The producers of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz, a new musical detailing the early career of Judy Garland, have announced three private industry lab performances July 13 and July 14 in New York City. Ruby Rakos (Billy Elliot), who starred in earlier runs of the show at Flat Rock Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals, returns to play Frances Gumm/Judy Garland.
Chasing Rainbows is conceived and created by Tina Marie Casamento and features a book by Marc Acito (Allegiance), musical adaptation by David Libby (Play it Cool), music direction by Larry Yurman (War Paint), and choreography by Denis Jones (Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn). The lab will be directed by Matt Lenz (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
Also returning to the show following last year’s Goodspeed engagement are principal cast members Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!), Sally Wilfert (Assassins), Michael Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and Michael McCormick (Hello, Dolly!).
The cast will also feature Tia Altinay (Aladdin), Mackenzie Bell (Sunset Boulevard), Madeleine Doherty (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Tessa Grady (Dames at Sea), Curtis Holland (Shuffle Along), Graham Keen (White Christmas), Andrea Laxton (Beauty And The Beast), Lea Mancarella (A Christmas Story), Christina Maxwell, Kevin B McGlynn (Kiss Me Kate), Samantha Joy Pearlman, Alex Puette (A Christmas Story), Jonalyn Saxer (Cats), Tally Sessions (War Paint), Jack Sippel (Newsies), and Violet Tinnirello as Shirley Temple.
Judy Garland and Oz historian and author John Fricke serves as historian/consultant on the production.
Chasing Rainbows is the story of how Frances Gumm became Judy Garland, chronicling her journey as a young actor and originating the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. The show blends old and new music, with fresh takes on classic songs like “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” “Everybody Sing,” and more.
Chasing Rainbows features music from Sony/ATV Feist Robbins catalog. Chasing Rainbows is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Grant, and is produced by Richard Winkler and Jo Ann Bono.