(WSYR-TV) — Little girls all over America have dreamed of growing up to be Dorothy in the Land of Oz. Ruby Rakos dreams of being the girl that did grow up to be Dorothy.
For over five years, Ruby’s been working on “Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz,” a musical look at the early life of Judy Garland. Ruby was invited to Chittenango’s Oz-Stravaganza this year, after portraying Garland in two regional productions, this promotional video, and more table reads and workshops than you can imagine.
“You know, I think we’ve tried to sit down and figure it out how many versions of the show I have in my head and it’s close to fifty,” she said.
Before they started, the show’s creators locked up rights to the MGM film catalog that helped make Garland a star. They took the little known ‘Got a New Pair of Shoes’ from 1937 and re-purposed it to introduce the most famous new pair of shoes in film history … the ones Judy wore on the Yellow Brick Road.
There was a lot of darkness in Judy Garland’s life, before and after she put on the ruby slippers. But what keeps her alive in the hearts of fans is the hope and stick-to-it-iveness they’ve seen since her earliest films.
You let her be the girl that everybody rooted for, the woman that everybody rooted for. You wanted to see her get up off the ground and deliver that socko punch that she always did,” Oz author and historian John Fricke said.
Ruby Rakos has managed to capture the Garland mystique in a performance many are pulling to make it to Broadway … including Judy Garland’s daughter, Liza Minnelli.
“(I) didn’t know she knew anything about us. Now, she’s completely endorsed it and we’re super excited,” Rakos said.
Ruby will sing some of Judy Garland’s hits at Oz-Stravaganza and meet fans throughout the weekend. And someday, she hopes to click her heels and land on Broadway.
For more information on Oz Fest, click here.
Tell us something good using the hashtag #SomethingGoodSYR or by sending us an email at SomethingGood@LocalSYR.com.