(Ben Beaumont-Thomas’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/2.)
Judy Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft is to step into her mother’s ruby slippers for a career-spanning new show, Judy: The Life and Music of a Hollywood Legend.
With Arlene Phillips as creative director, the show is billed as the only one authorised by the late star’s estate. It is set to thread together never-before-seen film clips and interviews with live performances of Garland songs including Over the Rainbow, Get Happy, and The Trolley Song.
As well as appearing in productions of classic American musicals like White Christmas, Follies, and Guys and Dolls, Luft has frequently performed her mother’s music. She joined Rufus Wainwright for a duet of After You’ve Gone during Wainwright’s recreation of Garland’s 1961 Carnegie Hall concert, and released the album Lorna Luft: Songs My Mother Taught Me, a collection of Garland hits produced by Barry Manilow. She even took a role in a stage production of The Wizard of Oz – but played the Wicked Witch of the West, rather than Dorothy. Luft was born in 1952 to Garland and Sid Luft, her third husband who helped finance A Star is Born, featuring Garland’s greatest late-period performance.