Time is ticking closer and closer to NBC's live broadcast of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, and Grammy-winning country music star Carrie Underwood is proving that she can hold her own in a musical as well. Underwood makes her debut as Maria von Trapp on the small screen on December 5, and the telecast's award-winning producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, are confident that fans and viewers will be pleasantly surprised by the blond bombshell.
According to an article in the New York Post, Zadan and Meron confirmed that Underwood's signature country "twang" won't be creeping into the Austria-set musical. “She’s one of those people who showed up the first day and knew every line of the script and every note of every song,” Zadan said. “She’s an unbelievably hard worker.” Although Underwood admitted that she “had the furthest to go” of anybody in the cast, the show's tune “The Lonely Goatherd” will make use of a certain vocal technique Underwood is confident about: “I’ve been yodeling my whole life, growing up listening to Kitty Wells and The Carter Family.” The live event will also star Stephen Moyer, Audra McDonald, Christian Borle, Laura Benanti and seven young actors.
Underwood's Christian fan base was a big reason Zadan and Meron were excited to cast the American Idol winner as the iconic Maria. “I think it’s very important, especially in a piece like this, a musical that deals with religion and nuns, that she has that fan base,” Zadan told the Post. “There’s an element in faith-based belief in the show. The spirituality in the show lends itself to Carrie’s core audience.” Underwood admits that she was happy to take on a character who almost became a nun. “Her faith was very important to her and it’s important to me,” she said. Underwood said McDonald and the other nuns are keeping spirits high: “When they sang, I thought, ‘This is what heaven’s going to sound like.’”
The Sound of Music will air December 5 on NBC. Check out the first commercial for the show below!