The Tony-winning trio of Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle has joined the cast of NBC’s upcoming live production of The Sound of Music, starring Carrie Underwood as would-be nun-turned-governess Maria and Stephen Moyer as Captain Von Trapp, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The musical will air on the peacock network on December 5, directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller and Tony winner Rob Ashford.
McDonald will play Mother Abbess, with Benanti as the Captain's arch fiancee Elsa Schrader and Borle as her droll producer pal Max Dettweiler. (Benanti will undoubtedly serve as a backstage cheerleader for Underwood, since she played Maria on Broadway opposite Richard Chamberlain in 1998!) The three-hour musical telecast will be presented by Smash and Broadway producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Additional casting will be announced soon.
McDonald last appeared on Broadway in 2012 in Porgy and Bess, winning her fifth Tony Award. Benanti recently came off a starring role on NBC's now-cancelled sitcom Go On; the Gypsy Tony winner will appear at 54 Below this September in support of her newly released CD In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention. Borle, who won a Tony for last year's hit Peter and the Starcatcher, most recently starred in Zadan and Meron's Broadway dramedy Smash, also on NBC.