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Audra McDonald to star in live 'Sound of Music' on NBC

Five-time Tony winner Audra McDonald — whose crowded mantle also holds two Grammys — as been added to the cast of NBC’s live Dec. 5 production of “The Sound of Music” — playing the Mother Abbess. The singer and actress, who also is a three time Emmy nominee, is being joined by fellow Tony winner Laura Benanti, who will play Elsa Schrader, and Christian Borle, cast as Max Dettweiler, the joke-cracking producer and friend of the von Trapp family.

Already announced were Carrie Underwood for the lead role of Maria and Stepher Moyer as Captain Georg von Trapp.

†Before all that, McDonald returns to Chicago’s Symphony Center for the first time since 2001 — appearing with her trio at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12.

The acclaimed Broadway star will present an intimate evening that will include selections from her new album, “Go Back Home,” her first solo recording in seven years.

The album includes songs by composers with whom she has long been associated: Stephen Sondheim, Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa and Rodgers & Hammerstein.

For ticket information, call (800) 223-7114 or (312) 294-3000 or go to