NBC has ordered a live broadcast of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein’s final collaboration, “The Sound of Music,” from two of the guys behind the network’s musical drama series “Smash.”
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will base the special on the original Broadway musical, not the Julie Andrews flick.
It’s not the first time Zadan and Meron have brought classic musicals to TV. Their TV credits include Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man," starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth, which received five Emmy nominations; "Annie," starring Kathy Bates, which won two Emmys and a Peabody Award; "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella," starring Whitney Houston and Brandy, which received 7 Emmy nominations; "Gypsy," their first television movie event, starring Bette Midler, which received 12 Emmy nominations.
“What we want to do…is to give audiences a completely fresh experience of this great Tony Award-winning stage musical in the form of a classic television event, combined with the spontaneity of a live performance,” Zadan said in Friday’s announcement. “All of the actors will be singing live; there will be no lip-synching to pre-recordings," he promised.
“There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live, back in the 1950’s and we’re thrilled to do it once again with a musical that has been a family classic for five decades,”NBC programming chief Robert Greenblatt, who ordered the special, said in the announcement.
"The Sound of Music," set in pre-WWII Austria, is based on the true story of Maria von Trapp, an aspiring nun who leaves her abby to become a governess for the widower Captain von Trapp's seven children, and falls in love with her employer. When it premiered on Broadway in 1959, with Mary Martin in the starring role, it broke box office records, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical.