The Judy Garland Carnegie Hall Concert Restoration Project
Blog post (October 17, 2017): It’s been a few months since I’ve written, but I just had to come up for air to share some exciting news with you: Michael Feinstein has invited me to join the Judy Garland Carnegie Hall Concert Restoration Project team as Editor, for The Judy Garland Heirs Trust. As part of this project to preserve Judy Garland’s musical legacy, our aim is to restore all of the original symphonic arrangements from the 1961 Carnegie Hall Concert and make them available for live performance once again. Since late last summer I have been restoring and performing a handful of Judy’s original arrangements that the Trust, of which Michael Feinstein is a trustee, very graciously shared with me. But to get the chance to work on a preservation project like this is so exciting that I still have to stop and pinch myself. (And then I look at the long road ahead and it sobers me up in a hurry, but I digress…) Read more here....
Review: Judy Garland Symphonic Pops concert
"Ellison’s voice is tender and sincere, completely capable of the stunning vocal athleticism for which Garland is remembered," writes Emily Votaw at WOUB Public Media in a review of Joan's Judy Garland concert with the Ohio Valley Symphony and conductor Ray Fowler. Read more... Here's a preview of the concert, including an interview. The concert featured 16 songs, including Joan's first time singing Judy's original symphonic arrangement of the "Judy at the Palace Medley." Read her blog post, "Stepping Into Judy's Palace Medley," and watch the performance here.
A review from across the pond for "Retrophonic Gershwin"
U.K. critic Piers Ford has featured Joan's 2015 release, "Retrophonic Gershwin," in the December 2016 edition of Cry Me a Torch Song. "[Joan] doesn't just blow off the dust — she gets inside the raw material and inhabits it.” (The review begins about 8 minutes into the video.)
interview/performance on WCPN 90.3
Joan, pianist Jason Aquila, and co-writer/director Mark Flanders recently joined The Sound of Applause's Dee Perry in the Keybank Studio at Ideastream WCPN 90.3 to discuss Judy Garland, their show at Feinstein's/54 Below in NYC, and their upcoming reprise of Get Happy! at Akron's BLUJazz+, as well as performing "The Man That Got Away," "I Got the Sun in the Morning," "A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow," and "The Trolley Song." Listen to the whole segment here!
Critical acclaim for Joan's NYC debut at Feinstein's/54 Below!
Cabaret Scenes Magazine says, "New York deserves to see and hear more of Joan Ellison" (read the whole review here), and New York Cabaret Today says, "...the quality of Ellison’s voice was perfection" (read the whole review here). You can see videos of the performance in this lovely club on Joan's new youtube channel.
"Boy from Oz" Press coverage
Joan played the role of "Judy Garland" circa 1964 in The Boy From Oz at TheatreZone in Naples, Florida. The production, directed by Mark Danni, ran February 4-14, 2016. The rights administrator, David Spicer, came all the way from Australia to shoot footage of the opening weekend and film interviews with Joan, Larry Alexander (playing Peter Allen), and some Rockettes who showed up. Here is the link (scroll down to see the video): http://BroadwayWorld.com/viewcolumn.php?colid=1242826. The show also received a rave review for the whole company, including this:
Joan Ellison, on the other hand, is a ringer for Garland. Miss Ellison performs concerts as Judy Garland, and she brings it all here — the voice, the mannerisms, the look. But this is more than an imitation. Ellison's Garland is petty, appealing, demanding, neurotic. She conveys the authority of a superstar. She has the inflections, the look, the vibrato. "The Boy from Oz" was worth seeing just for her breathtaking performance. ~ Bill O'Neill, Collier Citizen (FL)
New garland cabaret show to play Feinstein's 54 Below
Joan's new cabaret show, Get Happy! Judy Garland 1944-'54, will play Feinstein's 54 Below in New York City on June 3, 2016 at 9:30 p.m. This is Joan's NYC solo debut. Jason Aquila will be on the keys, and Mark Flanders co-writes and directs. Tunes include "The Man That Got Away," "If You Feel Like Singing, Sing," "The Palace Medley," "I Love a Piano," "Johnny One-Note," and, of course, "Get Happy." The show will first premiere at Cleveland's Bop Stop on April 1, 2016, and will also play BLUJazz+ in Akron, Ohio on July 16, 2016.
GERSHWIN ALBUM RELEASED July 21, 2015
"Retrophonic Gershwin" was just reviewed in ClevelandClassical.com! "The songs may be retro, but Ellison and Flanders make them sound fresh and new."~ClevelandClassical.com. The CD is available on this site (physical CDs) and on iTunes and Amazon. Mark Flanders joins in for some solos and duets, and duo-pianists Jason Aquila and Jodie Ricci incinerate the ivories in transcriptions from '20s and '30s recordings, as well as newly-imagined arrangements. The tunes include "I Got Rhythm," "But Not For Me," "A Foggy Day," "They Can't Take That Away From Me," and "Where's the Boy? Here's the Girl!" Grammy-winning audio engineer Robert Friedrich of Five/Four Productions did the mixing and mastering. Listen to an interview on WCLV 104.9 Public Radio Ideastream here.
Joan To Play Judy in "Boy From Oz"
Joan has been cast in the role of "Judy Garland" in The Boy From Oz at TheatreZone in Naples, Florida. The production, directed by Mark Danni, runs February 4-14, 2016.
"LOVE FINDS JUDY GARLAND" to make florida debut
The show will make its Florida debut on February 16, 2016 at TheatreZone in Naples, Florida! Read more here. After a run last summer at TrueNorth Cultural Arts Center, our three-person retro-radio style show, Love Finds Judy Garland, got a new title and is getting a rewrite and a few new songs in time for its debut in Rocky River, Ohio on August 13, 2015.
GARLAND and WWII WITH THE LAKESIDE SYMPHONY
Joan sang with the Lakeside Symphony, under the direction of Maestro Robert Cronquist, in August 2014. In October 2014, Robert & Joan reprised some of the numbers in a pair of concerts with the Cleveland Women's Orchestra in Cleveland and Rocky River, Ohio. A return as soloist in the Lakeside Symphony's "Music of WWII" concert in 2015 included "I'll Be Seeing You," "The White Cliffs of Dover," and other nostalgic fare.