Dame Julie Andrews is a human treasure, as far as I'm concerned. I don't believe I'm alone in feeling that way. She has an educational show for kids on Netflix that shines a spotlight on why the arts are so important. JULIE'S GREENROOM is such a winner that I wished I had little children so I could share it with them. I watched and loved the first three episodes of this bright show, a show that embraces diversity and inclusion while bringing youngsters into the world of the fine arts. On the show, Andrews is joined by new puppet characters from the Henson Company and guest stars. Julie Andrews has stretched her talents beyond singer, Oscar-winning actress, and dancer. She's now also a director and an author of children's books. She co-created and co-wrote JULIE'S GREENROOM with her daughter, writer Emma Walton Hamilton. Andrews plays the head of a modest performing arts company, one that could really use some financial help. Her little troupe members, the puppet characters, are called "greenies." From Miss Julie, the greenies learn about the performing arts, the power of working together as a team and they learn discipline in a most gentle way.
Julie Andrews sings a bit in the first episode. That will definitely made you smile even more. Chris Colfer, a star on the GLEE television series, visits in the second episode which focuses on writing. I didn't know that Colfer was a published author. Like Andrews, he's written children's books. The greenies learn about William Shakespeare and they work together to write an original stage piece. In their original story, there is an ogre. The dramatic conflict is that the "ogre would steal all the arts."
This episode was completed quite some time before the recent news broke that Trump wants to cut all funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, PBS and National Public Radio.
The third episode is about singing. We get voice lessons, we're taught the power of finding one's voice and individuality. The special visitor is Josh Groban. Wow. Why hasn't he been cast in Disney movie musicals? Such a great voice.
These are outstanding shows for kids. I wish children's programming like this had a network home on Saturday mornings like shows I grew up watching. Julie Andrews still has her magic and her excellent acting skills are on display. Watch her with the greenies. To her, they are not puppets. They are youngsters. She believes in them -- and that quality comes across.
Julie Andrews. A Broadway star in THE BOY FRIEND, the original cast of MY FAIR and CAMELOT. Best Actress Oscar winner for Disney's MARY POPPINS. She's probably the only big musical star and multi-Oscar nominee who got all her acting Oscar nominations for musicals. Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli got Oscar nominations for musicals and dramas. Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra got their Oscar nominations for dramas. Julie Andrews got Best Actress Oscar nominations for MARY POPPINS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and the screwball comedy/musical VICTOR/VICTORIA with songs by Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse. She has directed an Australian stage revival of MY FAIR LADY that opens March 19th in Brisbane.
If CBS still had an annual airing of 1939's THE WIZARD OF OZ in prime time like it did when we baby boomers were kids, Julie Andrews would be the perfect host. Watch her new series and you'll absolutely agree with me. Dame Julie is a human treasure who always gives her best -- and her best is always excellent.
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