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A CurtainUp ReviewJulie Madly Deeply
With the help of the multi-talented Michael Roulston, who is musical director, pianist and vocal backup, Young relives Andrew's climb from vaudeville performer (with her parents) to West End, Broadway, screen and concert hall star. She has that clear, pure and vibrant voice Andrews' fans love which serves her well in singing Andrews' repertoire. But Young is also a gifted actress and mime. Her warmth establishes an almost immediate liaison with the audience. And 59e59's Theater B provides all the intimacy this show needs.
Young works with nothing more than a mic, a chair and one costume change (a whimsical and flamboyant dress worn over the simple black one she wears throughout most of the show). She is such a natural that one suspects she needed little guidance from director Russell Lucas who keeps the show rolling along at a steady pace. .
Young tells us Julie Andrews had three fathers, two husbands, five children and a career that spanned six decades. It began when her stepfather put her under the tutelage of his own voice teacher, Madame Lillian Stiles Allen. Young pretends she is a radio commentator who covers Andrews' race to stardom. It ends when Andrews is 18 and ready to leave home for New York to star in Sandy Wilson's hit show The Boyfriend..
Producer Cy Feuer, who had taken over the direction, immediately recognizes Andrews' talent and knows how to mold it. Her next coach is Moss Hart, director of My Fair Lady who also commiserates with her on Rex Harrison's obnoxious behavior.
Not a fan of Camelot, Young gives it perfunctory treatment. She then gives us a glimpse of Audrey Hepburn's somewhat apologetic acceptance of the role of Eliza in the film version of My Fair Lady and goes on to Mary Poppins. Throughout, Young plays all the involved parties, often to great comic effect, most specially with Liza Minnelli. .
Eventually, under the influence of last husband, Blake, Andrews takes her career into a more serious direction in which many of her fans are unwilling to follow. Andrews also has problems with her vocal chords. But, as we all know, she is sustained by her decency, humanity and hard work— and of course the loyal fans who will never desert her.
Young begins the story of her own fandom with a letter she wrote to Andrews when she was a young girl and wanted the singer/actress to marry her father. She ends with the words "Nobody can sing like Julie Andrews." But by now she has convinced us that at least one person can do a damn good job in making the attempt.
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Julie Madly Deeply
Written and performed by Sarah-Louise Young
Directed by and with contributions from Russell Lucas
Musical Direction: Michael Roulston
Costume Design: Anna Braithwaite
AEA Stage Manager: Alyssa K. Howard
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
59e59Theaters, 59 East 59 Street between Park and Madison
Tuesday – Friday at 7:15 PM; Saturday at 2:15 PM & 7:15 PM; and Sunday at 2:15 PM
From 6/11/2019; opening 6/16/2019; closing 6/30/2019
Tickets: $25 - $35 ($24.50 for 59E59 Members).
Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons June 15, 2019
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