Singing Princess will be released on August 9th. For more information go to Latest Releases
Goodspeed Raises Over $285,000 at Gala Honoring Julie Andrews
June 16, 2005
- Largest fundraiser in Goodspeed history -
- Over 390 supporters attend -
“It’s such a joy for me to be here and be associated with this wonderful, very special theatre,” said the legendary Julie Andrews, as she was honored at a Gala evening in front of her adoring supporters. “And, there is nothing like musical theatre.”
More than 390 Goodspeed Musicals patrons helped raise over $285,000 for the Goodspeed Opera House Foundation at the Gala event on Saturday, June 11, 2005. Speaking to them she said: “Thank you for being the pillar of the arts, and especially musical theatre. You do make a difference, a very big one in the lives of others.” The 2005 Goodspeed Gala was sponsored by The Hartford.
Emmy and Tony Award-winner Christopher Plummer proudly paid tribute to his co-star and longtime friend through a poem he wrote for her: “Now we know, the world knows, even galaxies afar / That Julie is truly a star / But more importantly that she’s a lady with exceptional heart / Which keeps shining through her life and her art / And I’m honored to know her.”
Entertainment for the Gala evening was performed by Rachel York (Lincoln Center’s Dessa Rose, Broadway’s Sly Fox, The Scarlet Pimpernel, City of Angels, Les Miserables) with accompaniment by David Kirshenbaum. She dedicated “Old Friend” from Merrily We Roll Again to her Victor / Victoria co-star Andrews and then followed up with a rendition of “It's a Jolly Holiday with Mary” from “Mary Poppins” but changed the lyrics to “It's a Jolly Holiday with Julie.”
York said smiling: “You are a light to this world. You’ve always been a major inspiration to me. Whether it be marveling at your magical performances on screen as a child, or knowing and caring for you up close and personal as an adult. Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever expect to share the stage with Julie Andrews, much less a dressing room.”
Previous Goodspeed Award recipients include Ira Gershwin, Tommy Tune, Susan Stroman and Gerald Schoenfeld. Proceeds from the Gala will support Goodspeed Musicals and its Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater.
At the event, Ms. Andrews received the Goodspeed Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre, which was given to her by Ramani Ayer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Hartford.
“Investing in the arts, culture and the humanities is a primary goal at The Hartford,” Ayer said. “We are proud to support an institution like Goodspeed Musicals as an important way to help keep our communities growing and vibrant.”
One of the most beloved performers in the world, Julie Andrews made her Broadway debut at age 19 in The Boy Friend. Historic performances followed in the original productions of My Fair Lady and Camelot with Ms. Andrews then winning an Academy Award for Best Actress in her first film playing the title role in “Mary Poppins.” Soon after came the lead in “The Sound of Music,” one of the most successful motion pictures of all time. The role garnered Ms. Andrews her second Academy Award nomination and paved the way for a lifelong friendship with co-star Christopher Plummer. Her next project will be directing Goodspeed’s production of Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend, July 8 – Sept. 18 at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., which will then embark on a tour across the U.S. and Canada.
Christopher Plummer will forever be remembered as Captain von Trapp from “The Sound of Music,” (1965) a film in which he co-starred with Julie Andrews. In 1954, he made his Broadway debut with The Starcross Story. His Broadway credits also include The Good Doctor, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear. He was recognized with two Tony Awards for his performances in Cyrano and Barrymore. Mr. Plummer made his film debut in “Wind Across the Everglades” in 1958 and followed that with “Stage Struck” the same year. In total Mr. Plummer has been associated with over 100 films in his career.
The Chairmen for this event were John Barlow and Scott Rudin. Goodspeed Members Lucille and Dave Viola Sr., of Madison, Connecticut, served as Vice Chairs.
The Gala was staged at The Chauncey Stillman Production Center on the Goodspeed Campus in East Haddam, Connecticut.
As part of the special evening, a Silent Auction was held. Auction items included a presentation of a bouquet of roses to Julie Andrews, a walk on role in Goodspeed’s production of Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend, landscaping by designer Louis Raymond and a painting by Sol Lewitt.
Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, producing six musicals each season at the historic Goodspeed Opera House and The Norma Terris Theatre, opened in Chester, Conn., in 1984 for the development of new musicals. In addition to its onstage productions, Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of media sponsor WFSB Channel 3, Hoffman Enterprises East Hartford and New London and American Airlines, official airline of Goodspeed Musicals.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Beth Wik or Dan McMahon at 860.873.8664, ext. 366 or 324
Beth.Wik@goodspeed.org / Dan.McMahon@goodspeed.org
Goodspeed's Tribute to Julie Andrews
14 Jun 05
By Jan Nargi
Goodspeed Musicals of East Haddam, Connecticut paid tribute to the one and only Dame Julie Andrews on Saturday, June 11 by presenting her with The Goodspeed Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre . Close friends and colleagues Christopher Plummer and Rachel York were the special guests honoring Ms. Andrews at the gala reception and ceremony.
Plummer, two-time Tony Award winner and Andrews' co-star in the beloved film "The Sound of Music," read his very personal "Ode to Julie" that regaled the 400-plus patrons in attendance with clever rhymes about his unrequited love for her and his losing the role of Lancelot to an unknown named Robert Goulet. York, accompanied on the piano by composer David Kirschenbaum, sang Sondheim's "Old Friend" and then put her own special twist on "Jolly Holiday with Julie" by affectionately impersonating her mentor and co-star of "Putting It Together" and "Victor/Victoria."
Andrews graciously accepted her award by acknowledging the important contributions that Goodspeed Musicals has made to Broadway and the rest of the musical theater world by developing new works and reviving classics for new generations. Next on the Goodspeed schedule is the Andrews' directed revival of "The Boy Friend," the musical that launched her American Broadway career when she was just 19. The show will run on the Goodspeed mainstage from July 8 through September 18, then embark on a 21-week tour across the U.S. and Canada.
In closing, Andrews demonstrated her trademark cheeky humor by making one simple request of those in attendance. "During the next few weeks, if you see me on your roads, and I'm driving a bit too slowly, please," she cajoled. "Do me a favor. Lay off the damn horn."
Source: TheDay.com --> see also: www.julieandrews.org
Julie Andrews Honored At Goodspeed With Rhyme, Song
13 Jun 05
By KRISTINA DORSEY
Everyone had effusive words of praise for Julie Andrews at the Goodspeed Gala honoring her Saturday night. Christopher Plummer, however, took it one step further. He put his accolades and comic recollections of his "Sound of Music" co-star into a rhyming ode.
Plummer's tribute was part of an evening during which Goodspeed Musicals gave Andrews the Goodspeed Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre. His poem's clever couplets drew lots of laughter from the 400 people at the gala, including Andrews.
Plummer recalled that, back in the 1950s, Andrews' performance on Broadway as Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady" was impressing everyone, including Plummer himself. Director Moss Hart was looking for an actor to take over for Rex Harrison in the Henry Higgins role. He suggested Plummer as a potential replacement.
"But he had to hear me sing first, and that was not treat/For the sound I made resembled a rhinoceros in heat... " Plummer recited from the text he said he wrote in the car on the way to the gala. "Though Mr. Hart liked my Higgins, and that's the truth/I didn't get it simply because of my youth."
Plummer didn't meet Andrews then. A few years later, another possible role in another musical starring Andrews gave him yet another glimmer of hope.
"Suddenly, Moss Hart was directing 'Camelot'/And he thought I'd make a good Lancelot/So I sang for him again, the poor, long-suffering soul./That's why Robert Goulet got the role.
"Well, that just about reached the very end of my tether/Until you know what finally brought us together?/To play opposite Guenevere and Eliza would have been such fun./What did I get instead? For God's sake, a nun.
"But this nun was different, she was hysterically funny./Her irreverent humor was right on the money./When she sang, her golden voice brought the evening's hush./But sometimes, her language could make a stevedore blush."
On a serious note, Plummer described Andrews as "a lady with an exceptional heart/Which keeps shining through her life and her art."
Andrews is in East Haddam to direct "The Boy Friend." After a run at Goodspeed, from July 8 to Sept. 18, the show will go on the road for 21 weeks. Andrews starred in the original version of the musical on Broadway, in 1954. It was the show that brought her to America.
"There is nothing like musical theater. I was lucky enough to begin my career in this glorious sandbox," she said.
Before the gala began, Andrews noted that the Goodspeed award "comes from people who know musical theater and appreciate musical theater. When it comes from somebody like that, it's always very meaningful."
Another of Andrews' former co-stars took the stage as well. Rachel York, who performed with Andrews in Broadway's "Victor/Victoria," sang Andrews' praises, literally. She sang "It's a holly holiday with Mary" from "Mary Poppins" but changed the lyrics to "It's a jolly holiday with Julie."
The gala was held in the Goodspeed's paint shop, which was transformed into an elegant dinner room, with delicate strings of small white lights and swags of gossamer fabric. Photos of Andrews in some of her most famous roles were projected onto the walls. Among the guests in attendance were Morley Safer of "60 Minutes," U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, and Andrews' daughter, Emma Walton, and her family.
Source: TheDay.com --> see also: www.julieandrews.org
Americanization of Emily will be released on May 10th. For more information go to Latest Releases
Guess Who's Coming to Julie's? June 11 Goodspeed Bash for Andrews Snags Old Friends
07 April 2005
Christopher Plummer and Rachel York are on the guest list for the June 11 gala where Goodspeed Musicals will fete the legendary actress Julie Andrews.
Plummer was Andrews' co-star in the film, "The Sound of Music" and a live TV version of "On Golden Pond," and York appeared with Andrews in Broadway's Victor/Victoria.
At the grand party in East Haddam, CT, Andrews will receive The Goodspeed Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre "in honor of her extraordinary career." The bash is a real behind-the-scenes affair held in the dressed-up paint shop on the Goodspeed campus.
Goodspeed Musicals is the Connecticut-based not-for-profit theatre company devoted to the heritage of musical theatre and the fostering of new works, at both the Goodspeed Opera House and the Norma Terris Theatre.
Previous Goodspeed award recipients include Ira Gershwin, Tommy Tune, Susan Stroman and Gerald Schoenfeld. Proceeds from the gala will support Goodspeed Musicals and its Max Showalter Center for Education in the Musical Theater.
Julie Andrews is a Broadway and Hollywood legend for her performances in Broadway's My Fair Lady and Camelot, and for her film roles of Maria in "The Sound of Music" and the title character in "Mary Poppins." She played the title roles in the film "Victor/Victoria" (and later starred in the Broadway musical version), and recently appeared in "The Princess Diaries," and its sequel, "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement."
Her next project will be directing Goodspeed's production of Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend, July 8-Sept. 18 at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT. It will then embark on a national tour.
The chairmen for this gala event are Broadway press agent John Barlow and film and stage producer Scott Rudin. Barlow began his career over 20 years ago as a press intern with Goodspeed. Goodspeed members Lucille and Dave Viola Sr., of Madison, serve as vice chairs.
For gala ticket information, please telephone Theresa Kidd, Director of Individual Giving, at (860) 873-8664, ext. 317.
Goodspeed Musicals produces six musicals each season at the historic Goodspeed Opera House and The Norma Terris Theatre, which opened in Chester, CT in 1984 for the development of new musicals.
In addition to its onstage productions, Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre.
Michael P. Price is executive director of Goodspeed Musicals.
Julie's book 'Dragon:Hound of Honor' has been released as a paperback. For more information go to Latest Releases
Go up to: News April 2005
Julie Andrews 'having a ball' directing musical
29 Mar 05
More than 50 years after making her Broadway debut in The Boy Friend, stage legend Julie Andrews says she's having "great fun" directing a new version of the show that will arrive in the city next year.
"This is very stimulating," said Andrews, immaculately turned out in a crisp grey suit as she sat down Tuesday to talk about the production.
"I really felt that every instinct I ever had about the theatre was being employed when I was directing and I had such a good time."
Andrews was approached about The Boy Friend two years ago by her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, a co-founder of the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbour, N.Y.
"I'd been considering directing and I really needed some encouragement and this was exactly what I wanted - an environment where I could practise," said the 69-year-old, who has also written a series of children's books with Hamilton.
"Ultimately, I had a ball."
That production led to the upcoming North American tour, which will stop in Toronto in January and February 2006.
About a dozen cities have been booked so far, said Andrews.
When the actress talks about The Boy Friend - a whimsical send-up of rollicking musical comedies of the 1920s - her affection for the production is clearly apparent.
In her famously precise English accent, she calls the show a "little piece of lace" with "lovely music."
"It's the first thing that I ever did on Broadway and, I, of course, have a very emotional and professional attachment to it," she said.
Directing, was a welcome new challenge, Andrews added.
"It's one thing to be alone in an individual role on one side of the footlights and then suddenly be on the other side of the footlights looking at the whole."
Andrews, of course, is known to movie audiences around the world for her soaring four-octave voice, which helped bring to life iconic screen roles like Mary Poppins and Maria in The Sound of Music.
On Broadway, she has wowed audiences in Camelot, My Fair Lady and Victor/Victoria, a stage version of the 1982 film in which she also starred.
But in 1997, her singing voice was ruined after surgery to remove non-cancerous nodules from her throat. Five years ago, she reached an undisclosed settlement in her malpractice lawsuit against the doctors and hospital.
In recent years, Andrews' career has taken a slightly different turn. She was the voice of the queen in Shrek 2 and has also appeared in films such as The Princess Diaries (she was also in a sequel, which included a limited singing scene).
On Tuesday, Andrews suggested her newfound career as a director has been a welcome return to her musical roots.
"Since I'm not singing these days, this is lovely," she said.
"It's such a joy to see the new talent that's coming along. I had my wonderful moment with it and now it's somebody else's chance to do it."
The Toronto stop of The Boy Friend is a boon for Mirvish productions, which has announced a 2005-06 lineup that also includes the much-hyped musical version of Lord of the Rings as well as the Broadway smash Movin' Out, based on the songs of piano man Billy Joel.
Source: http://www.ctv.ca CTV News Toronto see also Pulse24.com / Toronto's News --> video link in Multimedia section
Toronto Will See Julie Andrews-Directed Tour of 'Boyfriend'
29 Mar 05
By Kenneth Jones, Robert Simonson
The new production of The Boyfriend, directed by Julie Andrews, will play a Toronto engagement as part of a North American tour that will follow its summer 2005 start at Goodspeed Opera House.
Andrews, the original Broadway star of Sandy Wilson's spoof of 1920s musicals, will be on the Goodspeed campus in East Haddam, CT, this summer to helm the production.
This is her second crack at staging the show: Audiences were delighted by her 2003 revival at Bay Street Theatre on Long Island. Goodspeed picked up the ball and is presenting the show July 8-Sept. 18, followed by a tour sponsored by Target. John DeLuca choreographs. Book, music and lyrics are by Sandy Wilson.
Toronto dates for January and February 2006 will be announced, according to the Royal Alexandra Theatre. No casting has been mentioned for Connecticut or the subsequent tour.
When the Sandy Wilson work played Long Island's Bay Street in August 2003, there was some talk that it would find its way to Broadway.
Andrews, of course, Broadway-debuted in the original 1954 production of the musical. In the Bay Street mounting, Meredith Patterson played Andrews' role (Polly) with Sean Palmer as her star-struck love interest. Veanne Cox portrayed the French maid, Byron Jennings was a proper Englishman, Nancy Hess was Madame Dubonnet, Tony Roberts was the lecherous Lord and Delphi Harrington played his aristocratic wife.
The company also included Paul Alexander, Justin Bohon, Joyce Chittick, Andrea Chamberlain, Jenny Fellner, Rick Faugno, Mark Price, Annie Ramsey and Neal Shrader.
The Boy Friend at Bay Street marked Andrews' debut as a director. Bay Street is run, in part, by Emma Walton, Andrews' daughter.
The Bay Street creative team for the musical included Larry Grossman (musical direction), John DeLuca (choreography), Tony Walton (sets), Walton and Rachel Gruer (costumes) and Eric Schlobohm (lights).
Goodspeed bills the show this way: " The Boy Friend is a jazzy, romantic spoof of 1920s musical comedy. Amidst happy flappers and perfect young ladies, romance blooms on the French Riviera as an English heiress suddenly falls for the delivery boy and professes her love at the Grand Ball. A family favorite, this joyful comedy sparkles and will leave you floating on air?
The score includes "Won't You Charleston with Me?," "It's Never Too Late to Fall in Love" and more.
Julie Andrews to host the brand new fireworks show!
19 Mar 05
By Carla Cosper
Exploding over Sleeping Beauty's Castle on May 5th will be the specially created "Remember Dreams Come True" fireworks spectacular! This 17 minute creation begins with an introduction by Julie Andrews of "Mary Poppins" fame followed by the sounds of "Star Light, Star Bright" and "Wish Upon A Star". The new show begins with the wishes of several Disney characters including Cinderella, Pinocchio and Aladdin ·told through incredible special effects, music scores and breathtaking fireworks.
Tinker Bell makes a grand entrance utilizing a new and improved cable system. In years past, Tinker Bell was pushed off of the Matterhorn using gravity, in order to glide through the skies above the castle. The new cable system allows Tinker Bell to fly back & forth, and remain stationary over the castle. She will disappear magically among 8,000 watts of light! Tinker Bells dramatic new flight will introduce act two, Walt Disney's dream of Disneyland, explained in Walt's own works using archival audio tracks. Guests will suddenly hear "All Aboard" as the "E" ticket rides are featured in this segment. The "Tiki Room", "Indiana Jones", "Haunted Mansion" and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" are just a few of the attractions featured in the skies above Disneyland.
Julie Andrews then speaks about Disneyland, 50 years later and Tinker Bell reappears above the castle just before the full finale!
The "Remember Dreams Come True" fireworks will be launched from additional locations to provide the guests a great view from various locations. It is my recommendation that if you are able to view this firework show on more than one occasion, to experience it from various areas around the park. In front of the "Toon Town" entrance, by the Rivers of America and of course in front of "Sleeping Beauty's Castle" and along Main Street.
Julie Andrews Makes Stage Appearance at Mary Poppins
By James Inverne
18 Mar 2005
The screen Mary Poppins met her onstage double March 17 when Julie Andrews visited the London stage version at the Prince Edward Theatre.
Seated in a box during the show, Ms. Andrews formally bestowed her approval by taking to the stage during the curtain calls and making a speech praising the cast.
According to the Evening Standard newspaper, Laura Michelle Kelly, who plays Mary in the Cameron Mackintosh-Disney Theatricals co-production, was tearful during Andrews’ speech. “It’s always harder when your hero is watching,” she told the newspaper. “Doing the show tonight, I could feel her over my shoulder, and I was thinking all the time, ‘I got that bit from her.’”
Andrews appeared delighted with the show, not least the moment when Kelly flew over her head into the auditorium. “Can you imagine the joy and memories that this has brought back to me?” Andrews said during her speech, turning to the cast to add, “Now the future lies in your hands. You have got to carry the torch from now on. Come to Broadway. Wow them all. I will be waiting.”
Andrews, whose first lead role (in Humpty Dumpty) was at the Prince Edward, now lives between America and Switzerland. She may be able to see another of her classic screen roles on stage before too long — if plans for a West End revival of The Sound Of Music progress.
For more information on Mary Poppins, call (0)870 850 9191.
Andrews Pops In To Poppins
03 Mar 2005
For the first time ever, on March 17, there will be two Mary Poppins(es) in the same room, as Julie Andrews makes a special visit to see 2005 Best Actress In A Musical Olivier Award-winner Laura Michelle Kelly in the musical about the magical nanny. Andrews will be attending a gala performance from which the proceeds will be donated to ARK, Operation USA and LAMDA.
Julie Andrews famously played the practically perfect childminder in the 1964 Disney musical, opposite the legendarily-accented Dick Van Dyke, winning a Best Actress Oscar for her effort. The movie musical about a dysfunctional family, a flying nanny and her multi-jobbing friend, has thrilled many a child, and adult, since, with its collection of songs including A Spoonful Of Sugar, Chim Chim Cheroo and the fantastically spelt Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Though the stage musical is partly based on the film, and includes the famous ditties, the books of P.L. Travers were also used by writer Julian Fellowes to create the production. Song writers George Stiles and Anthony Drewe were also employed to provide additional songs for the Disney and Cameron Mackintosh produced stage version. Choreographers Matthew Bourne – who also co-directs with Richard Eyre – and Stephen Mear picked up and Olivier Award for their outstanding dance routines, of which one in particular defies the laws of physics.
Tickets for the gala performance have been distributed through the organisations that will benefit: ARK, which provides aid to children worldwide, particularly ‘after the cameras leave’; Operation USA, the American aid charity of which Julie Andrews is a trustee; and LAMDA, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Tickets may become available at the Prince Edward Box Office from March 9.
If you want a more ‘hands on’ approach to the Poppins phenomenon and happen to be a child who can sing, dance and act, you could end up on stage with Ms Kelly, Gavin Lee, David Haig and Linzi Hately, as the show is recruiting new stars to play Jane and Michael Banks. The producers are looking for well-spoken children whose voices have not broken and who do not have fixed braces.
To be a little more specific, Michael – a noisy, mischievous, troublesome little boy – should not be more than 4’6” and look 8-10 years old. Jane – a thoughtless, short-tempered and untidy young lady – should not be taller than 4’10” and look 10-12 years old. If you, or your child, fit that description and would like to be in a West End show, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or send a passport-size photo and contact details to Joanne Hawes, Cameron Mackintosh Limited, 1 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3RA.
Prince Edward Theatre
28 Old Compton Street
020 7437 2024