Judy Garland…..A Night in the Life

Julie Sheppard, after a 10-year absence from performing, has dusted off her arresting Judy Garland impression, resurfacing with her thoroughly engaging one-woman show in this perfectly suited, intimate cabaret. Presented as an impromptu performance given by Garland at a random piano bar just prior to her triumphant 1961 concert tour, the show begins with the boite's pianist singing show tunes and posing trivia questions to the audience. During his rendition of "Singin' in the Rain," he asks, "In what three movies was this song featured?" One audience member answers more emphatically than the others --- it's Garland, and she comes forward to sidle up to the piano.

With:
Julie Sheppard, Ron Snyder

Musical selections range from Garland standards (“After You’ve Gone,” “The Man That Got Away,” “Born in a Trunk”) to unusual (for Garland) but appropriate fare (“A Wonderful Guy,” “Down With Love” and an outstandingly rendered “Love Is Lost”).

Sheppard has the chops to elevate the proceedings above the standard impersonation act; with her powerful voice and suggestive but understated mannerisms, she successfully captures the essence of her subject while bringing her own particular dynamism to bear. Vibrant and solid, she convincingly presents the mature Garland at one of the happiest and healthiest points in her life.

J.J. Griffin’s direction proved sufficient and Ron Snyder nicely filled the role of accompanist/sidekick.

Judy Garland.....A Night in the Life

Arbuckle's, West Hollywood 65 capacity; $10 cover, $10 minimum; Opened, reviewed June 10, 1997

Production: Arbuckle's Production presents a show in one act by Julie Sheppard and T.J. Eisenhower. Directed by J.J. Griffin; musical director, Ron Snyder. Opened, reviewed June 10, 1997; runs through June 21. Running time: 70 min.

Cast: Julie Sheppard, Ron Snyder

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