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'Over the Rainbow' inspirational tribute to Judy Garland

The Hill Country Community Theatre and the Highland Lakes Equality Center present 'Over the Rainbow: A Tribute to Judy Garland' on January 11-12 at the Cottonwood Shores Theatre.

A half-century after her death, Judy Garland remains an influential figure: tragic and triumphant, strong, iconic, and everlasting with an unmatched camp factor and an enduring voice that sounds out through the decades, building a cult status among her many fans.

A show honoring the revered actress, “Over the Rainbow: A Tribute to Judy Garland,” will be held two days in January to benefit the Highland Lakes Equality Center and the Hill Country Community Theatre.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 11, and 2:15 p.m. Sunday, January 12, at the theater, 4003 FM 2147 in Cottonwood Shores.

The Highland Lakes Equality Center exists to help members of the LGBTQ community and their loved ones develop deeper and more meaningful relationships and better understand each other through the center’s educational seminars, support groups, and social activities.

“Judy’s story connects with anybody who felt kind of marginalized or on the fringe or not part of everything that was perfect in Hollywood,” said Seth Smith, co-host of the tribute.

As part of the show, Smith and co-host Kärin Frasier will lead the audience chronologically through Garland’s life of triumph and hardship, relating tunes from her songbook to what was happening in her life at the time the songs were initially performed.

“This particular singer, Judy Garland, was the little girl who had the voice of a woman and could connect with all audiences,” Smith said. “All the little kids, when they saw that little girl singing on the screen and she’s in Kansas and she’s dreaming beyond what she’s got, every teenager who ever dreams of doing something big in their life relates to that song and that message.”

Pianist Dan McMurrough will accompany vocalists from the Hill Country Community Theatre — Hisako Pack, Linda Raman, Toni Souther, Sarah Spillman, and Abigail Storm — on a variety of songs from Garland’s lengthy and memorable career.

Tickets are $12 for students and $25 for adults. Doors open 30 minutes before each performance; seats are not assigned. For tickets and more information, call 830-798-8944 or visit thehcct.org.

alex@thepicayune.com

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