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Local ‘Judy Garland’ show to open Disney actress to play starring role

The stage production of “From Gumm to Garland: Judy the Musical,” written by local playwright Richard Sullivan of Mesa, who works in Chandler, will be staged at the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) April 19 to 24.

Submitted photo Actress Paige O’Hara as Judy Garland

Actress Paige O’Hara, who was the voice of “Belle” in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” fi lm, will play the title role. Valley actress Valerie Saunders, who played the title role in an earlier production, will play Garland’s mother, Ethel, is O’Hara’s understudy and choreographer. Emilie Doering plays Young Judy and is part of the

ensemble, and Madison Moten is Baby Judy.

The story “captures the complexity and exuberance of Garland’s life” from her stage debut at age 2-1/2 to her death in 1969, and is a “powerful and moving look at one of the 20th Century’s greatest entertainers.”

Other cast members include Valley performer Shana Bousard playing Liza Minnelli, Susie Gumm, a Goldwyn Girl and a member of the ensemble and Rebecca Woodbury plays Lorna Luft, Young Liza, a Goldwyn Girl, ensemble. Matthew Crosby landed the role of Vincent Minnelli, who was married to Garland from 1945 until 1951; Chandler’s David Michael Hampton is cast as Sid Luft, who was married

AZ Arts Chronicles

Valley Youth Theatre elected 15 new members to its board of directors for the 2010-11 season including Donvishon Bradley, Luc Bouchard, Mary Garcia, Alexandra Gormley, Alison Gaffney, Morten Jensen, Gerald Johnson, Lynita Johnson, Anne Klaproth, Colleen Schiman, Monica Stigler, Andrew Turk, Todd Vigil, Christopher Burrell and Christopher Thompson. Each will serve a three-year term. Info: www.

2011 Martinis & Masterpieces, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Fri., April 8, Children’s Museum of Phoenix, 215 N. 7th St., Phoenix. This after-work cocktail party celebrates the Arts & Business Council of Greater Phoenix’s work in providing business-building tools and programs that answer the needs of the nonprofit arts/cultural and health and human services community; and, gives the business community outlets for volunteerism, leadership training and brokering business connections to the arts. Artwork from Chandler metal artist Joan Waters will be on display and auctioned in addition to Valley painter Frank Ybarra and watercolor painter Ellen Wagener of Cave Creek. Info:

ADVERTISEMENT GEM TALK April birthstone by Jane Rakhman, Rakhman Jewelers Diamond is the universal symbol of love, and is the birthstone for the month of April. Of all the gemstones,

diamond is the by far the most popular. Due to the superior hardness and durability of diamonds, the name is derived from the Greek word adamas,

meaning “unconquerable.” Diamond is pure carbon, the element that is also the foundation of life. Diamonds are formed deep in the earth under tremendous pressure and heat and are pushed to the surface by

volcanic activity. T e major sources of diamonds are South Africa, Australia, Russia and more recently, China and Canada. A diamond mine at Murfreesboro, ARK has yielded many diamonds such as the 40.23 carat Uncle Sam diamond. T e largest diamond ever found was discovered at the Premier Mine in South

Africa. Named the Cullinan Diamond, it weighed 3,106 carats or about 1.5 pounds. T e Cullinan was cut into 105 stones, the biggest two of which remain the largest cut diamonds in the world: the Cullinan I, weighing 530.2 carats, and the Cullinan II, 317.4 carats. Both gems are in the British crown jewels in the Tower of London. Diamonds occur in a wide range of colors. T e most familiar are white or colorless.

Richly colored stones, called fancies, are rare and highly prized. Fancy colors include golden-yellow, blue, green, pink, amber and red. T e most famous colored diamond is the 44.5 carat blue “Hope Diamond” on display at the Smithsonian institute. In the United States, the accepted authority when grading diamonds is the

Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Gemologist graduates from GIA are capable of evaluating gems and jewelry for quality and value. Diamond prices are subject to supply and demand, and for the most part continue to rise from year to year. Diamonds in particular derive their beauty solely from the way they refract, refl ect and disperse light. T e least

bit of fi lm from skin oil, soap or hand lotion will change the refractive index from that of diamond to that of grease, and most of the brilliance will be lost. Diamonds have a natural affi nity to grease and must be cleaned oſt en. Clean with mild dish soap, and use a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect. Do not expose any gemstones to harsh chemicals or physical activity. At Rakhman Jewelers, we never charge to clean jewelry. We will even inspect your jewelry to ensure the stones are tight and the settings are not worn.


For all those who answer correctly, their names will go into a basket and one winner per family will be chosen. T e winner will receive a free CITIZEN watch.

Question: What are the 4 “C’s” used to determine the value of a diamond?

Contact Jane Rakhman by calling 480-857-9707 or email with your answer. Include your full name and a telephone number (not for publication).

Answer to the March question: When a gemstone is referred to as “fancy,” what does that mean?

Fancy color gems are deeper, richer and more vibrant. T ey stand out and grab your attention. T ey are not necessarily more expensive.

to Garland 1952 to 1965. Other cast members include Wayne Peck of Chandler as LB Mayer; Sonia Rodriguez Wood as Nancy; Donald Howard Steward as Frank Gumm; Daniel Sontag as Mark and Roger; Gilbert’s Ian Haugen as Joe and Claire Showerman as Jimmie. Produced by Stephen Wade Nebgen and directed by Anne Dean Schindler, Manda Leigh Blunt is stage manager, with Steve Carmichael, tech director and Jason R. Diaz, lighting designer.

Submitted photo

Valley actress Valerie Saunders

Sullivan also wrote lyrics for more than 20 original tunes, and Tempe’s Michael Morkowski arranged and orchestrated the music. Show musicians include Gail Novak on piano; Joseph Goglia, drums; John Sims, bass; and Michael Bivona, guitar.

O’Hara will take time off from “Menopause: The Musical” in Las Vegas, where she has played the “Soap Star” at the Luxor for more than seven years. She has also performed on Broadway in “Evita,” “Show Boat,” “Mystery of Edwin Drood” and “Les Miserables.”

The show will run in the TCA Studio Theater April 19 through 23 at 7 p.m. and April 23 and 24 at 1 p.m. TCA is located at 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy. in Tempe. Tickets, ranging from $40 to $55, are on sale by calling 480-350-2822. For more information, visit the Facebook page From Gumm to Garland: Judy The Musical or

AZ Arts

April 2 - 15, 2011


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