Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the exective producers of “Smash” as well as the producers of the movie adaptations of musicals “Chicago” and “Hairspray,” are going to be bringing a live broadcast of the original Broadway “The Sound of Music” to NBC.
According to the network’s chairman Robert Greenblatt, this will be a new version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, but one that actually harkens back to an earlier era of television: “There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live back in the 1950s and we’re thrilled to do it once again with a musical that has been a family classic for five decades.”
Rather than reproduce the film version of “The Sound of Music,” Zadan says that the hope here is to give more of a sense of the energy and spontaneity of a stage performance — “all of the actors will be singing live; there will be no lip-synching to pre-recordings.” NBC’s live broadcast incarnation of the musical will include some of songs from the Broadway version in addition to all of the better-known ones from the movie.
For all the talk of reviving a old-school broadcast event, NBC’s probably also looking to continue to capitalize on the very contemporary trend toward “Glee”-style song and dance numbers — it’ll be interesting to see if they look more toward Broadway talent or flashier celebrities to fill out the not-yet-set cast. No air date has yet been announced.