Matt Lenz (Pageant) will direct the Sept. 8-18 staged reading of Chasing Rainbows, which was developed at the Goodspeed Musicals Johnny Mercer Colony. The new musical was conceived by producer Tina Marie Casamento. Parker Esse will choreograph. Acito (Allegiance, Room With a View) authored the book to Chasing Rainbows, which explores Garland's journey to stardom in "The Wizard of Oz." The production will include re-imagined versions of such songs as "Over the Rainbow," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Broadway Rhythm," which have been reconceived by David Libby in a "revelatory, contemporary sound." In addition to signature Garland songs, Chasing Rainbows incorporates songs from the era culled from the Sony Feist/Robbins Catalog.
Here's how the creators characterize the piece: "In 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, an intrepid 13-year-old landed a job that could support her entire family. Overweight and insecure, she was routinely demeaned by her boss, who called her 'my little hunchback.' Her only solace was her irrepressible spirit and the tender love of her father, who died unexpectedly just two months later. That teenager was Judy Garland. This story of an underdog with the soul of a poet and the personality of a pep squad speaks to young and old alike. Anyone who has ever felt like they didn’t fit in will leave the theater uplifted by this inspiring tale of eternal love and fortitude."
Casting is currently underway.