Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Here are a few of the reviews for Judy And Me:

Out In Jersey/Theater Review

Judy and Me
St. Lukes Theater,
308 West 46th Street, New York
Reviewed by Toby Grace

Growing from a cabaret act created by Peter Mac, who stars in the show, giving a performance as Judy Garland that is nothing short of amazing – especially for those of us who are old enough to have seen the original Judy work her stage magic, this touching and delightful play has now hit Broadway in a form that would undoubtedly make Judy’s spirit very happy.

Telling the familiar but always affecting tale of a gay high school boy struggling with a hostile school environment and an oaf of a father – on top of coming to terms with his own identity, the well written script has moments that are very funny along with ones that can easily bring tears to the eyes.

It is really quite impossible to tell who is the premier star of this production. Is it Judy, done with Peter Mac’s panache and perfection, or is it Christopher Brick, whose energetic and entirely convincing performance as Anthony, the boy who is growing up and coming out, radiates both the joy and the pain of the role? Top billing doesn’t matter in this show however – the whole cast has clearly put their heart and energy into the production and come out with a winner. Jean Ann Kump was completely endearing as Tony’s loving if sometimes confused mom. Basil Meola was absolutely scary as the father. Elyse Beyer was the classic gay boy’s best girlfriend and Christopher McCabe was perfectly cast in two roles – Tony’s first crush and later as the boy who might be the real thing.

With the curtain call bringing much of the SRO audience to its feet with protracted ovations, my opinion of this performance is very clearly in the majority. A dress rehearsal performance on October 16 produced the lone dissenter – an old fool who disrupted the show with homophobic screaming. Fleeing prior to the arrival of police, he served to remind us all that the theme of the play, the reality and effect of prejudice and hatred, is as relevant today as it ever was.

For ticket information, see

October 20, 2008
by Rob Lester

Here’s a play that anybody can relate to, especially if you're gay, had family problems, felt alone, felt scared, found comforting escape through the arts, remember finding yourself -- or finding yourself in the middle of some drama. And isn’t that all of us?

Judy and Me is the play and it’s moving, unsettling, sweet, chilling, ethereal, highly emotional, and highly recommended.... The recommendation stands as a "DON’T MISS," because emotion, talent, and integrity shine through.... The play has a great deal to say -- and that can and should be heard loud and clear, and can be cathartic, healing, instructive, and -- by the way -- pretty darn funny.

A given: being a teenager is never easy. Being a teenager who is picked on by his abusive father and picked on by schoolmates is no picnic. Struggling (very) privately with your sexuality as a teenager could add another layer to your private hell. [JUDY & ME] is based on entertainer Peter Mac’s own story as a high school boy, circa the mid-1990s. He’s playing Judy Garland, deliciously and with wit: she’s the icon whose persona, personality, and personal connection got him through a lot of tough times... [So] there’s affectionate authenticity.

Christopher Brick plays "Tony" sympathetically and with some natural ease, whether a scene requires him to be sad-eyed or wide-eyed, chatty or shy. The parents are presented (and acted) in a way that prevents them from seeming fully three-dimensional. An argument might be made that adults seen through the myopic eyes of teens or recalled by a teen grown up, may seem two-dimensional: all good or all bad. Mom, at least, gets some chance for a character arc and growth.

Though...some points could be clearer or less heavy-handed, at the end of the day this is a play that could make you cry if you weren’t so busy cheering for its characters’ trials and triumphs.

See it, and you’ll see what I mean.

The piece is directed by Charles Tolliver and produced for the stage by John Schaefer, with Peter Mac’s brother, a fixture on the cabaret scene himself, Joseph John Macchia. He tirelessly spearheads many benefits for Help Is On The Way Today to help HIV-positive children and others. The night I was there, their mother was also in the audience, cheering on her sons and one’s partner in life and putting on the show: it was a family affair, and an affair to remember.

Playing at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street (just off Eighth Avenue), Manhattan. Open run.

Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m., with matinees Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Regular tickets ($47.50 - $55) are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting

A limited number of Student and Teacher tickets for $20 are available only at the box office on the day of the performance. Valid school ID required.

For more information on the show, visit

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