Thursday, October 11, 2012

Episode Five The Grandest Show with Robert Goulet

          Forty years ago tonight, on October 11, 1972, ABC aired what was, in this writer’s humble opinion, the grandest of all The Julie Andrews Hour episodes. It was a very special, yet simple show with only one guest, Robert Goulet.
Of course, Robert Goulet had worked with Julie Andrews in the Broadway musical, Camelot. The show begins with the two singers seated onstage, recalling that twelve years earlier, they appeared in the show at the Majestic Theater (now home of The Phantom of the Opera). Camelot ran for 831 performances. The show became legendary when it was later revealed that President John F. Kennedy loved it and played the recording every night.
In this episode of The Julie Andrews Hour, we see two singers who are perfectly matched in terms of vocal ability and quality. Not only have they played many performances together, but they truly admire and like one another. As a result, the quality of their performance is magical. Julie glows throughout the show and Goulet is in top form. The simplicity and elegance of the show is something to see. It is a show which every aspiring theater performer should watch.
Following their short discussion, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet launch into a series of songs from the shows that played on Broadway during the time they were in Camelot: Bye, Bye Birdie, Gypsy, The Sound of Music and West Side Story. After a lovely duet from Gypsy, the performance moves to the floor with dancers, sets and costumes. Julie, in her lovely, long gown is greeted by The Tony Charmoli Dancers dressed in tramp outfits. One fellow hands her a bouquet of daisies and a sweet dance to “Put on a Happy Face” follows.
from the Ruth and Vannie Schaufelberger
The show is beautifully filmed and edited. Director Bill Davis is to be commended for his work, and the cameramen as well. It appears to be one of the shows which Director Davis told me was filmed with a live audience present for most of it, i.e. concert style. It also contains one of the most talked about moments of Julie’s show, and the fact that this little event is there captures the “live” effect. During one of the duets, while Julie is singing, one of her earrings suddenly flies off her ear, at which point she lets out a big “whoo!” which makes the audience laugh.  Then, she removes her other earring, and while Goulet was singing, holds it up to his ear. The pair are very loose and at ease and, at the same time, produce the most glorious sounds and performances. Nothing could be better!
The second half of the show is dedicated to “the music men.” Irving Berlin is first. We discover Julie in a Music Hall singing Alexander’s Ragtime Band and dancing with two of her fellows. When Robert Goulet sings “The Girl That I Marry” from Annie Get Your Gun, it’s enough to make any girl’s heart melt. Every lyric matters and is full of tenderness, and you listen to it as if you have never heard it before.
Cole Porter’s songs are introduced in a party scene that has great direction and fun bits of acting. This is followed by a rather sexy number in which Julie, wearing a stretchy gown, moves seductively as she sings “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.”
A dancer would later tell me that during the run of the show Julie got letters from folks in the south and middle America saying the gowns she was wearing were too low cut and too sexy. Later, he said, she felt it was necessary to come out and say that she was not Mary Poppins or Maria von Trapp, but herself, Julie Andrews.
This fifth show in The Julie Andrews Hour series is definitely romantic and seductive. Goulet, with his voice, gorgeous blue eyes and mustache cannot help but enchant you, and he and Julie play well together. Their duet from West Side Story, “Somewhere,” is amazing. As a performer, Goulet clearly uses the physical to play his scenes and bring you into them. His performance of “Soliloquy” from Carousel (just the “My Little Girl” portion) is truly great. Also deserving mention is the wonderful choreography by Tony Charmoli of “Stepping Out with my Baby” for Julie and the eight male dancers. At the end of this segment, which concludes “With a Song in My Heart,” as Goulet takes the hand of fair lady Julie and turns to exit, we hear the audience roar their approval.
The grand finale of the show is dedicated to George Gershwin. For this, the entire Nelson Riddle Orchestra is on stage along with The Dick Williams Singers. But, of course, Julie Andrews and Robert Goulet are glorious, and would be with no one else. They conclude with the duet “I Loves You Porgy” from Porgy and Bess. It is a performance that I have held in my memory for forty years.
At the conclusion of this grand concert Julie turns to her guest Robert Goulet and says, “Goodnight Robert. It was heavenly having you on the show.”
Indeed, it was.
It’s time to write your comments. We need to see these shows preserved and made available for the public!

If you would like to see The Julie Andrews Hour put out on DVD, along with  a Duets CD of Julie and her guests (and maybe others as well), please send a respectful e-mail to requesting this to:
Coming next: My First Visit to The Julie Andrews Hour


  1. God bless you for sharing and preserving these shows. Otherwise, they WILL be forgotten!
    Richard Skipper

  2. I hope not. They need to be seen on fine quality DVDs or television in full, not You-tube snippets. I hope someone out there is listening!