Meron and Zadan Talk 'Plan B' for Tonight's SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE on NBC
In an interview in today's The Hollywood Reporter, Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, the producers behind tonight's SOUND OF MUSIC LIVE on NBC (8/7c), spoke about casting their exciting and innovative project, staying true to the iconic Broadway production, and what their 'Plan B' is if things don't go exactly as planned on the live broadcast.
"The first person we cast was Carrie Underwood. Everything sprung from that," said Meron of the casting of the show. "Carrie was our first choice from Day 1 because we felt we loved the surprise of Carrie as an actress. We also felt that Carrie was Maria. She has all of the qualities of Maria. What we've learned is she is a really fast learner. She just wants to dive in and spread her wings a little bit more in other aspects of the entertainment business."
Shared Zadan, "The person we went after with tremendous passion was Audra McDonald to play Mother Abbess. We thought it'd be interesting to have an African American mother Abbess, which was a completely new idea," He added, "Stephen Moyer was very interesting. Neil and I are big True Blood fans and we thought he was a unique and wonderful actor. Then we discovered he had done musical theater in Great Britain and then we found out he was about to do the Hollywood Bowl for three performances of Chicago playing Billy Flynn. All of a sudden, we found our Captain."
While cast and crew have been hard at work rehearsing for tonight's presentation, one never knows what can happen on live television. "We are anticipating things to go smoothly," expressed Zadan. "You can never account for things that are going to happen naturally but they are going to have to make the best of it. That's the whole thing about live TV. Say something goes wrong, you are going to have to make spot decisions as to what to do. You can prepare as much as you can for what happens, but who knows?"