I spent my afternoon with Julie Andrews today.
After a couple weeks of going back and forth about whether it would be worth a half hour of my time to watch the new preschool-targeted Netflix show created by and starring Julie Andrews, today I decided to snuggle up with my lunch and watch it.
Now, while I’m not expecting to convince any of my peers reading this to go and spend their lunch watching Julie’s Greenroom like I did, do give it a shot the next time you’re babysitting or spending time with your niece or in five or ten or twenty years if you have children of your own.
The show is about a theatre program run for a diverse group of Muppet children by Miss Julie with the help of her trusty stage manager. In each episode they learn about a different aspect of the theatre featuring a guest star — this pilot featured Idina Menzel who sent the children on a field trip to go see Wicked and learn about musical theatre. I especially appreciated the breadth of theatre-related elements there were touched upon in just one episode — the children learn about theatre architecture and technical elements as well as music and performance, each of them beginning to find their niche. One of the children doesn’t want to perform and is instead interested in helping the stage manager with tech; another child who uses a wheelchair dreams of playing in a theatre pit — how awesome is that? What a wonderful vision of what the theatre is and what the next generation of theatre artists will be.
Sure, it’s naive or too optimistic, maybe, but this is a show for children exposing them to theatre and celebrating the arts. Maybe, hopefully, it may get some grown-ups on board in the process.