You would’ve never guessed that Julie Andrews was only days away from her 80th birthday when she recently arrived at the LA Philharmonic’s Opening Night gala.
The actress was all smiles and waves as she strode into the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Clearly, she’s not planning to retire anytime soon. “I’m still busy,” Julie said recently. “I’m just busy doing different things.”
Julie at the LA Philharmonic’s Opening Night gala on Sept. 29.
One of those things is directing. Julie — who hit her milestone 80th on Oct. 1 — is preparing to helm a stage production of My Fair Lady, the Broadway musical that made her a star nearly 60 years ago, in Sydney. She’ll fly to Australia in November to start casting the show, slated for an August 2016 opening. “She’s extremely excited about the opportunity,” a friend tells Closer. “And she hopes to continue to direct other projects.”
In fact, this is not her directorial debut: She mounted a production of The Boy Friend — a musical she’d done on Broadway even before My Fair Lady — on Long Island in 2003. But this time, she’s tackling a much more ambitious show.
Julie in MY Fair Lady in 1966.
“It’s a quantum leap in terms of directing,” Richard Stirling, author of Julie Andrews: An Intimate Biography, tells Closer. “It’s an enormous show.”
Luckily, Julie had a great directorial mentor in Blake Edwards, her husband of nearly 41 years (they met outside their mutual therapist ’s office), who guided her through films like Victor Victoria and 10.
To read the full story on Julie, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!