Hartford Arts Academy celebrates Judy Garland with historian John Fricke John Fricke, author of “Judy Garland: A Portrait in Art and Anecdote” and “Judy Garland: World’s Greatest Entertainer,” arrived in Hartford on Monday to begin a week long collaboration with CREC’s Art Academy Musical Theater Department Chair Eric Larivee and the students, as they rehearse an original production, “To Judy with Love,” which will be performed at the Theater of the Performing Arts in the Learning Corridor on the Academy’s campus this Saturday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, September 30, at 2 p.m. Fricke, 61 and a resident of New York City, indicated that he and Larivee have been discussing this collaboration for several years. “We want the students and the audience to have an idea of what the genuine article was about,” he says, referring to Garland. Their goal is to get information about Judy out in an entertaining way that clears up the inaccurate myths and conveys the energy and power of the performer during the 90th anniversary year of her birth, he stated.
Oztoberfest to feature 89-year-old Munchkin Margaret Pelligrini, who at 89 is the youngest of the three still-living actors who played a Munchkin in the 1939 movie musical “The Wizard of Oz,” will join Wamego on Saturday as it celebrates its eighth annual Oztoberfest. Pelligrini has attended all of the Oztoberfests, which were begun after the Oz Museum opened in downtown Wamego. She will be the only Munchkin actor in attendance as their ranks have dwindled in the 74 years since filming began on the MGM Studio lots in Culver City, Calif.