Show's stars recall their first 'Sound of Music'

11/27/2013 8:00 PM

11/26/2013 9:34 PM

The 1965 film version of “The Sound of Music,” with Julie Andrews in the starring role, won five Oscars, including best picture.

Even more important, it won moviegoers’ hearts. Nearly everybody saw it then, and again, certifying for all time the hit status it enjoyed on Broadway with its opening six years before.

It is the Broadway version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that is being brought to TV on Dec. 5 as “The Sound of Music Live!”

While they labored to climb ev’ry mountain to prepare for it, the stars of the NBC telecast recently recalled how “The Sound of Music” first became one of their favorite things.

• Carrie Underwood (Maria): “My mom and dad went to see the movie on one of their first dates. I didn’t know that until I became involved in this project and Mom told me. But it’s always been real special to our family, and every time it was on TV, it was a thing: Me and Mom would watch it.”
• Audra McDonald (Mother Abbess): “My first exposure to ‘The Sound of Music’ was a music box that played `Edelweiss’ given to me around my birth by my uncle. I still have it.”
• Laura Benanti (Elsa): “When I was 18, I was the understudy for Maria (in a 1998 Broadway revival), and for two weeks I went on. Then, when I was 19, I took over the role and played Maria opposite Richard Chamberlain.”
• Stephen Moyer (Capt. von Trapp): “I remember seeing the movie when I was 8 or 9. Then, when I was about 14, a revival was produced in London, and I auditioned for it – possibly even before I knew I wanted to be an actor. I didn’t get anywhere that time.”
• Christian Borle (Max): “There are various black holes culturally in my upbringing: I never saw ‘The Sound of Music’ until a couple of years ago. And I had no experience with the Broadway show at all. So my first exposure was when we did the first read-through and sing-through for this production. The whole experience gave me the chills. It’s just beautiful. So this project has been a nice introduction!”

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