The Sound of Music Live starring Carrie Underwood is almost upon us; here's everything you need to know about the 3-hour production.

A new report suggests that the elaborate, one time only production cost the studio close to $9 million, a figure the television special is unlikely to make up during its broadcast. Though NBC won’t comment on the exact figure, it is expected that the studio hopes to make a profit with re-runs of the special, DVD sales and sales of the CD soundtrack, released two days before the special airs. A DVD of the special is expected to be released before Christmas, and, if all goes well, The Sound of Music Live could become a holiday television staple.

The Sound of Music Live will be a live performance of the stage musical, not the 1965 film staring Julie Andrews, and has a running time of three hours. Underwood, a country music star, takes on the role of Maria Rainer and stars alongside True Blood’s Stephen Moyer as Captain Von Trapp, alongside Broadway veterans Laura Benanti, Audra McDonald and Christian Borle.

For the cast members with a background in musical theater, the production is an oddity in that they have no previews, and only one performance. But they all seem to be enjoying themselves. For Benanti, performing The Sound of Music on live television feels like she’s come full circle – Benanti began her Broadway career when she was a teenager playing Maria.

Moyer and Underwood, who do not have a professional background in musical theater, say they are enjoying the rehearsals with the theater vets. The cast members agree they were happy to have the time to try new things and make mistakes.

“Four weeks in the rehearsal studio to actually play, and discover what this thing is and what it’s about and how it’s going to work. And make mistakes… In TV, you don’t usually get these opportunities to do that,” Moyer said.

McDonald echoed his sentiment, saying, “It’s a great exploration that we’re having.”

“We’re doing the Broadway script, so there’s a few things that are different about this version. It’s the same version, but it’s a different beast,” Moyer explained.

Different is good for Underwood, who, upon being cast, received hateful messages accusing her of trying to replace the adored Julie Andrews.

“I know I’m not Julie. Nobody is and I would never pretend that I was… I know my place,” Underwood told Entertainment Weekly.

Andrews, for her part, has given Underwood her blessing saying, “Fifty years later, it’s time somebody had another crack at it.”

Andrews’ blessing means a lot to the country singer, who says she always asks performers before she performs covers of their songs.

She’s so wonderful…She’s been so great to us and that means a lot. Whenever I do a cover of somebody’s song or whatever, I always get permission of the artist first…So it was really, really important for her to do that and just what a lovely person,” Underwood told E!.

While Underwood may be used to performing on live television after her turn on American Idol, Moyer is better known for HBO’s True Blood, which will most likely never air a live episode. The actor, while daunted by the implications of a live broadcast, seems excited, laughing off whatever negative critiques the show could garner from viewers, saying, “In a way… If something goes wrong, it proves it's live.”

The Sound of Music Live airs Thursday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. CST on NBC.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

Get Uinterview's FREE iPhone App For Daily News Updates here.

Get the FREE Uinterview iPad app here and watch our videos anywhere.

Leave a comment