The role principally has been hers for nearly 50 years, but Julie Andrews applauds Carrie Underwood getting a turn as Maria in “The Sound of Music.”
The country music superstar headlines a live, three-hour NBC telecast of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Thursday, Dec. 5. Oscar, Emmy and Grammy winner Andrews — whose classic 1965 movie version gets its traditional ABC holiday airing Sunday, Dec. 22 — says she’s interested to see how the new production goes, particularly because of the live aspect (in the eastern half of the country).
“Fifty years later, it’s time somebody had another crack at it,” Andrews tells Zap2it. “I had the best time of my life doing it, and it did wonderful things for me. I think it’s great that it’s being done again, but doing it live must be so daunting for Carrie.
“I know they’re not doing the movie, though. They’re doing the Broadway show — that’s what they have the rights to — and I don’t know whether it will resonate similarly. In the movie, we cut some things from the stage version and added some songs.”
Andrews is familiar with the original rendering, having seen it when Mary Martin (Larry Hagman’s mother) played Maria on the Great White Way: “It’s a lovely piece, and I do hope it works for Carrie, because she’s lovely and I’m a fan. I wish her well.”
Other TV appearances are in store for Andrews soon. She’ll return to Austria for her fifth time hosting PBS’ annual “Great Performances” New Year’s concert by the Vienna Philharmonic on Wednesday, Jan. 1. But first, she’ll help celebrate the awarding of the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to her “great chum” Carol Burnett in a PBS special Sunday, Nov. 24.
“She’s such a friend,” Andrews reflects, “and she’s my daughter Emma‘s godmother. I think she was quite stunned by all the friendship that came out of that night. And all the clips that were shown? It was a good night.
“We always address each other as ‘chum,'” Andrews adds of Burnett. “As I say on the program, she brings out the wicked side of me, and I seem to bring out the Mary Poppins side of her! We love each other, and I wish I saw more of her … but it doesn’t matter, because whenever we meet up, it’s like we’ve never stopped talking.”