Michael Feinstein In To Star In RAINBOW: THE NEW JUDY GARLAND MUSICAL  at the Mark Taper Forum

The show is executive produced by Michael Feinstein and Liza Minnelli.

By: Mar. 22, 2024
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In his third appearance at the Mark Taper Forum under the banner Feinstein's at the Taper, the series continues with Michael Feinstein in RAINBOW: The New Judy Garland Musical on Saturday, April 13 at 8PM.

The show is executive produced by Michael Feinstein and Liza Minnelli. Tickets are now on sale at . Feinstein's at the Taper is part of Center Theatre Group's 2024 CTG:FWD programming. 

RAINBOW: The New Judy Garland Musical is the breathtaking culmination of over three decades of research, performance, and a lifetime love for one of the world's most iconic performers, Judy Garland. Making its West Coast premiere, the show, which was originally performed at Feinstein's club in New York during the Garland Centennial in December 2021, stars Feinstein as he travels through the life and songs of Judy Garland.

This multimedia live show features big screen film clips, rarely heard and seen audio recordings and photos, good humor, and great music. Executive produced by Ms. Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli, and her closest friend and collaborator, multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award nominee, Michael Feinstein, this event at the Mark Taper Forum is different. It is an unabashed musical biography that celebrates Judy, sharing insights from the music we all adore and the life known only by the endless, shining, forever love shared with her children, Liza, Lorna and Joey Luft

“My friendship with Liza, the archives of Judy and Vincente Minnelli, and the never-before-seen imagery and never-before-heard sounds bring forth the most beloved voice and quite possibly the artist of the 20th century. RAINBOW captures the genius, humor, poignancy, and god-given talent that is rare beyond belief. The title is not only an homage to “Over the Rainbow”; it is also a celebration of Judy Garland's ability to rise over clouds and crises, to create beauty,” said Tony Award honoree Mr. Feinstein. 

Frequently honored as the greatest entertainer of all time, Judy Garland's unique connection to humanity comes to life in RAINBOW and acknowledges that Judy is loved by every generation and is very likely the first icon to honor her own unique connection and mutual love for all people, including those who are now acknowledged as LGBTQIA+. When people asked Judy why she was so loved by gay people, she said, ‘Because gay people have exquisite taste.'  

The Garland audience grows every year. RAINBOW's musical selections are from Judy Garland films, recordings, the legendary Carnegie Hall and London Palladium concerts, as well as private moments of a woman who gave everything to everyone in the audience. Through laughter and tears, Judy utilized astounding gifts which continue to bring us over the RAINBOW.  

Mr. Feinstein said, “RAINBOW is the most personal theatrical event of my career. It is my great joy to premiere at The Taper, the newest incarnation of each of my Judy Garland tributes, with Snehal Desai as their incredible artistic director. RAINBOW comes into the world with all the love and excitement that I am able to muster. My deepest thanks to my beloved friend Liza, for sharing so much and making this premiere possible.” 

"Far too much has been written about ‘poor Judy Garland' … ‘tragic Judy Garland' … ‘sad Judy Garland' … Hogwash! My mother was the funniest, happiest, most exciting person in the world. If RAINBOW had a subtitle, it would be a song that is one of Mama's great themes, ‘Get Happy,' and that's what's gonna happen when you see Michael bring RAINBOW to life. Michael Feinstein is my dearest friend in the world. We've been joined at the hip since the day we met. Michael has all the stories, the arrangements, the film clips, the recordings. Michael has the truth about Mama, the woman who gave me my drive. This is a love letter from me and Michael to my amazing mother," said Liza Minnelli, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winner and co-executive producer of RAINBOW. 

Please join Michael at the Taper in this show created with music director Tedd Firth, award-winning producer and broadcaster Elliott Forrest, and Judy Garland author John Fricke, for a colorful journey through Garland's career with new arrangements, medleys, and surprises. 

Feinstein's at the Taper is part of Center Theatre Group's 2024 CTG:FWD programming. CTG: FWD is a series of special events and programming under a new initiative created by CTG Artistic Director Snehal Desai at the Mark Taper Forum, the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and throughout the greater Los Angeles area. 

“The heart of CTG: FWD is creating space for community to gather through special, one-of-a-kind events that both celebrate Center Theatre Group's rich history and look forward to the future, said Desai. “I can think of no better way to do all of this than by welcoming Michael Feinstein back home to CTG as an artist-in-residence. He is an iconic artist who knows the Great American Songbook like no one else.”  


CTG:FWD was created by Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Snehal Desai to provide greater opportunities for community gatherings and conversations, can't-miss special events, legacy projects, and ways to help center Los Angeles-based artists and the arts community. It also provides a unique opportunity to open the doors of the Mark Taper Forum—which announced a pause in subscription programming for the 2023/24 Season—and welcome members of the community back into that space for some of these special events and programs.  

As a not-for-profit theatre, Center Theatre Group relies on philanthropic support to achieve our mission of serving the diverse audiences of Los Angeles by producing and presenting theatre of the highest caliber, by nurturing new artists, by attracting new audiences, and by developing youth outreach and arts education programs. 2024 CTG:FWD programming is made possible through the generous support of the S. Mark Taper Foundation. Additional funding is provided by gifts to the Artistic Director Discretionary Fund. 


Tickets are available through CenterTheatreGroup.org, Audience Services at (213) 972- 4400, or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Offices (at the Ahmanson Theatre) at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.  


Center Theatre Group, one of the nation's preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles' leading not-for-profit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Artistic Director Snehal Desai, Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman, and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, programs seasons at the Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the country's leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics, and circumstances to serve Los Angeles. Center Theatre Group has produced more than 700 productions across its three stages, including such iconic shows as “Zoot Suit;” “Angels in America;” “The Kentucky Cycle;” “Biloxi Blues;” “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992;” “Children of a Lesser God;” “Curtains;” “The Drowsy Chaperone;” “9 to 5: The Musical;” and “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.”

The S. Mark Taper Foundation, founded in 1989, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people's lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities. The S. Mark Taper Foundation is committed to grantmaking that aligns with the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

About Michael Feinstein

In addition to his recognition as one of the leading musical entertainers and piano virtuosi of recent decades, Michael Feinstein's work as an educator, archivist, interpreter, and Ambassador of the Great American Songbook have established the popular and honored musician as a pre-eminent force in contemporary music. His dazzling career as a top-selling and critically acclaimed recording artist and a star performer on Broadway, and the world's great concert stages has earned him five GRAMMY Award nominations, two Emmy nominations of his PBS-TV specials and acclaim for his NPR series. His live concerts have spanned the globe including such iconic venues such as The White House, Buckingham Palace, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, and the Sydney Opera House.  

In 2022, Feinstein released to rave reviews, Gershwin Country, an album of standards in duet with some of the biggest names in Country Music from Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss to Brad Paisley and Amy Grant. This same year he made his debut at the legendary Carlyle Café in New York to rave reviews and sell out performances.  

In 2007, as an extension of his work as a legendary performer and passionate guardian of his nation's greatest musical traditions, Mr. Feinstein founded the Great American Songbook Foundation. The Foundation works to preserve and elevate America's rich musical legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators and performers; offering programs for the public and research opportunities for scholars, historians, and performers; and providing educational opportunities for student musicians, including the annual high school Songbook Academy. For over a decade, Michael served as a Founding Member on the Library of Congress' National Recording Preservation Board; an organization dedicated to ensuring the survival, conservation and increased public availability of America's sound recording heritage.  

Feinstein earned his fifth Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project, his CD celebrating the music of “Ol' Blue Eyes.” The Sinatra Project, Volume II: The Good Life was released in 2011. He released the CDs The Power Of Two – collaborating with “Glee” and “30 Rock” star Cheyenne Jackson – and Cheek To Cheek, recorded with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. For Feinstein's CD We Dreamed These Days, he co-wrote the title song with Dr. Maya Angelou.  

His Emmy Award-nominated TV special Michael Feinstein – The Sinatra Legacy, which was taped live at the Palladium in Carmel, IN, aired across the country in 2011. The PBS series “Michael Feinstein's American Songbook,” the recipient of the ASCAP Deems-Taylor Television Broadcast Award, was broadcast for three seasons and is available on DVD. His most recent primetime PBS- TV Special, “New Year's Eve at The Rainbow Room” – written and directed by “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry – aired in 2014. For his nationally syndicated public radio program “Song Travels,” Michael interviewed and performed alongside of music luminaries such as Bette Midler, Neil Sedaka, Liza Minnelli, Rickie Lee Jones, David Hyde Pierce and more.  

Feinstein was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Pasadena Symphony in 2012 and made his conducting debut in June 2013 to celebrated critical acclaim. Under Feinstein's leadership, the Pasadena Pops has quickly become a premier orchestral presenter of the Great American Songbook with definitive performances of rare orchestrations and classic arrangements. He launched an additional Pops series at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Palm Beach, Florida in 2014.  

Michael's book The Gershwins and Me – the Los Angeles Times best-seller from Simon & Schuster – features a new CD of Gershwin standards performed with Cyrus Chestnut at the piano.  

Feinstein serves as Artistic Director of the Center for the Performing Arts, a $170 million, three- theatre venue in Carmel, Indiana, which opened in January 2011. The theater is home to diverse live programming and a museum for his rare memorabilia and manuscripts. Since 1999, he has served as Artistic Director for Carnegie Hall's “Standard Time with Michael Feinstein” in conjunction with ASCAP. In 2010 he became the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center.  

Feinstein's at the Nikko, Michael's nightclub at San Francisco's Nikko Hotel, has presented the top talents of pop and jazz since 2013. Feinstein's/54 Below in New York debuted in 2015 and was awarded a special Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre in 2022. His first venue in New York, Feinstein's at the Regency, featured major entertainers such as Rosemary Clooney, Glen Campbell, Barbara Cook, Diahann Carroll, Jane Krakowski, Lea Michele, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz, and Alan Cumming from 1999 to 2012. Feinstein opened his Los Angeles location, Feinstein's at Vitello's in June of 2019 and most recently launched Feinstein's at the Hotel Carmichael in Carmel, Indiana.  

He has designed a new piano for Steinway called “The First Ladies,” inspired by the White House piano and signed by several former First Ladies. It was first played to commemorate the Ronald Regan centennial on February 6, 2011.  

In 2013 Michael released Change of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn in collaboration with four time Oscar and eleven time Grammy Award-winning composer-conductor-pianist Andre Previn. The album celebrates Previn's pop songs and motion picture classics. Earlier album highlights include Hopeless Romantics, a songbook of classics by Michael's late friend Harry Warren, recording with legendary jazz pianist George Shearing. His album with songwriting icon Jimmy Webb, Only One Life – The Songs of Jimmy Webb, was named one of “10 Best CDs of the Year” by USA Today.  

Feinstein received his fourth Grammy nomination for Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, his first recording with a symphony orchestra. The year before, Rhino/Elektra Music released The Michael Feinstein Anthology, a two-disc compilation spanning 1987 to 1996 and featuring old favorites and previously unreleased tracks.  

Michael was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where he started playing piano by ear as a 5-year- old. After graduating from high school, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin's assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.  

Gershwin's influence provided a solid base upon which Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer, and arranger of his own original music. He also has become an unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, and Harry Warren. Feinstein has received three honorary doctorates.  

Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting (in collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Lindy Robbins, Bob Merrill, and Marshall Barer), Feinstein is an all-star force in American music.  

For more information, please visit www.MichaelFeinstein.com.  

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