If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why oh why can't Judy Garland return to New York where she belongs?
Well, in a sense she has. A brand new Off-Broadway musical (featuring the classic Garland songs) opens at the Players Theatre on MacDougal Street Feb. 25, after starting previews Feb. 10. Garland's friend and colleague, Timothy Gray, wrote and directed the show, titled I Will Come Back.
Starring as Judy will be Tommy Femia, who has played the role in night clubs and on television. SA two-time MAC award winner, Femia even played Judy in the Off-Broadway revue, Howard Crabtree's Whoop-Dee Doo!. Kristine Zbornik also has a featured role.
I Will Come Back traces Judy's career, from being the unknown Frances Gumm to her legendary turn in The Wizard Of Oz to her later concert appearances. Hugh Martin, who co-wrote songs in the Garland film (and subsequent non-Garland Broadway show) Meet Me In St. Louis, has even written new material for Femia. Director Gray worked with Martin on the London muislca, Love From Judy and on 1964's High Spirits
Designing Judy's "Come Back" are Leo Meyer (set), Marc Bouwer (costumes), Jen Acomb (lighting) and Rob Kaplowitz (sound). The show is produced by New Journeys Ahead, Ltd. For tickets ($45) and information on I Will Come Back, in an open run at the Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St., call (212) 239-6200.
-- By David Lefkowitz