Here are two intelligent and talented women I’ve been spending some time with this week (other than female friends and family members, of course!): Lisa Kudrow and Julie Andrews. I scored this DVD of Kudrow’s late and great HBO series “The Comeback” at the TJ Maxx checkout counter for $5. I loved this show and so did most critics. It was sharp and subtle, poignant and witty. Kudrow stars a former TV star who’s the subject of a reality show filmed as she makes a hoped-for comeback in a standardly trite sitcom. It’s a treasure that’s even worth the $30 price the DVD normally retails for. And then there’s “Home, A Memoir of My Early Years” by Julie Andrews. Who among us who grew up with “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music” does not love Julie Andrews? I always thought of her as elegant upper-crust British nobility. Surprise! She is none of those things — she actually came from a dysfunctional alcoholic/philandering family and got her start in the dying days of pre- and post-World War II vaudeville. Her autobiography has gotten well-deserved rave reviews. It’s a spare yet richly-layered look at a childhood that will horrify modern parents and leave you amazed and inspired by Andrews’ tenacity.
Note: I got this book because my mom gave me an autographed copy. Autographed by Julie Andrews herself! My mother is like Mrs. Super School Board (actually — chairwoman of her local school board) and attended the National School Board Association meeting in San Diego a couple weeks ago. Julie Andrews was one of the speakers and autographed books — two each — for 150 people. My mom stood in line for over an hour with her books but was thrilled to meet Miss Andrews, who was so nice and pleasant, my mom said, and complimented my mother on her jacket. A definite class act. Both of them.