Broadway-Aimed Judy Garland Musical Opens Today (Video)

News   Broadway-Aimed Judy Garland Musical Opens Today (Video)
 
Ruby Rakos, who appeared in the ensemble of Broadway’s Billy Elliot, plays the role of Judy Garland in what's being billed as the developmental world premiere of the new musical Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz, officially opening Dec. 2 at Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina.

The limited engagement began previews Nov. 27 and runs through Dec. 19. Another production of the same property is scheduled to open at Goodspeed Musicals in September 2016 before a potential Broadway transfer. The show tells the story of Garland's childhood up to the time she is cast as Dorothy in the film classic "The Wizard of Oz."

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In addition to Rakos, who plays the central role of Frances Gumm, the girl who grows up to be Judy Garland, other principal roles are played by Ben Crawford (Broadway’s On the Twentieth Century, Big Fish, Shrek the Musical, Les Miserables), Michael Wartella (Broadway’s Wicked), Wendi Bergamini, Michael McCorry Rose (Broadway’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Wicked), Janet Dickinson (Broadway’s Bullets Over Broadway, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and Kevin B. McGlynn.

Here is a clip from the show. This is the scene in which Garland (Rakos) is chosen to play Dorothy. She performs "Got a New Pair of Shoes" with the ensemble:

Local youngsters are engaged to play the child roles. Featured roles include Kyra Hewitt as Baby Gumm, Nicole Johanson as Shirley Temple and Claire Griffin as Deanna Durbin. Rounding out the youth ensemble are Sophia Bradshaw, Anissa Gale-Patrizia Briggs, Harper Callahan, Brice Farris, Will Field, Keelie Jones, Camille Leah, Clarke MacDonald, Louise Martin, Ezekiel Mercado, Clancy Penny, Caroline Quinn, Jamie Riedy, Alisha Richardson, Hadin Robertson, Chris Saucedo, Ariana Schuler and Georgia Kay Wise.

The adult ensemble features Zach Berger, Katie Drinkard, Preston Dyar, Dan Higgins, Maddy Kinsella, Andrea Laxton, Katie LeMark, Sarah Primmer, Jack Sipple, Scott Treadway, Alexandria Van Paris, Davis Wayne and Zach Williams.

Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz has a book by Marc Acito (Allegiance) and is directed and choreographed by Jeff Whiting. It is being produced by the New York-based Tina Marie Casamento Libby, with executive producer Nicole Kastrinos of Red Awning, and general management by 321 Theatrical Management.

The show uses 1930s music from the EMI/Feist Robbins catalog. Musical arrangements are by David Libby, with additional music by David Libby, and additional lyrics by Casamento/Acito/Libby.

Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at (828) 693-0731, toll-free at (866) 732-8008 or online at flatrockplayhouse.org. The Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage is located at 2661 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock, NC.

Ben Crawford and the company of <i>Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz</i>
Ben Crawford and the company of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz Photo by Jon Graham
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