Get Happy – The Judy Garland Story – Jermyn Street Theatre

'The Wizard of Oz' Film - 1939...No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only  Mandatory Credit: Photo by Courtesy Everett Collection / Rex Features ( 911680a )  'The Wizard of Oz' - Judy Garland  'The Wizard of Oz' Film - 1939

Get Happy is a warm and informative musical tribute to the life and work of Judy Garland. An insightful and entertaining evening which left me wanting to go home and download Judy Garland films. 

Sparkly drapes laid over tables, red back drops and red roses give the feeling you could be in Judy Garland’s Hollywood boudoir but it is actually the set for this show. Our performer, Sally Jones is quick to assure the audience this is not a tribute act but a dedication to the life and work of Judy Garland.

Sally Jones is a nice performer with a good voice and stage presence. She kept the pace of the show up and there was a nice balance between musical numbers and information about Judy’s life. It did feel a little like watching a show onboard a cruise ship though (not that there’s anything wrong with cruise ship performers) and may not appeal to the younger audience. It certainly has its place but it would be nice to see a young, vibrant production of this type of show (where the musical director doesn’t wear a dinner suit). Saying that, it was all very much of the era we were being reminded of and so still worked.

Video projection was a nice touch to showcase Judy’s work. At times it felt a little like watching a PowerPoint presentation in an office meeting but with some creative flair given to the slides it could be a lovely addition to the show.

This show has all the classic Judy Garland songs you would expect, peppered in with the story of her life. It doesn’t go too much into the nitty gritty of Judy’s tragic demise and death from drugs but does give all the information necessary to get the picture of what happened.

It’s hard to believe but Sally Jones also has a Edith Piaf tribute show which is soon playing at the Leicester Square Lounge. I’ve not seen it but if it’s anything like Get Happy you will certainly get your money’s worth if you go along.

Reviewed by West End Wilma