date published: June 4, 2007

5 questions with...

Kathy St. George
by Josh B. Wardrop

A Hollywood icon springs vibrantly to life in the new one-woman show And Now Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Judy Garland, opening June 8 at Lyric Stage Theatre. Massachusetts native Kathy St. George tackles the role of the beloved entertainer, and speaks to Panorama about what went into making Judy sing again.

Q: Describe the structure of ...Miss Judy Garland.
The first half is a monologue taken directly from Judy’s own recorded memoirs. It’s like peeking through the keyhole, eavesdropping. Then, the second half is a concert of all her most famous songs.

Q: Is there a particular Garland song that you enjoy singing?
I think it’s “The Man That Got Away.” It’s the most thrilling for me to sing, and I think everyone identifies with that idea of lost love.

Q: What kind of preparation went into inhabiting Judy Garland?
I think I’ve always had her in me, so it’s something that’s not difficult to summon up. But I rehearse everyday, then I come home and watch DVDs or consult the bookcase of works on her I’ve collected over the years.

Q: In addition to seeing ...Miss Judy Garland, what else should folks visiting Boston do?
I love the Duck Tours—they’re a great way to see Boston. For a good meal, I adore Maggiano’s and have had wonderful steaks at Fleming’s.

Q: Why do people still have this fascination with Judy? What was it about her that inspired such devotion?
She gave every ounce of her being when she sang, and people were enthralled by the sheer force of her talent. Also, people identified with her struggles—Judy wanted so much to love, and to be loved, and that vulnerability is a great part of her appeal.