To celebrate what would have been Judy Garland's 90th birthday, Peter Mac has composed a brand new phenomenally original show - in the form of a play - like hisEvening with Kate Hepburn, in which he relates stories and anecdotes from Galand's multi-faceted career in vaudeville, on the concert stage, at MGM and on television. It's a meticulously researched, complete life bio, there are 9 costume changes & 4 wigs and it's simply grande entertainment for one and all. The show will run all this month and most likely into the first two weeks of July. Cake was served after Saturday and Sunday's performances, June 9 & 10 with a sing-a-long "Happy Birthday, Judy" tribute.
I have never seen a one person show with such glorious detail. You hear - in Judy's own words, taken from many biographical sources - how she adapted to the road with her mama and siblings as the Gumm Sisters, to MGM and the horrid Louis B. Mayer, how she almost lost the part of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz - Shirley Temple was the first choice - and how she lost the Oscar to Grace Kelly, when she truly deserved to win for A Star Is Born. There are the five husbands and the new managers mid-way in her career that Mac facetiously names Leopold and Loeb - they robbed her blind, as did hubbie number three Sid Luft. There are also the heartaches with the loss of her father - L.B. did not let her visit him in the hospital, and later with the assassination of John F. Kennedy for whom she had campaigned and... worshipped. Garland insisted on doing a tribute to him - "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah", in spite of CBS' rage against her plans. As well as the hardknock moments, there are the heartwarming ones like her "You Made Me Love You" sung cherishingly by the teenage Garland to the portrait of Clark Gable, and the births of Liza Minnelli "Liza", Lorna Luft "Lorna" and son Joey Luft, bringing motherly joy "A New World". Even when the chips are down, the audience roots for Garland, as Peter Mac refuses to leave us with a negative perception of one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived, Miss Judy Garland.
Other highlight songs include: "This Is My Moment", "Follow the Yellow Brick Road", "The Trolley Song", "Rockabye Your Baby", "How About You", "The Man That Got Away", "I'll Plant My Own Tree" fromValley of the Dolls, "San Francisco", "All My Life", "Swanee", a lovely "If He Walked Into My Life" from Mame - which Garland almost played on Broadway, and of course, "Over the Rainbow" and the title song "Get Happy".
There is no other performer in LA with the heart of Peter Mac - perhaps on the planet! There is such charm and sincerity in his delivery, it is difficult not to hang on every word. Nor is there a comparable two hour show with such fire, pizazz and gut-wrenching zest for living. You will not only leave singing but also feeling a special love and respect for Miss Judy Garland, who made all gays proud of who they are. Don't miss the show every Friday and Saturday at 8 pm at the Peter Mac Supper Club inside the French Market Place on Santa Monica Blvd., now through July 8!