Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Channeling Judy Garland

There are several “Judy Garland” stage production role credits already listed on San Francisco performer Connie Champagne's acting resume. These include an Ovation Award winning presentation of Judy's Scary Little Christmas in Burbank and an Off-Broadway run of Christmas With the Crawfords.

Here's what Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times had to say about the latter, back in 2001:

Drag is dead, or close to it. So it's lucky for ''Christmas With the Crawfords'' that Connie Champagne is alive.
The show, one of the odder seasonal offerings, features what in dragland might be termed the usual suspects: Mae West, Gloria Swanson, Ethel Merman and other female Hollywood legends. Practically all of them are played by men, but when the show is over, the one you remember is the one who wasn't: Ms. Champagne's Judy Garland is a subtle masterpiece of parody and homage.

Ready for her film close-up

Next year, Champagne will have another “Garland” to dazzle folks with, only this time, it will be on movie screens. She plays the singer in Edmonton writer-director Trevor Anderson's kooky upcoming musical documentary The Man That Got Away, based on the life of his great uncle, who worked as a dancer in New York and met Garland in rehab.

Champagne-as-Garland will perform two of the film's sing original songs written by Bryce Kylak, who also appears in the film as great uncle Jimmy. The movie shoots next month and is scheduled to hit the festival circuit sometime in 2012.

[Dirt City Films]

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