Search for Maria series to kick off June 17

Whoever ends up starring in The Sound of Music at Toronto's Royal Alex this fall will first have to win CBC's seven-week, Canadian Idol-style contest.

Flibertygibbets, will-o-the-wisps and clowns will compete in CBC’s ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria’ contest, which commences a seven-week run on Tuesday, June 17 at 8 pm ET. The prize, of course, is the starring role in a revival of The Sound of Music, set to debut at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre this fall and then tour North America.

CBC announced yesterday that the host of the Canadian Idol-style series will be Gavin Crawford, ensemble member of This Hour Has 22 Minutes. The judging panel will consist of: renowned vocal coach Elaine Overholt, veteran performer John Barrowman (Torchwood, Doctor Who ) and Simon Lee, longtime music supervisor and principal conductor for composer Andrew Lloyd Webber – who came up with the innovative audition concept, which previously resulted in a BBC series leading to a UK production of the famous musical.