Dedicated to the late Judy Garland, Beyond is a “musical portrait” of Garland’s career. The child actor turned Hollywood star caught the collective American eye not just for her exceptional talent but her tumultuous private life as well.
“Judy Garland’s life was a quintessential American life,” said Lou Tyrrell, artistic director of Theatre at Arts Garage. “From Hollywood child star to the icon who gave it all on the stage of Carnegie Hall, we felt that her triumphs and tragedies were our own, and we embraced her as if she were a member of our own family. 'Beyond the Rainbow' tells her story, but it also tells America’s story through the turbulent years of the mid-twentieth century. It’s the story and the music of an era to be cherished and savored.”
The musical is set in April 23, 1961 on the Carnegie Hall stage during what many chimed as “the concert of the century.” The scenes depict the concert itself, complete with 24 of Garland’s greatest hits, including “That’s Entertainment,” “Get Happy” and the obvious favorite, “Over the Rainbow.” But during the show, with the backdrop of one of her career milestones in full swing, Garland’s mind wanders to figures of her past, both alive and in memory only. Visions of her younger self, Louis B. Mayer and her late parents all grace the stage—in and out of her consciousness—telling her story for better and for worse. These visions, portrayed by living, breathing actors, add tension and nerve that can only be dispelled by belting out a tune into the microphone, a nod to Garland’s famed statement: “My history of my life is in my songs.”
In reality, the Carnegie Hall concert was a reawakening of Garland’s career, with the live recording taking five Grammy Awards and going Gold within a year.
“This setting of triumph and reflection is the perfect production for those who already adore Judy and for those who would love to learn more about the young girl we’ve all seen innumerable times in the 'Wizard of Oz,'" Tyrrell says.
Produced by Edith and Martin Stein, the musical casts Jody Briskey and Norah Long, who play Garland at different ages. The five-role cast also includes Peggy O’Connell and Peter Moore as Garland’s parents and Clark A. Cruikshank as Garland’s MGM producer, Louis B. Mayer.
- Showtimes are as follows: Wednesday through Friday, curtain is at 7:30 p.m., July 19, 24-26, 31 and August 1-2, 7-9; Saturdays, curtain is at 2 p.m., July 20 and 27 and August 3 and 10; and Sundays, curtain is at 7 p.m., with shows July 21 and 28 and August 4 and 11.
- Tickets begin at $30.
- BYOW—Bring Your Own Whatever
- For more information and tickets, call the box office at 561-450-6357 or visit artsgarage.org.