SHE'S not the Queen but Dame Julie Andrews' Brisbane visit is almost like a royal tour.
The musical theatre and film superstar unveiled her musical My Fair Lady to the assembled media yesterdat, with the cast running through a couple of scenes including one that featured Get Me to the Church - one of a string of unforgettable numbers from the show.
Dame Julie has been in town all week for rehearsals and says directing the show that made her famous is a treat.
"61 years ago this week My Fair Lady opened on Broadway," she recalled.
"Coming back to it is wonderful. It was one of the great Broadway musicals but who knew that a story about a professor of phonetics and a cockney flower girl would be so popular?"
She was the original lead as Eliza Doolittle in the 1956 stage version of Lerner and Loewe's classic, starring alongside Rex Harrison.
Julie Andrews went on to play the role in London and then became famous in The Sound of Music and other films.
When Opera Australia and producer John Frost invited her to direct My Fair Lady it was decided that it would be an almost exact recreation of that sumptuous Broadway original "down to the last sequin", as John Frost put it as he conducted a Q and A with Dame Julie on stage in the Lyric Theatre at QPAC, where the show is playing.
It replicates Cecil Beaton's amazing costumes and was a huge hit, the most successful show ever put on in the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House late last year.
Brisbane is lucky to have it before Melbourne and another Sydney season.
It's a big week for Dame Julie, her Netflix show, Julie's Greenroom, also launches. It will feature puppetry by the Jim Henson Company and aims to teach children about the arts.
"I hope it will create a new audience for the next generation," she said.
The assembled media were star-struck to be granted an audience, even if she was kept at arm's length from us commoners. Even the stars of the show are in awe.
Anna O'Byrne who plays Eliza Doolittle said it was "surreal" to be working with her idol.
"She's a true movie star from the golden age," O'Byrne said.
"I still have to pinch myself that I'm working with her."
Downton Abbey star Charles Edwards, who is playing Professor Henry Higgins, said it was a huge thrill for him too.
Dame Julie praised both stars and said Anna O'Byrne was perfect for the role which she made famous.
Dame Julie is keeping a low profile but will be at QPAC on Sunday night for the gala opening of the show which is already getting standing ovations at previews.
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