The Judy Monologues is a multimedia docudrama based entirely upon rare voice tapes recorded by Judy Garland in the years leading up to her untimely death in 1969 at age 47 from an accidental overdose of barbiturates. Conceived and directed by Darren Stewart-Jones, the production features vintage film clips of Garland from her Hollywood heyday.
The Judy Monologues premiered at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, Ontario in September of 2010 and subsequently played The Pearl Company in Hamilton, Ontario. Performed by three male actors as a tribute to Garland's influence on the gay community, the original cast included Philip Cairns, Ryan Fisher and Darren Stewart-Jones. Nigel Gough (1982-2010) was the understudy. A Garland lookalike, Kimberly Roberts, also appeared in silent vignettes. Sadly, soon after coming off the stage from his one and only performance in The Judy Monologues, actor Nigel Gough was killed in a traffic accident while riding his bicycle. He was just 28 years old.
An abridged version of The Judy Monologues was performed in London, Ontario as part of the London One Act Festival in April, 2011. Philip Cairns won Best Actor at the festival's awards ceremony. The play also received two additional awards - special mentions for the concept and the audio/visual content.
The Judy Monologues enjoyed a successful run at the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival with Michael Hughes replacing Ryan Fisher in his role. Michael's own Garland-influenced solo show, Mickey & Judy, was awarded Best of Toronto Fringe the previous year.
In 2013, director Darren Stewart-Jones revamped The Judy Monologues into a one-woman show. Elley-Ray Hennessy played the role of Garland to rave reviews at the 2013 Hamilton Fringe Festival. That same production also played The One More Night Festival at The Box Toronto. The Hamilton Spectator's theatre critic called Elley-Ray "Garland reborn".
Elley-Ray reprised her role as Garland in The Judy Monologues at the 2015 SpringWorks Festival in Stratford, Ontario.
The script for The Judy Monologues is available at most online E-book retailers.
Elley-Ray as Judy Garland.
The Judy Monologues
Baby Gumm Productions
"Hennessy gives a stunning performance that insinuates itself into the heart and soul of the woman who was Dorothy."
- Gary Smith, The Hamilton Spectator