MILLBURN, NJ — Paper Mill Playhouse and the company of "Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz" recently supported “Spirit Day 2019” as a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities.
According to those involved, pledging to "go purple" on Spirit Day is a way for everyone to visibly show solidarity with LGBTQ youth and to take part in the largest, most visible anti-bullying campaign in the world.
Paper Mill Playhouse, recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, currently presents the New Jersey premiere of "Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz" with a book by Marc Acito, musical adaptation and additional music by David Libby and conceived by and additional lyrics by Tina Marie Casamento. "Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz" will run through Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ).
Directed and choreographed by Tony award nominee Denis Jones and orchestrations by Larry Blank and David Libby with music direction by Lawrence Yurman, the principal cast features Ruby Rakos (Billy Elliot) as Judy Garland/Frances Gumm, Tony Award nominee Max Von Essen (An American in Paris, Paper Mill’s The Baker’s Wife) as Frank Gumm, Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Ethel Gumm, Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!, And the World Goes ‘Round) as Ma Lawlor/Kay Koverman, Stephen DeRosa (Into the Woods, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) as Louis B. Mayer, Michael Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tuck Everlasting) as Mickey Rooney, and Colin Hanlon (ABC’s Modern Family, Paper Mill’s Benny & Joon) as Roger Edens.
Before she burst onto the big screen as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," Judy Garland was a young vaudeville trouper named Frances Gumm. In this highly anticipated new musical chronicling Garland’s early career from vaudeville baby to MGM teen star in the making, the road to Oz is paved with adversity.
At its heart a story of love between a father and daughter, featuring such legendary songs as “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” and “Everybody Sing,” Chasing Rainbows is a poignant coming-of-age tale about “the little girl with the big voice,” who went on to become one of the world’s most beloved entertainment icons.
The show has already earned praise from Liza Minnelli, who said, “My mother said that her biography is in her music, and now a talented creative team is using that music to tell the story of her early years and her extraordinary rise to fame.”
Tickets are currently available at www.PaperMill.org.