THE DAY JUDY DIED – Play Idea – Inspired by Here’s To Us (outtake)
On a Sunday morning in a gay campground in Northern Pennsylvania 8 men, with ages ranging from early 20s to late 40s, gather around a radio in the caretaker’s office. News of the death of Judy Garland in London has been making the rounds all morning. This small radio is the only contact the six men have with the civilised world. They decide to put a show together for that night to honour the memory of this legendary woman.
At the same time, a group of men visiting New York to attend Judy’s funeral decide to stop for a drink at a pub in the Village before heading back home. However, their plans to leave are sidetracked when they get involved in the Stonewall Riots.
Simultaneously, a group of techies wait in the catwalks of Studio 43 at Television City, above the stage where Judy Garland is struggling to tape the final episode of the Judy Garland Show. These techies are the play’s chorus.
The idea is to have seven of the men play all the characters in the three different scenarios. The eighth man remains at the campground setting, just transforming himself little by little into Judy Garland, and singing a few of her standards just to move the story along.
I’m not sure what they would do or talk about. I guess I’d try to establish a connection between Garland and gay community, I’m not sure yet. However, I know the play would end with the character Judy singing Here’s To Us on the campsite. She would then move on to Studio 43 for the big finale while images of the riots are projected upstage.