Move over Julie Andrews, here comes Carrie Underwood.
NBC TV crews will be in town this week to interview members of the von Trapp family in advance of another Sound of Music TV extravaganza to be broadcast this week.
The network is scheduled to broadcast a live three-hour telecast Thursday night at 8 p.m. of the beloved musical. It features country superstar Carrie Underwood as Maria and HBO’s “True Blood” star Stephen Moyer as Captain von Trapp.
NBC crews are meeting with some of Maria’s remaining living children, including Johannes von Trapp and his family on Thursday morning at the family’s Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe for a promotional interview for the show.
Von Trapp initially wasn’t sure if he was going to watch the live TV version of the musical but decided he must — if only so that he can answer the inevitable question from guests at the lodge, “How do you think Carrie Underwood did as Maria?” von Trapp said in an interview this week.
“We will watch it,” von Trapp said, somewhat flatly.
Von Trapp’s measured enthusiasm is in sharp contrast to NBC, which is pumping the story and marketing for maximum effect. Calling it an “instant holiday classic,” the network vows this version of “The Sound of Music” will be a faithful adaptation of the original stage musical, retelling the story for a whole new generation. It will be broadcast live, adding a whole new level of immediacy and excitement — and potential for slipups.
The jewel in the Rodgers and Hammerstein crown, “The Sound of Music” is the beloved story of the young novice who falls in love with the captain and his seven children, set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied Austria.
How Underwood’s country style will sound singing classic lines like “the hills are alive” and “raindrops on roses” will be interesting. In interviews with the New York Times and other outlets, she has expressed a touch of the nerves.
The musical contains some of the most famous songs ever written for the stage, including “The Sound of Music,” “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” “Climb Every Mountain” and “Edelweiss.”
After selling the rights to Maria von Trapp’s book for a pittance, her story — and the heroic story of her family — went on to become the monumental stage musical hit, as well as the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
The devotion to Maria and her family continues to this day, with thousands of fans flocking to pay their respects to the family at their Austrian-style lodge on Trapp Hill.