Max von Essen will perform in the industry lab of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz.
Max von Essen will perform in the industry lab of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz.
(© Tricia Baron)

The producers of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz have announced three private industry lab performances of the new musical, set for Thursday, July 13, and Friday, July 14, in New York City. The performances follow two staged productions at Flat Rock Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals.

Chasing Rainbows is the story of how Frances Gumm became Judy Garland. In 1938, a young Judy created the iconic role of Dorothy in the beloved movie musical The Wizard of Oz. Yet the inspiring story of Judy's journey from performing in vaudeville with her family to becoming America's sweetheart remains widely unknown. The show features classic songs including "Over the Rainbow," "You Made Me Love You," "Everybody Sing," and more.

The musical is conceived and created by Tina Marie Casamento and features a book by Marc Acito (Allegiance), musical adaptation by David Libby (Play it Cool), music direction by Larry Yurman (War Paint), and choreography by Tony nominee Denis Jones (Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn). The lab will be directed by Matt Lenz. John Fricke serves as historian and consultant on the production.

The lab will feature Jason Danieley (Curtains), Karen Mason (Mamma Mia!), Michael McCormick (Hello, Dolly!), Max von Essen (An American in Paris), Sophie Knapp (Once), Michael Wartella (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Sally Wilfert (Assassins), and Ruby Rakos (Billy Elliot) as Frances Gumm/Judy Garland.

The cast will also include Tia Altinay, Mackenzie Bell, Madeleine Doherty, Tessa Grady, Curtis Holland, Graham Keen, Andrea Laxton, Lea Mancarella, Christina Maxwell, Kevin B McGlynn, Samantha Joy Pearlman, Alex Puette, Jonalyn Saxer, Tally Sessions, Jack Sippel, and Violet Tinnirello as Shirley Temple.