Before Renee Zellweger's Judy, there was Elliot Tiber's Judy
Garden City Park, NY: Much has been made of actress Renee Zellweger's end-of-life portrayal of late showbiz legend Judy Garland in the new biopic Judy, for which Zellweger has already nabbed a Best Actress Golden Globe and has also received an Oscar nomination.
Word on the street is that Ms. Zellweger will most likely win an Oscar for her take on Ms. Garland. Before this film performance, however, there was the touching portrayal of Ms. Garland in gay rights icon Elliot Tiber's acclaimed memoir Palm Trees on the Hudson: A True Story of the Mob, Judy Garland, and Interior Decorating ($24.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0351-6).
Though she only appears briefly, but effectively, in chapter seven of Tiber's book ("Somewhere Over the Hudson"), Garland's beloved yet melancholy presence can be felt throughout all of Tiber's seriocomic book. In fact, Tiber's reminiscences of seeing Judy's legendary 1961 performance at Carnegie Hall (from chapter five, smirkily titled "Momma and Homos and Shrinks, Oh My!") caught the attention of Harry Haun, who wrote about it in his longtime popular Playbill column back in 2011.
When it comes to portrayals of Ms. Garland, however, one should really listen to how she is brought to life by veteran actor/narrator Edwin Wald in his audio book performance of Tiber's Palm Trees on the Hudson first released on Audible in the middle of summer last year (2019).
If you would like to get a listen to Edwin Wald's wonderful performance of this "prequel" memoir—the first of the "Tiber Trilogy" that tells the story of the late Tiber that is continued into the bestseller Taking Woodstock and its sequel After Woodstock, which features a Foreword by two-time Oscar winning director Ang Lee—you can do so by checking it out at Audible, Amazon, and/or iTunes. (To be taken to Audible directly, feel free to click here.)