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If You Could Cast Judy Garland In a Broadway Show?

Lanie J
Swing
joined:11/27/19
Swing Joined: 11/27/19

For the sake of simplicity, you can choose Judy Garland at any age and regardless of whether or not the show actually existed at that time. I personally think she would have been fascinating as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, though I don't know how well she would have been able to sing With One Look as her voice got older. I also follow a Judy Garland fan account on Instagram who says that she would love to have had Judy as Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, and now I can't get that out of my head. How about you?

"See a picture of a woman wearing four years of confusion like a scar."
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Broadway Legend Joined: 10/9/05
I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Judy as Mrs. Hannigan?
Jarethan
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Broadway Legend Joined: 2/10/11

A younger JG would have been a good Nellie Forbush IMO.  I can visualize her singing the songs, a little more brass in Honey Bun, joy in A Wonderful Guy, and etc.

Sally Durant in Follies.  When I thought of Losing My Mind, the first thing that came to me was The Man That got Away.  An older Garland would have been terrific as Carlotta and even Stella.  Not Phyllis, though.  Probably because I saw Alexis Smith perform the role 5 times, for me Phyllis has to be tall and statuesque.

Mame...not sure about the dancing, but she could do a great job with those songs and the warmth and humor of Mame would be right up her alley.

Rose...what the could have done with that score.  And she was always a terrific actress.  

Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun.  She would have been better than Merman, whose acting did not impress me in either Hello, Dolly or the revival of Annie Get Your Gun that I saw.

Ella Peterson in Bells are Ringing.  I can just see her singing the Party's Over and especially 'I'm Going Back'.  

Dolly

Daisy / Melinda in On a Clear Day

Anna Leonowens

I agree re Miss Hannigan.

 

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Tag
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joined:11/19/05
Broadway Legend Joined: 11/19/05

FANTINE

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Jordan Catalano
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And there’s the obvious Dolly Levi.
carnzee
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Broadway Star Joined: 9/2/11
My first thought was Desiree so she could sing Send in the Clowns, but on second thought she doesn't seem "european enough" or something like that.

Mame or Gypsy for sure. I can't see her as Norma either because Norma is so icy and Judy was so warm but she would be brilliant in As if we never said goodbye.

Roxy or velma would be good. She was a great dancer and funny and the songs would fit her.
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BrodyFosse123
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Mame...not sure about the dancing, but she could do a great job with those songs and the warmth and humor of Mame would be right up her alley.

You’re kidding about Garland’s dancing, right?  She was a fully trained MGM dancer and danced on screen alongside all the greatest dancers in Hollywood history.  

Here she is on equal levels with Gene Kelly.  Even on her 1963-64 CBS variety series, she danced extensively.


 

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TotallyEffed
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Mama Rose, of course.

And Carlotta in Follies.
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BroadwayNYC2
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Probably wouldn’t have hit the notes but she would have acted the hell out of Evita
Jarethan
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BrodyFosse123 said: "Mame...not sure about the dancing, but she could do a great job with those songs and the warmth and humor of Mame would be right up her alley.

You’re kidding about Garland’s dancing, right? She was a fully trained MGM dancer and danced on screen alongside all the greatest dancers in Hollywood history.

Here she is on equal levels with Gene Kelly. Even on her 1963-64 CBS variety series, she danced extensively.

Unlike most of the others, I was thinking about Mame at the time she was the real age to play Mame.  I doubt whether she could've danced it, at least as originally choreographed, at that stage in her life.  That said, had she not had such serious issues later in her career, she could have danced it.  Of all the roles I listed, she probably would have been best as Mame.  Of course, if we get too theoretical, we might have missed Angela Lansbury, and who knows what might have happened to (IMO) the greatest theatre star of my lifetime.


"

 

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jv92
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The two roles that come to mind immediately and always have for me are Mame and Sally Plummer. 

I think she would have become a supreme Sondheim interpreter in clubs and concerts. Think of what she did with Arlen, and imagine what could have been had she lived to sing "Being Alive" or "Losing My Mind." Or "Not a Day Goes By." Ahh! 

Oh well... 

 

 

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SweetLips22
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joined:7/1/18
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I have tears reading these wonderful suggestions for a talent so tragically lost before what might have been.

Thank you Judy for all that you did in such a short time on this now very troubled and unsettled earth.

PS. Thank you always BrodyFosse123 for sharing from your enormous library of theatrical information-your knowledge and ability to find corresponding clips, astounds.

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TotallyEffed
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Oh, she’d be a great Joanne in Company.
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g.d.e.l.g.i.
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Coco comes to mind. I know, I know, not de rigueur today to do a show about Coco Chanel, but she'd have been a better fit than Katharine Hepburn and they might have been able to write actual songs for her.

Also, I understand that Arthur Freed tried briefly in the early Fifties to bring The Wizard of Oz to Broadway. She was already too old for Dorothy at the time she made the movie, there's no way they were gonna make an actual kid play it on stage, and she had just reprised the role for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast at Christmastime a couple years prior. She could well have been over the rainbow on the Great White Way if Arthur's plans had worked out.

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Updated On: 9/7/20 at 04:46 PM
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Mark Waltz
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To be a bit more obscure, I could see her as Leona in "Do I Hear a Waltz". Even more obscure, the Nancy Dussault role in "Bajour" opposite pal Chita.
One Grecian Ern
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I want to see Judy Garland as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd also Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street and Margaret White in Carrie

Jarethan
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g.d.e.l.g.i. said: "Cococomes to mind. I know, I know, not de rigueur today to do a show about Coco Chanel, but she'd have been a better fit than Katharine Hepburn and they might have been able to write actual songs for her.

Also, I understand that Arthur Freed tried briefly in the early Fifties to bring The Wizard of Oz to Broadway. She was already too old for Dorothy at the time she made the movie, there's no way they were gonna make an actual kid play it on stage, and she had just reprised the role for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast at Christmastime a couple years prior. She could well have been over the rainbow on the Great White Way if Arthur's plans had worked out.
"

I don't think she would have been good as Coco for a specific reason.  I don't think the songs would have served her voice.  I do not know this, but I would not be surprised to hear that the songs were written with awarenesses of Hepburn's vocal constraints.  I try to think of her singing The Money Rings Out Like Freedom of Ohrbach's, Bloomingdales... or the title song (all of which I personally enjoyed Hepburn 'singing',  and I don't see them doing her any favors.  Of course she could sing them, but to what end.  

Hepburn was a great actress who acted the (mostly patter) songs well, and people bought tickets specifically to see Hepburn; Garland was a great singer (and actress), but people would purchase tickets specifically to    relish in her singing.  That score, while I really enjoyed it, would probably frustrate her audience. 

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Jordan Catalano
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I want to see her as Mimi in “Rent”.
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George in DC
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Mrs Lovett !!!

Jarethan
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As great as the Sweeney Todd score is -- I think Sweeney Todd is the greatest Sondheim show and loved Angelas L, as Mrs Lovett-- I just don't think Mrs. Lovett's songs would do justice to Garland's voice).  I would have loved the opportunity to see her on Broadway, but to hear Judy Garland singing By The Sea and The Worst Pies in London would for me be 'underachieving'.  Would she sing them well? Yes.  Would I rather hear her singing It's Today or Open a New Window or We Need a Little Christmas to My Best Girl or Bosom Buddies or If He Walked Into My Life, no comparison.

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Jordan Catalano
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An argument could also be made also that she‘d be right for either Phyllis or Sally.
JSquared2
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The Rink (with Liza, of course).

Chicago (Mama Morton)

Sunset Boulevard

 

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Jordan Catalano
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Also can you imagine Judy belting out “And Eve Was Weak”?
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Jordan Catalano said: "Also can you imagine Judy belting out “And Eve Was Weak”?"

Yaaaaaasssssss!!! 

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CarlosAlberto
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If it were written in the 1960s when Garland was more robust I could see her pulling off Desiree Armfeldt in "Night Music"

How about the Angela Lansbury role in "Anyone Can Whistle"?