Judy Garland’s return takes centre stage in new Jericho Arts Centre show

End of the Rainbow

April 26-May 20 | Jericho Arts Centre

Tickets: $20-$25 at brownpapertickets.com

The story goes, a reporter once asked Judy Garland what it felt like to be a legend. Garland, not missing a beat, responded: “If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?”

That answer is hugely telling when it comes to the life and untimely death of one of the 20th century’s greatest talents — a talent that is at the centre of the Peter Quilter play End of the Rainbow, on April 26 to May 20 at the Jericho Arts Centre (JAC).

The Quilter work is a fictionalized account of Garland’s last stand onstage — a five-week run at London’s Talk of the Town club in 1968. It should be noted that after the gruelling gig Garland was dead six months later from a barbiturate overdose, just shy of her 47th birthday and not long after marrying husband No. 5, Mickey Deans.

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“Pulling the curtain back on that and letting people see how it might really have been with Judy is a bit of a departure and a bit difficult and a challenging thing to do,” said End of the Rainbow director Claude Giroux. “We also show how amazingly talented she was. But at the end of the day, she was still that little girl whose father got her into show business when she was three.”

In 1939, Garland’s superstar fate was sealed when she appeared as Dorothy in the groundbreaking and still-much-beloved film The Wizard of Oz.

Democrats likely wish to find the equivalent of Toto to expose Donald Trump as he did the Wizard of Oz in the film starring Judy Garland. Photo for the Mac Parry Town Tlak column of July 30, 2016. Malcolm Parry/Vancouver Sun [PNG Merlin Archive]

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Judy Garland seen here in a publicity still from the film The Wizard of Oz.

But as the record shows, there weren’t many rainbows in her life. Started on drugs by her ambitious mother, Garland’s short life was punctuated by addictions to pills and booze.

Her demons led to unpredictable and undependable behaviour, behaviour that made her persona non grata to bookers and agents. The London gig was a big deal for a once big star in need of a big comeback.

“I read the script and it scared me, and I thought that’s probably why I should do it,” said Janet Gigliotti, who stars as Garland in the JAC show. “She was messy, difficult and there was a lot of tragedy associated with her, and she is an icon. Everybody loves her. I don’t want to do a poor job of portraying her.”

That’s the thing. Not only as an actor are you playing a real person, but you

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Entertainment

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