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Grumman Studios Sending 'Sound of Music' into Orbit

Televised version of beloved musical's stage version to be aired from Bethpage on Thursday.

Grumman Studios is about to send the beloved 'Sound of Music' into orbit. (File photo)
Grumman Studios is about to send the beloved 'Sound of Music' into orbit. (File photo)
In some theater circles, this is considered a dangerous, risk-filled mission:

But it's T-minus two days and counting to the live televised broadcast of "The Sound of Music" from Grumman Studios in Bethpage, a sound stage that once housed part of the NASA's space program.

The broadcast, set for Thursday night beginning at 8 p.m., stars Carrie Underwood as Maria and a cast of more than 60 performers who have been in rehearsal for about three months for this live televised performance of the beloved Rogers and Hammerstein musical.

The production will be the first live network TV telecast of an entire Broadway show since 1957’s “Cinderella,” the Daily News reported.

The performance includes one native Long Islander: She is Southold's Ella Watts, 13, who has been cast as "Luisa," one of the von Trapp children. (See our story about Ella here.)

There has been considerable secrecy surrounding the rehearsals. The news of Grumman's involvement was rumored by not confirmed until just this weekend, when NBC aired a documentary on the making of the live telecast.

The performers will sing and perform live on a giant set built inside the old hanger that housed the lunar lander and other top-secret projects produced by Bethpage's former aerospace giant. The music has been pre-recorded by a 37-piece orchestra.

Images from Sunday's broadcast included an entire mountain-like set used by Maria to sing the title song. There's also the palatial home of Capt. von Trapp played by Broadway star Stephen Moyer.

The remake has been buzzing in theater circles for some time. The movie version of the 1959 play, which opened in 1965 with Julie Andrews in the lead role, is considered almost sacrosanct: Not to be tampered with or even attempted.

The cast of Thursday night's live show is doing a TV version of the original play, which differs in significant ways from the movie. The live element adds another element of risk. If things go wrong, they actors will simply go on.

“Major set or costume changes will be made during commercial breaks, but several changes will happen instantaneously during the filming. If something goes wrong in the live filming, that’s the way it will be broadcast,” NBC officials told the Daily News.

fit4ufor3rd December 05, 2013 at 06:55 AM
it must be a secret cuz my sis in law lives in Bethpage and bro in law works for Grumman, and they were here sunday and never mentioned it .

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