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Julie’s Greenroom is a Netflix mini-series with most of the characters played by puppets created by The Jim Henson Company. Here’s the trailer:
Julie Andrews plays Miss Julie who runs a theater camp with her assistant, Gus. The campers, called Greenies, are a diverse cast of puppets.
- Peri is the enthusiastic, knowledgeable diva who expects to play any princess roles.
- Hank plays the piano and expects to be a full participant from his wheelchair.
- Spike collects words and is skilled at rhyming them.
- Fizz is always willing and often worried.
- Riley, my favorite, has engineering skills but isn’t sure about being on stage. I’m fascinated by how the show handled Riley’s gender.
Each of the thirteen episodes features a guest star who teaches the Greenies a different aspect of theater craft. Even I recognized many of them. Idina Menzel (Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway, Elsa in Frozen) starts them off with an understanding of musical theater. Josh Groban teaches singing. Alec Baldwin teaches acting. Bill Irwin (Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street) shows them how to find their inner clown. Tituss Burgess (Sebastian in The Little Mermaid on Broadway) shows them the importance of costume. David Hyde Pierce gets them them through a disastrous dress rehearsal. The Greenies also learn dance, improv, and writing. Carol Burnett plays Edna Brightful who saves the day as a theater benefactor.
Clearly, this is a show meant to teach kids about all the different aspects of putting on a show. Julie’s Greenroom will be a delight to anyone of any age who loves theater, either as an audience member or as an active participant in any part of show production.
Any fan of Julie Andrews will also love to see her enthusiasm for theater play out in this series. For the lover of all things British, Miss Julie drinks tea, speaks in a British accent, and uses British words (“Stupendous is British for ‘wow'”).
I’m a big fan of Julie Andrews. I’ve loved her voice since I was a child watching The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. I think we also had the albums. One of my first really adult-themed movies was Victor/Victoria, which I still love. That’s plenty to love, but I really admire what’s she’s done with her later career after losing her singing voice. I think a lot of people would have given up, having lost a gift that was so iconic, but she still has lots to give and she gives it. She even sings.
I learned about Julie’s Greenroom during one of the many interviews she’s given in recent weeks to promote her new book, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years. I guess I need to read that!