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Five-Time Tony Award nominee Kelli O'Hara to portray Mrs. Darling on NBC's 'Peter Pan Live!'

by jmaloni


Wed, Sep 10th 2014 12:50 pm
Kelli O'Hara (NBC photo)
Kelli O'Hara (NBC photo)

Award-Winning "Sound of Music" production team on board

Five-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O'Hara, who has become the toast of Broadway musical theater with a startling string of hits that have wowed audiences and critics alike, has been cast in NBC's anticipated Dec. 4 telecast of "Peter Pan Live!" She will portray Mrs. Darling, the wife of George Darling and mother of the Darling children: Wendy, John and Michael.

"Kelli O'Hara is Broadway royalty, a musical star at the top of her game," said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. "She will be perfect as the regal mother of the Darling children, and we look forward to her rendition of the beautiful lullaby 'Tender Shepherd.' "

Two of O'Hara's five Tony nominees have come in the past three years: best performance by a leading actress in a musical for both "The Bridges of Madison County" (2014) and "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (2012). Her other Tony nominees are for the musicals "South Pacific" (2008), "The Pajama Game" (2006) and "The Light in the Piazza" (2005).

For her work in "The Bridges of Madison County," The New York Times said of O'Hara, "She confirms her position as one of the most exquisitely expressive stars in musical theater." The New York Daily News said O'Hara "gives a performance of rare and radiant grace."

She was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for each of those productions, as well as a Drama Desk Award for all previously mentioned shows, except "The Light in the Piazza."

O'Hara's other Broadway productions include "Follies," "Sweet Smell of Success: The Musical" and "Jekyll & Hyde."

To showcase her vocal talents, O'Hara is set to make her opera debut Dec. 31 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York's Lincoln Center, co-starring with Renee Fleming in a production of "The Merry Widow." In spring 2015, she will return to Broadway in the revival of the classic 1951 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "The King and I," starring Ken Watanabe.

The award-winning production team behind the "The Sound of Music Live!" is on board for "Peter Pan Live."

As previously announced, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will executive produce. Zadan and Meron, who are accomplished in both television and film, have earned 12 Emmy nominations. They were the driving force behind several stage-to-screen musicals, including the film version of "Hairspray" and TV adaptation of "Cinderella," as well as executive producing the NBC drama "Smash," which earned a Golden Globe nomination. They also were nominated for a Tony Award in 2011 for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," and brought the revival of "Promises, Promises" to the Broadway stage in 2010. In addition, the duo executive produced the 2002 Oscar-winning film "Chicago."

Emmy nominated for "The Sound of Music Live!," director Rob Ashford won an Emmy as a choreographer for the 81st Annual Academy Awards, and earned a Directors Guild of America nomination for "The Sound of Music Live!" He won a Tony for "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in 2002 and has received nominations for seven other productions, including "Cry-Baby," "The Wedding Singer" and "Evita."

Glenn Weiss, who will serve as director for live television, has won 10 Emmys as both a director and executive producer on the Tony Awards telecasts. He has won five DGA Awards for his work on the Tonys.

Musical director David Chase was Emmy nominated for "The Sound of Music Live!" and is one of the busiest music directors working on Broadway today. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013 for the cast album of the show "Nice Work If You Can Get It." He has an extensive Broadway resume, collaborating on such productions as "Damn Yankees," "Billy Elliot: The Musical" and "The Music Man." His current projects include "Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella," and he will serve as music supervisor for "Finding Neverland," which is inspired by the Johnny Depp film and will arrive on Broadway in March.

Always sought-after on Broadway for his sets, production designer Derek McLane is an Emmy winner for his work on the 2014 Oscar telecast and was nominated for the 2013 Oscars broadcast. He won a Tony in 2009 for the play "33 Variations" and has three other nominations. His vast array of credits include the revivals of "Grease," "Barefoot in the Park" and "Ragtime," and original productions of "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo," "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical."

Costume designer Catherine Zuber is a seven-time Tony winner for her efforts on such productions as "The Light in the Piazza," "The Coast of Utopia" and "The Royal Family." Her credits include the revivals of "The Rose Tattoo," "The Twelfth Night" and "South Pacific," as well as original productions of "Doubt," "Cry-Baby" and "The Bridges of Madison County." She will serve as costume designer for the upcoming revival of "The King and I."

Lighting designer Robert A. Dickinson has won 19 Emmys for his work on such projects as the Olympic Games, and several telecasts of both the Grammys and Oscars.

Allison Williams will play the title role in "Peter Pan Live!" while Oscar winner and Emmy and Tony nominee Christopher Walken will star as the villainous Captain Hook. Christian Borle will play both Smee, the dastardly right-hand to Hook, as well as George Darling, the no-nonsense father of the Darling children.

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