Graham Norton to Host Search for Star of Sound of Music

News   Graham Norton to Host Search for Star of Sound of Music Graham Norton, who is currently hosting the U.K. hit "Strictly Dance Fever," will front the upcoming BBC reality television series that seeks to find a star for the West End revival of The Sound of Music.

BBC News reports that "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?" will air on the BBC One channel and will feature Norton, Andrew Lloyd Webber and producer David Ian as they search for an actress to play Maria Von Trapp. "It will be a real rollercoaster ride for everyone involved," Norton told the BBC. "I'm thrilled to be along for the ride. I'll be there to mop the brows and do some serious handholding as we try and find that star-in-the-making." Nationwide auditions for the role will begin April 22 in Belfast. Fifty performers will be chosen, and that group will eventually be whittled down to ten. A public vote will decide the winner of the role.

Composer Lloyd Webber, who is producing the revival, told BBC News, "I have always had a passion for discovering and nurturing new talent and this will be a fantastic opportunity for a young artist to become a real star."

The Sound of Music originally opened at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in Nov. 1959. Mary Martin headed a cast that also included Theodore Bikel and Patricia Neway. Julie Andrews starred in the award-winning film, and the most recent Broadway revival featured Rebecca Luker as the beloved Maria von Trapp. The classic Rodgers and Hammerstein score boasts such tunes as "Do Re Mi," "My Favorite Things," "The Sound of Music" and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain."