Julie Andrews' legendary career encompasses the Broadway and London stages, cinema, television, concert tours, recordings, directing assignments, and the world of children's publishing. In 2000 the title of Dame Commander of the British Empire was bestowed upon her for lifetime achievements in the arts and humanities. Her many other honors include six Golden Globes, three Grammys, two Emmys, an Oscar and a Kennedy Center honor. She was married to film director Blake Edwards for forty-one years, and the couple have five children, ten grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Andrews's memoir looks to be the first in a series chronicling this much-loved star's life, as it spans only her early years through her stage success in Camelot (1960). Her story begins in 1935 England, when she was born to an aspiring vaudevillian mother and a well-liked father who was a teacher. Her parents divorced, and her mother married Canadian tenor Ken Andrews; together, they performed in music halls across England. When Julie's voice was "discovered," she was made part of the act and began her professional career at 12, becoming the youngest solo performer at a Royal Command Performance. As her fame grew, she landed a role in Broadway's The Boyfriend, and at age 18, her successful musical comedy career began. Celebrity-memoir-lovers will enjoy her personal anecdotes and her humor, but this is more than the usual tell-all. Andrews paints a detailed and evocative picture of postwar England and the life of a child star. A best-selling children's author (The Great American Mousical), she has never told her own story before. A highly recommended, welcome addition to the genre.-Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
In recounting her early musical and theatrical training, Andrews discusses the importance that she placed on the care and maintenance of her vocal chords. Listeners of this delightful audio will feel extremely grateful that the show business legend demonstrated such remarkable foresight all those decades ago. Her performance represents a shining achievement in vocal quality. The enhanced first CD includes photos from Andrews's personal collection. Sprinkled through Andrews's narration are a few prized archival snippets of her most memorable early Broadway tunes, and Ian Fraser's gentle piano interludes befit the poignancy of the material. Yet the focal point remains firmly planted on the power of the storytelling itself. Andrews projects the tone of a motherly figure confiding with her dearest friends over a cup of tea, and the 13-hour length truly flies by as if they were mere minutes. Simultaneous release with the Hyperion hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 14). (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.