Typhoon Judy is “an exquisite blend of music, biography and zany one-liners” (Konk Life)

Typhoon Judy is “an exquisite blend of music, biography and zany one-liners” (Konk Life)

Posted Thu, Apr 11, 2013 in Reviews

By Diane Johnson

The Waterfront Playhouse production of “Typhoon Judy” is an exquisite blend of music, biography and zany one-liners that kept the audience mesmerized.

Based on the true story of Judy Garland’s visit to Hong Kong, this musical production is a poignant reflection of her comatose experience during a typhoon in 1964.  She has accidentally take too much of her prescribed medication resulting in a coma-inducing sleep.  While “sleeping” she experiences a vivid dream of giving a performance in an empty concert hall.

Christopher Peterson’s portrayal of Judy Garland is riveting as he becomes Judy belting out songs from the heart and sharing the gut-wrenching stories of her life.  Mr. Peterson co-wrote this play with Darrin Hagen, an award-winning playwright who is also the show’s director.

Christopher is a truly talented actor and singer who portrays a woman who has been compromised by her family, Hollywood and fickle husbands.  This is the story of a little girl who grew up addicted to applause.  Despite all, Judy loves her own children.  She proudly displays her crazy self and would do anything to protect them from a cold cruel world.

Judy got caught up in the harsh realities of being a child star in the the 1950s, then bounced between the unreal worlds of Hollywood stardom and family values.  We learn that Louis B. Mayer called her his hunchback and made sure she slimmed down by providing pills.  Of course, then she had trouble sleeping and needed medication to go to sleep.

Charles Lindberg is the pianist who accompanies Judy on her anguished journey through a life dedicated to show business. Lindberg is an extremely talented pianist who delighted the audience with his keyboard skills.  His quietly expressive performance spoke miles without uttering a word.  Lindberg’s gentle silence was a perfect complement to Peterson’s high-energy performance.

The first act feels like a trip down memory lane as we revisit our favorite Judy Garland tunes.  The emotional challenge for the audience is learning the true-life stories behind those songs, exposing the pain and torment Judy experienced from childhood.

The second act starts out more slowly, building to an energetic crescendo with a live concert feel that brought the audience to their feel before the final song was over.

The essence of this story is about the gutsy comeback kid who finally realizes she can take control of her life.

Michael Boyer creates the classic concert setting, and David Berg provides the lighting.  Besides delivering a fabulous show he co-wrote, Christopher Peterson also designed the costumes and was the musical director.  My goodness, he does it all!

The Waterfront Playhouse production of “Typhoon Judy” is a lively musical production that will have you believe Christopher Peterson is Judy Garland.

Typhoon Judy is only here in Key West for seven nights, so hurry up and get tickets now!

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