She introduced millions to the wonders of do-re-mi in The Sound of Music, now Julie Andrews is teaching a whole new generation about the magic of the arts.
As the star and co-creator of new Netflix children’s show Julie’s Greenroom, Dame Julie runs a theatre school for a ragtag little bunch of Henson puppets.
Each of the 13 episodes follows them as they overcome challenges to get their acts on stage, with the help of guest stars, including Alec Baldwin and Carol Burnett, under Dame Julie’s gentle but firm rallying call: “The show must go on.”
This show brings you back to where you started — teaching children about music. How does that feel?
In a way everything that I have ever wanted to do has related to children. But it’s funny, I didn’t start out to adore children so much that I made The Sound of Music … but it did foster such a following afterwards with children and I suddenly saw how much it meant.
That was a gift to me and so I have always felt, why not give back and treat them well?
It’s everything to do with who I was, who I am and what I would like to leave behind, what I would like my legacy to be and what I still hope to convey.
Did you want Julie’s Greenroom to stand apart from other shows for very little children that feature those repetitive earworms that can drive the rest of the family batty?
We wanted to try to bring in the family, the parents or maybe the grandparents, and so to try to write with several layers so that the family might enjoy it together or encourage the children to watch it.
How did this project come about?
For years and years I have wanted to do a program about the arts for children but it didn’t come to pass for one reason or another. The Hensons do everything so wonderfully well and I was talking to Lisa (Henson) and we just decided the time was right. She said, “With puppets?”, and I said, “Absolutely”, and then we had the idea for this little school and my own little theatre.
What else would you like to see as your legacy?
I have just been so very fortunate that all of these opportunities came to me and were passed under my nose. I am blessed. I mean, I had a lot of training as a kid and a lot of times when I wondered what I was doing going around and around England and doing vaudeville and slugging away — but nothing is wasted, absolutely nothing. It’s all been useful in one way or another, disciplines or doing it well regardless of how tacky or difficult it is.
“It’s everything to do with who I was, who I am and what I would like to leave behind”
Julie Andrews in her green room.