The first week of March 1973, beginning with March 5th, was a busy week for Julie Andrews. She would be taping the last episode of her television series, The Julie Andrews Hour. Doubtless, this was a time of mixed emotions. Since August of 1972, Julie had worked incredibly hard on the show, so a break would be great. But knowing that the show had been cancelled was sad. The cast and the crew, who were now like a family; would go their separate ways.
Monday and Tuesday that week were busy with learning the material for the show. Then, on Wednesday morning at 9:30am, Julie headed to Western Costume to try on and fit a costume or two for the special bits in Episode 24.
Henry Mancini would be the only guest on the final show. Besides his reputation as a brilliant composer and musician, Mancini was also a family friend. He had first worked with Julie’s husband, Blake Edwards, on the 1950s television series, Peter Gunn. Mancini had also written the songs for Julie and Blake’s first picture together, Darling Lili. Working with the talented and easy-going Henry Mancini would make the week all that much more pleasurable.
At 11am that Wednesday, Julie arrived at the recording study, ready to clean up some of the musical work with Priborski and Ian Frasier. Also present for this rehearsal were Henry Mancini and the eight Tony Charmoli dancers.
At noon, the entire cast had a run-thru of the show. Then after a break, at three, they began the musical pre-recording work in Studio B of RCA at 6363 Sunset Boulevard.
Thursday, March 8th was an equally busy day. Julie Andrews was on the set and ready to run through the blocking with the dancers at 10 am. They were scheduled to work on the Pink Panther dance for an hour and a half. Then, at 11:30 Julie and Henry worked on the “suspense scene,” At 1:00, they had an hour lunch break.
The afternoon was busy with work on the Peter Gunn segment, followed by what was called “the Tea Party Spot.” After that, Julie rehearsed her song, her final dance with “her guys,” The Tony Charmoli Dancers. The music was to be “This Guy’s in Love with You.” They were scheduled to quit at 6pm, but likely worked at least a bit later. The show itself was not going to be overloaded with bits. It was simple but rich with Mancini’s music.
By 10am the next day—Friday, March 9th-- Julie was back on the set with the dancers. The schedule was much like the day before, ending at 6:30pm. It seems likely the finished on time. Though an audience was not scheduled, that evening Julie was giving a big party for more than 300 people.
And then it was over.
© Michelle Russell
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