Review: A Bit Of Stardust Lifts Judy Garland Song & Dance Show

Judy: The Songbook of Judy Garland

I expected a little bit more Hollywood magic from a show promising to cover the songs of Judy Garland, starring her daughter Lorna Luft.

Judy: The Songbook of Judy Garland certainly featured all the songs you'd expect, so fans of the iconic entertainer would not have been disappointed.

But as a spectacle, it was not a mesmerising production. Still, it had some memorable moments, and it was a pleasant enough evening.

I was a bit disappointed there was no dialogue until about 40 minutes or so into the show, when Lorna Luft, now aged 62, started sharing a few anecdotes with the audience. Until that stage, I had been convinced that it would be a night of pure song and dance.

By then, we'd already had renditions of songs including: 'Zing! Went the strings of my heart'; 'For me and my gal'; 'Get happy'; 'Steppin out with my baby'; and 'A couple of swells'.

Ray Quinn and Louise Dearman duetted charmingly on 'For me and my gal'. In fact, Ray Quinn was one of the highlights of the evening - proving to be a talented dancer as well as singer.

Louise Dearman is also not lacking in star quality and the best moment of the night came when she sang a Get Happy/Happy Days/Hooray for Love medlay with Lorna Luft in tribute of the time when Judy Garland sang with Barbra Streisand.

There's no doubt that Luft has a real stage presence and some of the star-struck audience didn't need any encouragement to sing-a-long as their favourite Judy Garland songs were bought back to life, aided by some slick dancing from 'The Boyfriends'.

Ray Quinn and Darren Bennett's rendition of 'Putting on the Ritz', which came in Act Two, was another showpiece event of the evening, allowing the cast to demonstrate their top quality dancing.

The backdrop to the show was regular cinematic projections of movie scenes featuring Lorna's talented mother. Seeing them in this setting made you realise just what a superstar she was.

There are no moments in this show that quite reach Judy Garland's magic. But it's a 'must-see' for any of her fans and a chance for everyone else to say they'd seen one of Judy Garland's daughters tread the boards in Wimbledon.

By Carol Whittaker

  • Judy: The Songbook of Judy Garland runs at New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday (June 20).

June 17, 2015

Related links
Related Links

Louise Dearman and Lorna Luft

Lorna Luft and The Boyfriends

New Wimbledon Theatre