Tony Award winners and stage veterans Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti and Christian Borle have been added to the cast for the live Dec. 5 production of NBC’s “The Sound of Music,” the network announced this week.
McDonald, who has won five Tonys (“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Ragtime,” “Master Class” and “Carousel”), as well as two Grammy Awards for “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny,” will portray Mother Abbess. McDonald is also a three-time Emmy Award nominee, with nominations for the TV movies “Wit” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” as well as the special “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel” from “Live From Lincoln Center,” for which she serves as series host.
Benanti, who will play Elsa Schrader, won a Tony for “Gypsy” and was also nominated for “Into the Woods,” “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” and “Swing!” Her many TV credits include “Law & Order: SVU,” “Go On” and “Royal Pains.”
Borle, set to play Max Dettweiler, recently starred in NBC’s “Smash” and won a Tony for his performance in “Peter and the Starcatcher.” He was also nominated for his work in the legit production of “Legally Blonde.”
Six-time Grammy Award winner and Checotah native Carrie Underwood is set to star as Maria, while “True Blood” star Stephen Moyer will play World War I hero Capt. Georg Von Trapp.
The three-hour production will be based on the original 1959 Broadway production of “The Sound of Music,” which starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel.
The music and lyrics for “The Sound of Music” were written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, respectively, with a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse.
“The Sound of Music” is executive produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford will serve as directors. The presentation will be produced by Universal Television.