An industry presentation of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz, a new musical about the early life of Judy Garland, from her vaudeville sister act through her rise at MGM to win the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, is presented January 10 in New York City.
Ruby Rakos, who played Frances Gumm/Judy Garland in developmental productions of Chasing Rainbows at North Carolina’s Flat Rock Playhouse and Connecticut’s Goodspeed Musicals, again stars as the beloved entertainer.
She is joined by Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies) as Mickey Rooney, Daniel Reichard (Jersey Boys) as Frank Gumm, Sally Wilfert (Assassins) as Ethel Gumm, Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!) as Kay Koverman, Michael McCormick (Hello, Dolly!) as L.B. Mayer, Colin Hanlon (Falsettos) as Roger Edens, Samantha Joy Pearlman (Summer in the City) as Mary Jane Gumm, Andrea Laxton (Ghost) as Virginia Gumm, Violet Tinnirello (“America’s Got Talent”) as Shirley Temple, Sophie Knapp (Les Miserables) as Baby Frances Gumm, and Christina Maxwell (New York Music Festival’s Sonata 1962) as Edna Mae Durbin.
The cast also includes John Battagliese (Grumpy Old Men), MacKenzie Bell (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), Curtis Holland (Mean Girls), Ben Laxton (The Book of Mormon), Kevin McGlynn (Kiss Me, Kate), Shina Morris (Tootsie), Jonalyn Saxer (Mean Girls), and Jesse Sharp (The Addams Family).
The Broadway-aimed show has a book by Marc Acito (Allegiance) with musical adaptation by David Libby (Play It Cool) and music direction by Larry Yurman (War Paint). Tony nominee Denis Jones (Holiday Inn, Tootsie) directs.
Chasing Rainbows is the first stage, film, or television property about the life of Judy Garland to receive the endorsement of the Garland Estate. The musical utilizes tunes from the Sony Music/Feist Robbins catalog, including “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” “Everybody Sing,” “In Between,” and “Dear Mr. Gable.”
The production was conceived and created by actor, director, and teacher Tina Marie Casamento. Garland historian John Fricke, author of The Wizard of Oz: An Illustrated Companion to the Timeless Classic, is a consultant on the project.
Karen Mason has been a special guest performer on Playbill's Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Cabins are now on sale for Playbill’s Broadway on the Rhône River 2 April 7–14, 2019, featuring Melissa Errico, Norm Lewis, Rebecca Luker, Marc Kudisch, and Seth Rudetsky, and Broadway in the Great Northwest, Playbill Travel’s first domestic cruise, will bring passengers on a journey through the Pacific Northwest from April 26–May 4, 2020. Playbill Travel is currently accepting waitlist travelers for its sold out cruises: Broadway in Bordeaux With Michael Feinstein (September 1–9, 2019) and Broadway on the High Seas: The Greek Isles (June 24–July 1, 2019). Call Playbill Travel for tickets at 866-455-6789 or visit PlaybillTravel.com.