Julie’s in the Green­room

Central and North Burnett Times - - WEEKEND - With Ash­leigh Howarth

WHO bet­ter to ed­u­cate and entertain chil­dren than Mary Pop­pins her­self?

Julie An­drews, known for her role as the fun but stern nanny, is once again hit­ting the tele­vi­sion screens but this time in a new role. She has starred along some of the big­gest names in Hol­ly­wood, but her new­est co-stars are a lit­tle hairier than what she is used to.

An­drews stars with a num­ber of pup­pet char­ac­ters from The Jim Hen­son Com­pany, who have brought us many love­able char­ac­ters from Sesame Street, The Mup­pets and Frag­gle Rock, for her new Net­flix se­ries Julie’s Green­room.

An­drews cre­ated the se­ries with her daugh­ter as a way of shar­ing her love for act­ing and the per­form­ing arts with the next gen­er­a­tion of kids in the hope that they too will con­sider work­ing on stage as they grow older.

In the show, An­drews, who goes by Ms Julie, is the di­rec­tor of the Well­spring Cen­tre for the Per­form­ing Arts. She teaches a num­ber of work­shops in the the­atre and its “green­room”.

Her young pup­pet stu­dents, who are called Gree­nies, are mes­merised by her sta­tus and strive to be a star just like her.

Ev­ery week the Gree­nies cre­ate an en­tirely new show, which is a mix­ture of mu­sic, danc­ing, im­prov and cir­cus acts.

A num­ber of guest stars also drop by to help with the cre­ative process, in­clud­ing Alec Bald­win, Joshua Bell and Id­ina Men­zel, best known for her hit song Let It Go from the movie Frozen.

Speak­ing in Bris­bane dur­ing her re­cent visit as the di­rec­tor of My Fair Lady, An­drews said she hoped to spark an in­ter­est in the per­form­ing arts in preschool­ers and young chil­dren.

“It is a very fam­ily ori­en­tated and ed­u­cated show,” she said. “The ba­sic age for chil­dren is be­tween four and eight years old, but I am hop­ing that grand­par­ents and par­ents will come and sit and watch it too.”

An­drews spoke passionately about her ca­reer on stage and screen which has spanned more than six decades, but feared younger gen­er­a­tions won’t have the same op­por­tu­nity she did be­cause of fund­ing cuts.

“It’s amaz­ing to me that it would be one of the first things to go be­cause it is one of the big­gest bridge builders of all,” she said.

“Kids are taught sport from a young age, so why not the arts as well?”

Julie’s Green­room is now avail­able on Net­flix.

PHOTO: ALI GOLD­STEIN/NET­FLIX

◗ Dame Julie An­drews in a scene from the TV se­ries Julie’s Green­room.

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