Ariane Rinehart, BC ’15, of Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” music video fame, has been cast as Liesl in NBC’s upcoming live broadcast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music.”
“Liesl is such a lovely role, with a great song and a really fun and beautiful dance,” Rinehart said. “She’s in the ‘not a girl yet not quite a woman’ stage of life, so it’s really great to find those acting moments.”
The live performance will be broadcast on Dec. 5 and is based on the original three-hour stage version of “The Sound of Music,” not the movie starring Julie Andrews.
Rinehart will be joined by six other fresh-faced actors, mostly from theater, who will play her younger siblings, as well as Carrie Underwood and Stephen Moyer (“True Blood”) in the roles of Maria and Captain Von Trapp, respectively. Bringing the musical theater cred will be Audra McDonald, Laura Benanti, and Christian Borle.
Liesl, the eldest Von Trapp daughter, just wants to try her first glass of champagne and get her first kiss from a cute Aryan messenger in a gazebo.
Rinehart described the month-and-a-half-long audition process as “long and intense” with “lots of hours both in the audition and outside.”
Performing the work of Columbia alumni Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II has made the role “a dream come true” for the actress, who will also appear in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” next year.
“The project itself is so wonderful,” Rinehart said. “It’s really impossible not be excited about it. It’s also exciting to be doing the stage production. Most people are more familiar with the film version—as it’s so accessible, and of course the ever-lovely Julie Andrews is so iconic as Maria—and aren’t aware of the differences in the stage show. I’m excited for people to be able to see it in such a grand way.”
Rinehart wasn’t experiencing pre-show jitters—at least not yet, she said—but said that performing the show with only one shot to get it right would be “a bit nerve-wracking.”
“If you mess something up [in theater productions], you make a note of it and fix it the next performance,” Rinehart said. “We don’t get that opportunity here. But everyone involved is a pro. I’m really looking forward to the performance.”