Playbill Playlist: 12 Iconic Judy Garland Performances, From "Over The Rainbow" to "The Man That Got Away" | Playbill

Playlist Playbill Playlist: 12 Iconic Judy Garland Performances, From "Over The Rainbow" to "The Man That Got Away" The fifth annual Night Of A Thousand Judys, presented by The Meeting* hosted by Justin Sayre, will be held June 1. In anticipation of the evening, the cast picks their favorite performances by Judy Garland as part of this week's Playbill Playlist.

The Pride concert will benefit The Ali Forney Center and take place at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center (129 West 67th Street in Manhattan).

The cast includes Michael Feinstein, Molly Pope, John Early, Jonah Verdon, Melissa Errico, Liz Callaway, The Skivvies, Michael McElroy, Lauren Worsham, Cyrille Aimee, Rachel York, Adam Kantor, Randy Graff, Kim David Smith, Danielle Grabianowski, Julie Hill, Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson.

According to press notes, "Night Of A Thousand Judys will honor the iconic Judy Garland with special skits, tributes and songs from her legendary career as movie star, recording artist and stage performer."

There will be a pre-show VIP reception at 6:30 PM with the performance beginning at 8 PM.

The show is written and hosted by Justin Sayre and directed by Peter James Cook. Lance Horne is the event's music supervisor, with Steven Jamail serving as music director. Adam Fleming is the evening's choreographer. Night Of A Thousand Judys is produced by Dan Fortune and Adam J. Rosen, with Fortune serving as executive producer.

For more information, visit Tickets are on sale here

Melissa Errico: I will have to choose Judy Garland singing "The Man That Got Away" in 1954's "A Star Is Born" — as much for how her performance UNFOLDS as for its revelations and final destination of intensity. I just love how she hums with the trombone to learn the song and by the end has completely mastered it. It's a three-act play in itself — and the farthest thing from understated. Judy is more than singing. It's a state of pure emotion. Singing and Emotion in a unique lock. Maybe we should invent a verb for it: "sing-moting?"

Randy Graff: "By Myself." It's triumphant! Never self-pitying. Just thoughtful and determined, and her acting is so damn good we see (if you're watching on YouTube) and hear (if you're just listening) her make that decision. And the voice… Well, it's raw and operatic at the same time. That's what I love about Judy. Chills!

Michael McElroy: My favorite Judy Garland song out of the many that I love is "The Man That Got Away" in the film "A Star is Born." It's one of the best songs ever written and Judy, in my opinion, is at the height of her vocal and acting ability in this filmed musical moment. As an actor I marvel at her skill, but as a person I feel every lyric she sings. She had that rare gift.

Liz Callaway: I love so many of Judy Garland's songs, but I'm very partial to "The Trolley Song." So often love songs are ballads, but this is a song that catches that same spirit of falling in love in a delightful, upbeat and infectious way.

Justin Sayre: "Old Man River." My favorite period of Judy is the television years. Her voice had matured in a beautiful way, and she was so much fun to watch. This song has gotten me through a lot. She's so present, so real and strong. You and me, we sweat and strain, but Judy gives us the will to go on.

Julie Hill: Of course my favorite song is "Over the Rainbow." With her rich, beautiful voice and her raw, sincere delivery, she brings this seemingly simplistic melody and childlike lyric poetic meaning. She speaks to anyone who has ever dreamed. And that is everyone.

Kim David Smith: Looking beyond the tragic side of Judy, the song that has always touched me is "I Want To Go Back To Michigan (Down On The Farm)" from "Easter Parade." I have always loved her wistful and charmingly half-smiled naiveté. Also, she looks amazing in hot pink, and "Easter Parade" is Judy at her best.

 Jonah Verdon: I think my favorite song that I have heard Judy Garland sing is "Hey Look Me Over." First of all, I just love the song because it is so motivating. To me, it's about really embracing who you are and going proudly into the world and saying, "Hey world, this is me!" Some people might accept it, and some people might not, but it is one of those songs that helps you remember to just keep your head up, flaws and all, and keep on moving forward with positivity! Judy's such a sparkly performer, I love how open and confident she is with all her movements. And, I also love how she belts the high notes at the end like there's no tomorrow! Listening to this song before you go out for the day would set anyone off on the right track!

Josh Sharp: My mother asked my brothers and me to sing "Over the Rainbow" at her funeral, so it certainly is the Judy song that means the most to me, though I know that is a bit like saying "Stairway to Heaven" is your favorite Led Zeppelin song, but on the other hand, the end of "Stairway" is just so f*cking GOOD, and so it is with no shame that I will answer with "Over the Rainbow."

Aaron Jackson: This is too hard, but I guess at GUNPOINT I'd say "Come Rain or Come Shine." I love the arrangement. It's so relentless, but Judy never lets the drums or the horns or the hundred time signature changes throw her. She just commits so hard and owns that beast of a song, and that's why she's such an intoxicating performer. No matter what, she'll give you a show, goddammit!

Peter James Cook: "After the Holidays" leaves me giddy with panic and guilt and delight. It's like a maudlin boa constrictor, squeezing you with the sincerity of its need. I listen to it exactly once every Christmas.

Steven Jamail: I love "Get Happy." It's a dark lyric married to a bright, dynamite melody like so much of Arlen's work. It's no surprise that Judy was the perfect muse for the composer.

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