No More Sound of Music

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NEW YORK: Those fabled neon lights of Broadway just dimmed a little. Julie Andrews may never sing again. Her husband, director Blake Edwards, told Parade magazine that the throat operation Andrews underwent in 1997 has been an unmitigated disaster: "She was told she'd be OK in six weeks, the voice would actually be better," Edwards said. "It's over a year, and if you heard it, you'd weep."

TIME theater critic Richard Zoglin says that although the 63-year-old Andrews' acting career could theoretically resume, the American stage may have lost one of its brightest lights. "That incredibly clear, sweet voice was such an integral part of her appeal," says Zoglin, "that it'll be tough for her to continue without it." And that, he says, is a great shame. "She was a real musical star, one of the ones who could really do it. We haven't had too many of those in America." We'll always have "Mary Poppins."