Julie Andrews rediscovers her voice

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Julie Andrews rediscovers her voice

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NEW YORK - It may take a big spoonful of sugar to make this go down: Julie Andrews says that her four-octave voice is not coming back.

The Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress said in a recent interview that a botched operation to remove non-cancerous throat nodules in 1997 hasn’t gotten better. It has permanently limited her range and her ability to hold notes.

“The operation that I had left me without a voice and without a certain piece of my vocal chords,’’ said Andrews, who starred in such quintessential stage and film musicals as “The Sound of Music,’’ `’My Fair Lady’’ and “Mary Poppins.’’

The actress says she can still speak “pretty well’’ and can still hit a few bass notes, “So if you wanted a rendition of ‘Old Man River’ you might get it, but I’m not singing as much these days.’’

Andrews has sung publicly several times since the surgery, including a performance in the 2004 film “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” and in a 2010 London concert. But she called those “speak-singing.’’

The 77-year-old, however, says she has rediscovered her voice in her books and in directing theater.

Her latest children’s book, “Little Bo in London: The Ultimate Adventure of Bonnie Boadicea,” has just been released by Harper Collins. It’s the fourth and final book in the series about a possibly magical ship’s cat that travels the world with the man who rescued her. It’s the 27th book she’s co-written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton.

She’s also directing a musical theater adaptation of another of her books, “The Great American Mousical.’’ The show, about a troop of acting mice living beneath the floors of a famous Broadway theater, is being performed at the Goodspeed Theatre in Connecticut through Sunday. Andrews thinks it “would do very well on Broadway.’’

AP

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