Carrie Underwood will portray Julie Andrews' old role of Maria von Trapp in a new three-hour live broadcast of "The Sound of Music," set to air on NBC.
The network announced the news in a statement on Friday, November 30. The event will take place around the 2013 holiday season and will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. They have worked on NBC's musical drama series "Smash" as well as the musical film "Chicago" and "Hairspray" and are also producing the 2013 Academy Awards.
"The Sound of Music" is based on a real story, set in Austria just before World War II. It began as a Tony-winning Broadway musical and a movie adaptation was released in 1965. The film won the Oscar for Best Picture and includes famous songs such as "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," The Lonely Goatherd" and "Edelweiss."
"To have a star like Carrie Underwood perform Maria in 'The Sound of Music' -- and in such a very special and unique production -- is exciting beyond words," said Ted Chapin, the President of Rodgers & Hammerstein, the company behind the music. "Part of the magic of Rodgers and Hammerstein is how their work has adapted itself to so many different incarnations, and I am certain the fresh spirit Underwood brings to her own songs will transition into exciting versions of the classic songs we all know and love."
Underwood, a Grammy-winning country singer and former "American Idol" winner, has never appeared in a musical before. NBC has not revealed who will sing the parts of the other characters from "The Sound of Music."
Andrews' and Underwood's role, Maria, is a governess who falls in love with a Naval officer and widower Captain von Trapp. She also teaches his children how to sing. The two deal with their feelings for one another as well as the impeding Nazi threat. The cast members of the movie, including Christopher Plummer, who played the captain, reunited on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2010 to mark the film's 45th anniversary (they also revealed "secrets" about the filming process).