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Beyond the Rainbow

a New Play
CATEGORY : DRAMA MUSICAL
by William Randall Beard

COMPANY : Georgia Ensemble Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Roswell Cultural Arts Center
ID# 1828

SHOWING : April 05, 2007 - April 22, 2007

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Judy Garland: "The history of my life is in my songs." Adored by millions, this fantastically talented woman wowed us from the time she was a teenager singing Over the Rainbow in pigtails and blue gingham, to her legendary 1961 come-back concert at Carnegie Hall where the stage is set for this brand new musical. Garland fans will thrill to this portrait of the accomplishments and struggles of one of Hollywood’s greatest musical stars. Featuring her big-lunged, what-a-trouper versions of When You’re Smiling, That’s Entertainment, Come Rain or Come Shine, and yes, Over the Rainbow.


CAST & CREW LIST
Costume Designer Jim Alford
Director / Choreographer Don Farrell
Scenic Artist Amy Ferguson
Master of Properties M. C. Park
Lighting Designer Mary Parker
Music Director Ann-Carol Pence
Scenic Designer Scott Sargent
Stage Manager Gretchen Butler
Master Electrician / Light Board Op Mitch Marcus
Natasha was the very best in opening nig Charlie Adair
Garland Natasha Drena
Judy Laura Floyd
Louis B. Mayer, Sid Luft, Jack Haley and David Kronawitter
Ethel Gumm, Hedda Hopper, Kay Thompson Ellen McQueen
Young Judy Rachel Niederhoffer
Cast Jeff Shrader
Frank Gumm, Vincente Minnelli, George Je Daniel Triandiflou
Production Manager Gretchen Butler
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Beyond Amazing Talent
by TheatreMeter2000
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
5.0
For most of us, the image that pops into our head when we hear "Judy Garland" is a mixture of ruby red slippers and/or pill popping. Regardless, her voice is one that lives on as a true Hollywood Musical rarity. Two voices that are destined to follow in that path can be found in "Beyond the Rainbow" at Georgia Ensemble.

Natasha Drena takes on the role of the older Garland full-force. She sounds amazingly like her, right down to Garland's powerful endings and signature touches. Drena takes center stage as the show revolves around Garland's infamous Carnegie Hall performance, with flashbacks to the olden days of little Francis' life.

One of those flashbacks includes Laura Floyd as young Judy. Laura Floyd is…simply put…astounding. Where has this girl been? What an amazing voice! Every moment she graced the stage she was mesmerizing. A true rarity (much as Judy was), Floyd is destined to take the musical theatre industry by storm.

Ann-Carol Pence did an extraordinary job with musical direction, capturing every song with grace, style and stunning flare; all played beautifully by the live band.

With usual strong, glorious direction, Don Farrell creates a superb picture that compliments the music we all have grown to love.

Kudos to all for an amazing production!
[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Thanks for supporting theatre outside the perimeter! by DonFarrell
Dear TheatreMeter2000:

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit the Georgia Ensemble theatre and reviewing our production of BEYOND THE RAINBOW.

As the director / choreographer of the production, I want to personally thank you for taking the time to attend BEYOND THE RAINBOW at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre. I truly appreciate your interest in the production and hope that you enjoyed your experience. Every production I have worked on at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre since my first production in 1998 has been a wonderful experience in collaboration. This past production has been an especially wonderful process working on a new book musical with such a talented cast, crew and staff. I truly hope that the theatre community continues to value the artistic merits of such professional theatres as the Georgia Ensemble Theatre, those who are located outside of the perimeter. Again, special thanks to you!

Sincerely,
Don Farrell

BEYOND THE RAINBOW!
Pot of Gold
by Mama Alma
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
5.0
In a word, Wow. Natasha Drenu is amazing, a real class act, a consummate performer. Close your eyes and you will swear you're in the room with Judy Garland, right down to the grace notes. This is no impression, hitting hard at the high points. It's a full-bodied integration, full of subtle touches like the little wobble Garland had in later years.

Laura Floyd is a find, engagingly vulnerable as the teenage/young adult Judy. She doesn't sound so much like Garland, but she's got a great big voice and is more than a match for Drenu. They had the audience eating out of their hands during their duets.

Multiple casting of the men in Garland's life lends a poignant perspective, as David Kronawitter portrays Louis B. Mayer (head of MGM and Garland's surrogate father) and Sid Luft (second husband/Lorna's father), both of whom "always took care" of Garland, while looking after their own selfish interests. Daniel Triandiflou plays both Garland's father, and Vincente Minnelli (Garland's first husband/Liza's father). Triandiflou is especially good as Minnelli, a man who, it is explained, is "the same way" as Garland's father (that being defined as friendly to young boys and more interested in a Gene Kelly than a Judy Garland). Ellen McQueen is Judy's mother and later her best friend, but she really shines as Hedda Hopper, appearing periodically as the punctuation point to Garland's career.

In an effort to be complete, the play begins with Judy's life as a youngster, and unfortunately between the overture and the parents' bickering, the evening gets off to a slow start. That's not a slight of the band or of the young actress who plays the Baby Francis. It's just that the real history of Garland's life, as the lead line for the play says, is in her songs. Once the play hits Hollywood, and the songs begin in earnest, the magic begins, all the way beyond the rainbow.
[POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Thanks for coming to see BTR! by DonFarrell
Dear Mama Alma:

As the director / choreographer of the production, I want to personally thank you for taking the time to review BEYOND THE RAINBOW at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre. I truly appreciate your interest in the production and hope that you enjoyed your experience. Every production I have worked on at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre since my first production in 1998 has been a wonderful experience in collaboration. This past production has been an especially wonderful process working on a new book musical with such a talented cast, crew and staff. I truly hope that the theatre community continues to value the artistic merits of such professional theatres as the Georgia Ensemble Theatre, those who are located outside of the perimeter. Again, special thanks to you!

Sincerely,
Don Farrell


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