Julie Andrews sings

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter  |  June 21, 2002 at 3:41 PM
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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., June 21 (UPI) -- Julie Andrews, who lost her singing voice in a 1997 vocal-cord surgery mishap, sang in public Thursday night at a centennial birthday celebration honoring the late Broadway and Hollywood composer Richard Rodgers, who was born June 28, 1902.

The event at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills, Calif., featured movie clips from Rodgers' collaborations with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein, as well as live performances by a cast that included Oscar-winners Joel Grey ("Cabaret") and Kathy Bates ("Misery"), Tony-winner Lillias White ("The Life") and Emmy-nominee Tony Danza ("The Practice").

The clips and the live performances covered scores of classic tunes, including "This Can't Be Love," "Some Enchanted Evening," "Blue Moon" and "The Lady Is a Tramp." Bates -- not typically known as a singer -- surprised the audience with her performances of "Where or When," "Mountain Greenery" and other songs.

The biggest surprise came when Andrews, in a brief and apparently spontaneous performance, sang a few bars of three songs from "The Sound of Music" -- "Do-Re-Mi," "So Long, Farewell" and "Climb Every Mountain," which she sang with the rest of the company at the end of the program.

Although her voice was scratchy, it was strong.

Andrews announced last week that she is ready to undergo a new treatment that offers at least some promise that she might sing professionally again. She was promoting a program by a team of doctors at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology that could help millions of people -- including throat-cancer patients -- get their voices back.

She said that, at 66, she still has hope that the new treatment will restore her singing voice.

"That actually is a possibility," said Andrews. "It certainly gives me great comfort and hope."

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