Coming under the category of “boy, do we need it now” is the new children’s series demystifying the arts, Julie’s Greenroom on Netflix. It’s the creation of Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton and each half-hour episode explores a different facet of the theater, from writing and acting to costumes and music. There are songs and score in each show, so for this story in Variety I interviewed music director Bill Sherman, composer Ryan Shore and songwriter Shaina Taub. At a time when arts funding is threatened on both national and local levels, this show is really special and deserves our support (and anyway, there are Muppets in it!).
Ian Fraser was among the most beloved of music directors in Hollywood. The winner of more music Emmys than anyone in history, he was also an Oscar nominee and favorite collaborator of Julie Andrews, songwriter Leslie Bricusse, and many others. The name of Ian Fraser as music director on any project — whether film, TV, a stage show or an album — always assured a classy orchestral sound and impeccable taste. Fraser, who died in October, was remembered at a memorial service yesterday by some of his famous friends, including Andrews, Bricusse and composer John Williams. Here is a recap of the event.
Ian Fraser, whose extraordinary musicianship and good taste lent a polished, classy sound to many of television’s great musical specials, died this morning at his home after a long battle with cancer. Anyone who knew Ian adored him. He held the record for the most Emmy wins (11) and nominations (32 total) within the music categories over the years. I wrote the obituary for Variety, drawing in part on a video interview I did with him for the Archive of American Television in 2012. Julie Andrews and songwriter Leslie Bricusse, two dear friends, were happy to contribute reminiscences to an appreciation I’ve since written of this delightful and immensely talented Englishman.