Michael Hughes is a musical theatre performer, cabaret singer and lifelong devotee of Judy Garland. As a kid, Michael’s burgeoning obsession with musicals, Judy Garland and cross-dressing worried his parents to the point where they sent him to a psychiatrist.
Twenty years later, that psychiatrist wanted to talk to him again. Michael agreed on the condition that the psychiatrist would relinquish photocopies of all the charts from his childhood analyses to him. Those charts are incorporated into Mickey & Judy, a musical revue and “pseudo-memoir” of Hughes’ childhood.
Now, honestly, a one-man show where the performer delivers anecdotes about his life in the space between a set of show tunes could easily come off as an exercise in shameless self-indulgence. However, Hughes manages to pull it off. He is engaging, personal, utterly charming and, my goodness gracious, can the boy sing!
In Mickey & Judy, Hughes elevates what is essentially a cabaret/lounge act to a confessional. His anecdotes about growing up “different”, his therapy sessions, his desires to run away to New York City and how Judy Garland “saved his life” are candid and personal.
Hughes delivers his stories with a light-heartedness that keeps the tone upbeat but also tends to give them a bit of a superficial quality, I often found myself wanting him to go into a bit more detail. However, I understand that the majority of the story is actually interpreted through song.
Weaving in and out of the stories, Hughes performs a collection of classic Broadway show tunes; running the gamut from “Maria” from West Side Story to “Some People” from Gypsy to “Lullaby of Broadway” from 42nd Street.
Since each song is connected to a pivotal moment in his life, Hughes performs them with a personal quality that really makes them affecting. His delivery is often heartfelt and the obvious joy he derives from performing these songs is infectious; we are seeing him at his most genuine self when he sings. His life truly is a musical.
Like all the great classic musicals, you’ll likely leave Mickey & Judy with a smile on your face and a tune in your heart.
Random Hero Entertainment
in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents
CREATED BY/STARRING: Michael Hughes
MUSIC DIRECTION: Chris Tsujiuchi
VENUE: Tarragon Theatre Extraspace, 30 Bridgman Ave
Friday July 8, 5:45pm
Saturday July 9, 7:00pm
Sunday July 10, 10:30pm
Tuesday July 12, 10:30pm
Wednesday July 13, 4:00pm
Thursday July 14, 1:45pm
Sunday July 17, 3:30pm
Ticket Price: $10.00
Tickets: www.fringetoronto.com / (416) 966-1062
Advance Ticket Box Office at the Randolph Centre, 736 Bathurst St.