Expanding its run through 2012 at Maipo Kabaret, "JUDY, a Tribute" was acclaimed by fans and critics alike for it dynamic and original presentation of classic material made famous by Judy Garland. The show's opening is set for mid-April 2013 in New York City with a second round of casting calls going out over the next few days. "JUDY, a Tribute" promises to be one of the most exciting, vibrant productions set for the New York stage this year.
Unlike most tributes to the legendary Judy Garland which mostly feature talented impersonators, "JUDY, a Tribute" takes the brazenly original approach of performing her famous songs by an all male cast. Ullua's book weaves biographical moments from his own youth with the play's narrative. Thgus the songs feel like they are being heard and performed "for the first time." This unique setting brings forward the dynamic, lustful and full throated power of the standars that Judy made famous.
By eschewing convention and going full throttle with powerful male singers taking the lead in bringing Garland's work to life, Alejandro Ullua has created an unforgettable work that reaches new generations while still providing wonderful memories for those who remember seeing Judy perform. In writing this work, Ullua has managed to bypass the campy tributes of the past and instead formulate a new presentation that brings plenty of show-stopping power.
What weaves together all the different phases of Garland's career of songs together is the excellent choreography of Gustavo Wons. He has managed to bring a flow and dynamism that unites all the songs presented during the performance as if they were from one setting. Considering that the show presents some of Garland's most famous works that were separated by decades, it is a remarkable achievement indeed.
For the audience, the experience is both personal and quite lively. As Judy Garland herself was often at her best when standing alone on stage reaching out to her audience, so the show "JUDY, a Tribute" manages to touch the audience as well with a series of performers each of whom bring their talents and personal energy to the catalog of Garland's most honored works.
Far from a humble presentation, "JUDY, a Tribute" is vibrant and alive with powerful performances, wonderful choreography and an emphasis on presenting Garland's songs in a manner that brings out the boldness of the material. Judy Garland was a once in a lifetime star and "JUDY, a Tribute" is a once in a lifetime interpretation of one of the most memorable, dynamic forces that ever walked the stage.
"JUDY, a Tribute" should be experienced by audiences of all types, from those who remember her glory days of performing and new generations who will be taken aback by the force and personality imbued in the work of Judy Garland as delivered by the highly talented cast that do justice to one of America's most loved legends.