to her past wins for the categories of Entertainer of the Year, Top Female Vocalist and Top New Female Vocalist. Underwood also has won seven American Music Awards, six People’s Choice Awards, nine CMT Music Awards, nine American Country Awards, and is a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song for “There’s a Place for Us” from “Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” which she both recorded and co-wrote. She became America’s sweetheart in 2005 when she won the fourth season of “American Idol,” a vehicle that transformed her from a shy Oklahoma girl with a great voice to a budding superstar.

Underwood’s 2005 debut, “Some Hearts,” topped Billboard’s Country Albums chart for 27 weeks, has
sold over seven million copies, and was voted #1 Country Album of the Decade by Billboard. Her 2007 sophomore album, “Carnival Ride,” 2009’s “Play On,” and her current album, “Blown Away,” debuted atop the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. Over the course of four albums, she’s saturated country radio with such #1 hits as “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Before He Cheats,” “So Small,” “Last Name,” “Cowboy Casanova,” “Good Girl” and “Blown Away.” Underwood is currently headlining “The Blown Away Tour,” performing internationally and in arenas across the U.S. and Canada well into 2013. She was the top-selling country female touring artist of 2008 and 2010, as her headline arena tours have played over 100 shows and to over one million fans each year.

Underwood expanded her resume making her film-acting debut in the 2011 feature “Soul Surfer,” following a guest TV role on “How I Met Your Mother.” She starred in her own holiday variety TV special in 2009, and has co-hosted the CMA Awards for the past five years.

Underwood is managed by XIX Entertainment and repped by CAA.

Comments

When I consider all the young stars available to perform in a live version of “Sound of Music”, I can’t think of anyone better.
I was in college when the original movie hit the local theaters (showing my age). After all the awards and long playing success stories you hear from pundits today, you’ll find it hard to believe when I say that it was originally predicted to fail. Many of the knowledgeable film and theater critics, back in the “Dark Ages”, considered the choice of Julie Andrews as a mistake, her only real success had been the Disney production “Mary Poppins” the year before after an uneventful appearance as Cinderella (B&W version) a few years earlier. And then you have to remember that Christopher Plumber was only a “TV” actor that was not known for his singing (rumor had it at the time that his singing was dubbed). All the critics professed that a “TV” actor was not a real actor and could never live up to the standards of the “Big Screen” or the “Live Stage”. Oh yes, and who could possibly match the stellar performance of original stage cast of Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel (who)??
Every time I listen to the 2009 Biography Channel Special on you, Carrie, (especially the last 90 seconds) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o05jKkifPVc I know that God has greater plans for you. What happens here may give us an ideal not only of the breath of your versatility but the next step of your journey

Congratulations dear Carrie. I am so happy for you. What a wonderful acknowledgement of your talent and stardom. I truly believe that your star will continue to rise to new heights in the coming years. When American sees you portray Mari von Trapp your vocal and blossoming acting abilities will garner you so many new fans it will be incredible. Everyone I know whose a fan of yours is so excited for you. We all know how wonderful you're going to be. My only wish now is to somehow be able to see you live as The Sound of Music is gifted to a whole new generation. We love Carrie. Smiling

My favorite musical ever! When I was a little girl I just wanted to be Julie Andrews, shes amazing. I've never seen the Broadway show like what Carrie is going to be performing, but I know Carrie's live performances... always perfect! So proud and thrilled for Carrie, a once in a lifetime opportunity for her, may it help her brand and popularity grow!

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