Dame Julie’s in the Greenroom
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.
"Everybody knows the arts is the first thing that is reduced in terms of budgets with schools and programs, and that is mindboggling to me," she said.
"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 streaming now on Netflix.