Julie Andrews made her grand return to the Ed Sullivan Theater for The Late Show Friday night, having appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1961 to perform a song from My Fair Lady. The beloved actress recalled her time auditioning for the role with Stephen Colbert, and an “amazing” true story about what Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein told her.
After auditioning for her now iconic role in My Fair Lady with lyricist Alan J. Lerner, she went over to audition in front of Rodgers for the musical Pipe Dream. “I gave an audition in a very empty theater and belted out my little aria as hard as I could,” Andrews said, “and I knew that somewhere out there Mr. Rodgers was sitting all alone — or maybe with somebody — and he came up on stage after. I’d never met him, and he said to me, ‘That was absolutely adequate.'”
Noting he was just teasing, Andrews recalled being asked if she was auditioning for anyone else. When she mentioned the role in My Fair Lady, Rodgers generously responded, “I tell you what, if they ask you to do the show, I think you should take that one. If they don’t ask you, come back and see me because I’d very much like to use you.”
Watch Andrews tell the story in the clip above.
Elsewhere, Andrews previewed her Netflix children’s show Julie’s Greenroom, reminisced about her stunts filming Mary Poppins, and challenged Colbert to perform vocal exercises through a mouthful of grapes.
Without chewing them, Colbert had to recite as clearly as possible, “With blackest moss, the flower pots were thickly crusted, one and all.”
Watch the elocution lesson in the clip above.