New York Daily News - Joe Dziemianowicz
December 5, 2013

How do you watch a show about Maria?

The family of Maria von Trapp will be glued to the TV with guests at their Stowe, Vt., lodge during NBC’s live broadcast of “The Sound of Music” Thursday at 8 p.m.
“We’ll be showing the musical in one of our public areas,” says Sam von Trapp, 41, whose grandmother is immortalized in the 1959 musical. “We are certainly excited about it.”

And realistic.

They know that the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic takes liberties with actual events for the sake of drama.

Maria von Trapp, described as “a flibbertigibbet, a will-o’-the wisp, a clown” in one of the famous songs by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, lived at the Vermont property from 1942 to her death at age 82 in 1987.

“We do history tours,” says Sam. “We try to walk a fine line between celebrating the family’s factual heritage and the musical.”

Carrie Underwood’s waiting in the wings to play Maria.

A few of his favorite things about Maria were her “generosity of spirit” and her “gift for making people happy.” He has confidence in Carrie Underwood, who’s starring in the musical, and thinks she will do herself proud. “Everything I’ve read about Carrie shows that she’s hard-working and has integrity,” he says. “A lot of people have strong opinions about Carrie replacing Julie Andrews. But this isn’t a remake of the movie.”

But it is a big event, one that’s being celebrated at various New York nightspots. A screening at XL Nightclub, Cabaret & Lounge promises good fun — like a specialty drink, the Fraulein — for a good cause. Co-sponsored by “Cinderella,” the event benefits Only Make Believe, which was founded by Hammerstein’s daughter-in-law, Dena, to bring theater to sick kids. Therapy, a lounge with a large gay following, is hosting a Maria-minded viewing too.

“I think Carrie Underwood will be great,” says spokesman Paul Leasure. “Either way, it’ll be fun to watch with a crowd.”

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