Who will be the next Maria von Trapp?

From a media release:

The search to find Canada’s Maria von Trapp starts January 25, 2008 with a seven-city cross-country audition tour that will culminate in the eight-week CBC Television series How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? produced by Temple Street Productions in association with CBC Television. On this television show the Canadian public will choose who will play the most famous role in musical theatre in a brand new production of the beloved musical THE SOUND OF MUSIC (produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and David Mirvish) that will open in October 2008 at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre.

Open casting calls will be held in the cities listed below on the following days:
Toronto, ON January 25
Montreal, QC January 28
Vancouver, BC February 1
Calgary, AB February 3
Winnipeg, MB February 4
Halifax, NS February 8
St. John’s, NL February 9

Location and times will be announced at a later date.

“We are thrilled to offer Canadians this unique opportunity to help select the next star of one of the world’s most beloved musicals,” said Kirstine Layfield, Executive Director of Network Programming for CBC Television.

Set to broadcast on CBC next summer, the series will catch all the drama and theatrics of the audition process and the inevitable eliminations. Canadian viewers will have the responsibility of voting to determine who they think should be Maria. Once selected, the new Maria will immediately join rehearsals with the rest of the cast on the stage of the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.

Legendary composer and impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, producer David Ian and the BBC came up with the concept for the BBC television series with the hope of finding a bright young star for their UK production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. The television show enjoyed incredible popularity that carried on to the stage production at the legendary London Palladium. This success made a star of Connie Fisher, the young woman chosen by the British public to play Maria.

“I am delighted that How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? is coming to Canada. It was an enormous success in the UK. We discovered a fantastic Maria. Not only that, we discovered many talented actresses who have also gone on to play leading roles around the UK and the icing on the cake was that we won an Emmy,” stated Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The Canadian version of the smash hit will audition thousands across the country narrowing the group to 200 who will be invited for callbacks in Toronto. From this group approximately 50 women will be selected to attend ‘Maria School’ for further training.

The show will follow the “Marias” as they endure rigorous auditions, training sessions and honest evaluations. The role requires acting ability, singing ability and stage presence. Prospective Marias will need to show the nation their “favorite things,” and how they can be a nun-in-training, a governess, a will-o-the-wisp and a singing sensation.

For more information on the show and to register for an audition visit www.areyoumaria.com.