Sunday, 6 August 2006

Solving the Maria Problem

The BBC reality show, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? has begun on UK television. The Musical-Idol style show sees female singers auditioning to play the role of Maria Von Trapp in Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music.

Thousands of potential singers have been whittled down to ten finalists, who will sing live on the BBC TV show (hosted by Graham Norton) every Saturday night. Alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber are an "expert panel"... Theatre Producer David Ian, Actor John Barrowman (Theatre & on TV's Dr Who), and Vocal Coach & Singer Zoe Tyler.

They'll give their verdicts on the hopefuls, with the public voting for their favourite. The singer with the least votes each week will be sent packing from Maria School. The winner will be chosen on September the 16th, and receive a six-month contract on the West End.

The new production of The Sound of Music is due to open at the London Palladium on the 3rd of November.
Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson was initially offered the role of alternate Maria (the winner of the BBC show won't do every performance), but the 21-year old actress demanded two minders backstage at all times, so the deal fell through. West End actress Emma Williams is now rumoured to have been offered the part.

* Andrew Lloyd Webber: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

* BBC: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? - Homepage

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