NEW YORK – Carrie Underwood is excited to star in a live television version of The Sound of Music. But she’s also a little nervous, too.
The former American Idol winner and six-time Grammy-winning artist equates the experience with going to a Broadway show, but in your living room.
Underwood will star alongside True Blood actor Stephen Moyer, who plays Captain von Trapp. Broadway veterans Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti, and Christian Borle round out the cast as Mother Abbess, Elsa, and Max, respectively.
Underwood won the fourth season of American Idol.
The special airs Dec. 5 on NBC.
Oprah visits grads
Oprah Winfrey has paid a visit to two of the graduates from the celebrity’s school in South Africa who are enrolled at a private college in upstate New York.
A spokeswoman for OWN, Winfrey’s cable channel, says Tuesday that the former daytime talk-show queen was at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs on Monday to meet with two graduates from Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls. The academy, a boarding school for underprivileged South African girls, opened in 2007.
The two young women are studying at Skidmore, a liberal arts school located 165 miles north of New York City.
Hardy to play John
Tom Hardy will play Elton John in a biopic titled Rocketman.
Focus Features announced Hardy’s casting as the iconic piano man on Wednesday. The film is planned to begin shooting late next year.
The 36-year-old British actor is well respected for his wide-ranging talent, but his brawny, tattooed frame makes him an unconventional choice. Hardy is most famous for playing the terrorist Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. He has showcased a muscled masculinity in films like Warrior, Lawless and Bronson.
Rocketman is being made with the cooperation of the 66-year-old John, who’s an executive producer on the film.
Among celebrity birthdays today: Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman is 77. Actor F. Murray Abraham is 74. Actor Kevin Kline is 66. Actor B.D. Wong is 53. Drummer Ben Gillies of Silverchair is 34. Singer Monica is 33. Singer-actress Adrienne Bailon of is 30. Rapper Drake is 27. Actress Shenae Grimes is 24.