June is not only Pride Month but also marks the 100th birthday of the biggest gay icon, Judy Garland. Tributes and acknowledgements are happening all over the world, including the oldest gay bar in Texas.
Turner Classic Movies is celebrating the artistry of singer and actress Judy Garland by making her the Star of the Month of June. On June 10, the cable channel will feature a day long marathon of Garland classics including, Meet Me in St. Louis, For Me and My Gal and The Wizard of Oz.
Speaking of Oz, movie goers can take a trip down the yellow brick road when the 1939 classic returns to the big screen. “In celebration of what would have been Judy Garland’s 100th birthday, join fans across the country for a special showing of The Wizard of Oz — featuring an exclusive deleted musical number,” reads Fathom Events’ release notes. Revisit the Emerald City in theatres on June 5 through 6.
To mark 100 years of Judy Garland, Vince Spinnato, cosmetic chemist, and president/chief executive officer of TurnKey Beauty, Inc., was chosen by Lorna Luft, Liza Minnelli and The Judy Garland Heirs Trust to develop a fragrance in honor of the late legendary actress.
The unisex fragrance, “Judy – A Garland Fragrance by Vincenzo Spinnato”, will be released June 10. Garland’s daughters Luft and Minnelli have worked in conjunction with Spinnato to develop “Judy” which will be reminiscent of their mother’s favorite scents, aromas, and perfumes with a modern twist.
In Galveston, Robert’s Lafitte will present “Judy Judy Judy,” on Sunday, June 12. The 4 p.m. show will feature performances from some of the Island’s favorite drag performers. The oldest gay bar in Texas’ show director, Chachie Pedraza Van Wales, has assembled an all-star line-up that is sure to take everyone over the rainbow.
Pedraza, reigning Miss Island Goddess, says he did not really know that much about Judy Garland before putting the tribute show together. He’s learned, “She was a triple-threat performer. She could sing, dance and act. I love how she brought joy and raw emotion into her performances.”
Pedraza plans to perform a rarely heard tune of Garland’s. “I heard her do ‘One Eyed Purple People Eater’ and loved it and knew I had to do it,” he said.
Cristina Andrews started her drag career in New Orleans about 15 years ago and has been performing in Galveston and Houston for the past four years. She loves doing illusions of singers like Tina Turner and Cher.
While talking about Judy Garland, Andrews frequently uses the word “elegant” to describe the star. “Judy was just so elegant. She was an icon. I feel so honored to be asked to do this show,” he said.
Andrews plans to perform “The Trolley Song,” saying “I once saw an entertainer do it and she was having so much fun. Like she was having a party in her head.”
No Judy Garland tribute is complete without a mention of Liza Minnelli, so Andrews plans on infusing “Cabaret” into the show. She especially likes the line, “When I saw her laid out like a queen.”
Galveston drag legend CC Ryder recently broke two ribs after a fight with cancer but keeps a cheerful outlook, “—just like Judy always did,” he says. “What gay man isn’t a fan of Judy Garland? After all, doesn’t everyone want a pair of ruby slippers?”
Ryder, who won her first pageant in 1988, is looking forward to “really belting it out” with a performance of “The Man That Got Away.” He says the song touches him with its take on pain and loving the wrong man.
Misty Valdez, a legend in her own right and performing since 1986, insists she will make it to the stage despite a recent medical scare. Known as “The Island Diva,” Valdez is constantly giving back to the community, especially fundraising for Access Care of Coastal Texas, A.C.C.T.
The Ladies of Lafitte’s never disappointed and promise to make Judy proud.
WHAT: Ladies of Lafitte’s “Judy Judy Judy”
WHERE: Robert’s Lafitte, 2501 Avenue Q, Galveston, Texas 77550
WHEN: Sunday, June 12, 4 p.m.
INFO: RobertsLafittes.com, 409-765-9092