The Property Known as Garland

Billy Van Zandt

Snapdragon Theater

The Space@Surgeons Hall

From 03 August 2012 to 25 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

Sandra Thomas plays Judy Garland with aplomb in this witty and clever script by Billy Van Zandt.

She perfectly captures the fractured, icon Garland on the last night of her tour in Copenhagen in 1969. She is 48 and an alcoholic wreck, drinking copious bottles of Blue Nun and terrorizing the stage manager (Neal Beckman) to provide mashed potatoes.

In an enlightening play, we learn about Garland's early life as almost a slave at the MGM studio where every decision as to what to eat, wear or think was dictated by the movie moguls and in particular Louis B Mayer.

We learn that her mother was, “the real Wicked Witch of the West” controlling her life completely since the age of four when she appeared in vaudeville.

Her marriages were disastrous and she lost all of her money but found solace in her children.

Thomas gives a tour-de-force performance, a true exposé of Garland’s life told with sincerity, warmth, and intense spirit.