Reviewed by: Jessica Perkins
The Judy Monologues is a nostalgic tug at the heartstrings and an intimate glimpse into the later years of Judy Garland’s life. The play takes its content from rare voice tapes Judy recorded before her death at age 47. Director Darren Stewart-Jones brings the aging starlet to life, bones and all, through seasoned actress Elley-Ray Hennessy. He juxtaposes Hennessy’s honest portrayal of Judy’s troubled existence with the glamour and sparkle of her beloved career. We watch Judy watch herself onscreen. Together we take in dreamy technicolour musicals and exciting trailers from when people wanted her the most. Judy is a now-expired product of the classical era studio star system, and although she is lonely and troubled, she is funny. She expresses humility even in the most unflattering confessions, and in such moments shows hope. Which is a quality I think we all can associate with legend Judy Garland- down but certainly not out.Hennessy is a truly present actress. She connects with her audience and makes every person feel like she is personally speaking to them. Not only that, she succeeds in making you feel like Judy knows you, trusts you and wants your adoration. Hennessy, however, is the most exciting playing in the moments where Judy has lost control and doesn’t give a flying shit about what anybody thinks. See this play.