The opportunity to land the coveted role of Maria von Trapp in the world’s most beloved musical, The Sound of Music, will unfold on CBC Television when 48 talented young hopefuls sing, dance and try to win the hearts and votes of Canadians on HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA?
Premiering Sunday, June 15, at 8 p.m., the series goes behind the scenes with one of the most vocally gifted group of Canadian women ever assembled. The 48 would-be Marias are all in the running, but only one can win the chance to play the pivotal role in the new theatrical production of The Sound of Music at The Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Ian and David Mirvish. The girls take to the stage to have their fate decided and find out if they have what it takes to be the next Maria or whether it will be â€œso long, farewell!â€ The seven-week series airs Sundays at 8 p.m., for one hour, and Mondays at 8 p.m., for a half hour.
â€œCanadians will find this series inspiring, entertaining and heartbreaking as they get to know the would-be Marias,â€ said Kirstine Layfield, CBC Television’s executive director of network programming. â€œThese young women will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to chase their stage dreams before an audience of Canadians from coast-to-coast. There will be only one Maria, but the experience and exposure for the other candidates will be unforgettable.â€
HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA? is the brainchild of legendary composer and impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, producer David Ian and BBC Television. The Emmy-Award winning series debuted on the BBC in 2006 where it was an instant sensation and greeted with smash ratings. The series yielded a true unknown, Connie Fisher, who became an overnight star in Britain. With Fisher in the starring role, The Sound of Music opened at the London Palladium with the largest advance ticket sales in London theatre history. Now in its second year, this hit revival of the Rodgers, Hammerstein, Lindsay and Crouse musical classic is still playing to capacity crowds.
Below is a summary of the first four episodes:
EPISODE ONE â€“ Sunday, June 15
The one-hour premiere episode of HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA? follows the 48 Maria hopefuls, aged 17 to 30, as they face their biggest challenges at â€œMaria Schoolâ€ in Toronto. There are tears of joy and disappointment as the candidates, selected from thousands who auditioned across Canada, are pushed to their limits by the show’s expert coaches and panelists. More than half of the group is sent home as the top-20 move on to the next level of the competition in London, England.
EPISODE TWO â€“ Monday, June 16
This half-hour episode features the top 20 candidates performing a private concert at the prestigious London Palladium in front of the iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber and his guests. Lord Lloyd Webber has the difficult task of selecting the 10 Maria finalists. The success of his Toronto production of The Sound of Music is hanging in the balance.
EPISODE THREE â€“ Sunday, June 22
The top-10 perform live from the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto in front of the nation. The competition is now live and in the hands of the viewers who will have an opportunity to vote each week for their favourite Maria.
EPISODE FOUR â€“ Monday, June 23
The results show will reveal which of the Maria candidates the Canadian public liked the least. The two lowest scoring girls will sing off against one another. One will be saved. One will go home. Nine finalists remain.
HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA?’s expert panel includes Simon Lee, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music supervisor and principal conductor for the last 12 years; Elaine Overholt, one of North America’s most respected vocal coaches who has worked on feature films including Chicago and Hairspray; and West End and Broadway and leading man John Barrowman, star of Torchwood and Doctor Whoâ€”also a panelist from the BBC hit show of the same name. The series is hosted by This Hour Has 22 Minutes comedic sensation Gavin Crawford.
The executive producers are Sheila Hockin, David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg. HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE MARIA? is produced by Temple Street Productions in association with CBC Television.