Farmers Alley Theatre Opens Season 11 With a Tribute to Judy Garland in ‘Beyond the Rainbow’

Farmers Alley Theatre is thrilled to return home to its original downtown black-box location at 221 Farmers Alley for the entirety of the upcoming 2018-19 season.  To kick off season 11, what better way to return home than with a look at the Hollywood Icon who uttered that famous phrase while clicking her heels – BEYOND THE RAINBOW: The Judy Garland Musical – running September 28th through October 14th.

Take a peek behind the curtain, as this entertaining and moving biographical musical takes an intimate look at Judy’s life and career.  Set during her famed Carnegie Hall concert in 1961, Judy recalls her childhood years working the vaudeville circuit as one of the Gumm Sisters, her big break starring as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz for MGM, her tumultuous relationship with her parents and husbands, legendary performances in films such as A Star is Born and Judgement at Nuremberg, and her life-long dependency on alcohol and pills that tragically cut her life short.  Featuring some of the greatest songs ever written, “Get Happy”, “Stormy Weather”, “The Trolley Song”, “That’s Entertainment”, and, of course, “Over the Rainbow”.

Farmers Alley Theatre is overjoyed to bring in actress Jody Briskey, who originated the role of “Garland” in the world premiere of Beyond the Rainbow at History Theatre.  “Judy has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl,” states Briskey. “I knew there was something about her, especially when she sang, that latched onto my soul.”  Chicago actress/singer Annie Yokom portrays Judy in her 20’s while two additional actresses, Carly Koch and Taegen Rademacher play even younger versions of Garland.

Kathy Mulay (Gypsy, Liberace!, A Closer walk with Patsy Cline) serves as this production’s director and is the perfect choice to bring this real-life legend to the stage.  Music Direction will be led by Jeremy Ramey (The Producers) with assistance by Jeremiah Downes (The Christians).  Rounding out the cast is a bevy of local talent including Sandra Butler Davis, Atis Kleinbergs, Jeremy Koch, Trevor Stefanick and Joey Urreta.

BEYOND THE RAINBOW: The Judy Garland Musical runs September 28th through October 14th at 221 Farmers Alley in downtown Kalamazoo.  Tickets are $37 on Fri/Sat/Sun and $32 on Thursdays.  Seniors 65 and above receive $2 off per ticket and student tickets are $15.  Reservations can be made by calling our Box Office at (269) 343-2727 or visiting