The British actress, comedienne, singer and dancer Julie Andrews stakes a claim to fame for having one of the single most astonishing voices (four octaves!) of any entertainer alive. Yet the breadth of this raw ability is often hugely obscured by Andrews’s milquetoast image and onscreen persona. Thus, in the late ’60s, Andrews – who began her film career rooted firmly in family-oriented material – traveled far out of her way to expand her dramatic repertoire, with decidedly mixed results.
A music-hall favorite since childhood, Andrews spent the war years dodging Nazi bombs and bowing to the plaudits of her fans. Thanks to her own talents and the persistence of her vaudevillian parents, Andrews maintained her career momentum with appearances in such extravaganzas as 1947’s Starlight Roof Revue. It was in the role of a 1920s flapper in Sandy Wilson’s satire The Boy Friend (1953) that brought Andrews to Broadway; and few could resist the attractively angular young miss warbling… read more