Sara: “In Canada pretty much anything near a city is called a suburb, because … pretty much in Canada if you’re not considered a suburb you’re just considered “the wild.” Because you will… pretty much when you leave the suburbs, if your car breaks down, you’re dead. You will be eaten by a moose… and… in America if your car breaks down, you’re just, you’re in a Cinnabon parking lot. Um, I love America, so much, when we first started touring here, it seemed so easy, because you can pretty much break down anywhere and there’s people EVERYWHERE. But in Canada, I’m not joking, a lot of the Canadian trans-Canada is like two lanes, and if it’s winter and your car breaks down, you start looking at Johnny and thinking, ‘Which part of him will we eat first?’ Maybe his smooth, finely, finely-defined-“
Judy Garland at the Palace Theater in New York, 1951
This was her first “comeback” after being dropped by MGM in 1950. She sold out the theater for 4 weeks in what was called “one of the greatest personal triumphs in show business history.” She was honored with a special Tony Award for these performances.
The iconic Palace Theater, built lavishly in 1925, served as Gary, Indiana’s longest-running theater. By the ‘60s and ‘70s, during Gary’s severe economic downturn, criminal activity and violence cast the establishment into ill repute. It bore witness to the horrific 1968 murder of a fifteen year old student in the lobby and closed suddenly in 1972, when a young girl was attacked in the bathroom. Several more incarnations of theater and community attempted to reignite life in the building throughout waves of abandonment, but ultimately failed.
Judy Garland and Hugh Martin in a publicity photo for Judy’s record-breaking engagement at New York’s Palace Theater in 1951-52. Martin composed some of Judy’s most famous songs whilst working on the film Meet Me in St. Louis, composing The Trolley Song, The Boy Next Door and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas; all of which are closely associated with Judy. Martin also played piano accompaniment during Judy’s run at the Palace.