Judy Garland Tribute Wows Big Island Audiences


Emmy-nominated Angela Ingersoll offered two stellar concerts at the Kahilu Theater this past weekend. Saturday night and Sunday afternoon provided residents of the Big Island with phenomenal music featuring local musicians, outstanding vocals and a highly entertaining event.

Angela provided informative vignettes and anecdotes about Judy Garland’s life and loves. She shared the commonalities she and Judy have, including a managerial husband, small stature (Angela is 5′ and Garland was 4’11”!), love of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s music, specifically songs you can understand the lyrics to, and interesting factoids throughout the evening.

Angela Ingersoll

The show started off with “Smile,” featuring Angela’s rich vibrato and breath support carrying one word to the next, which reminded you of Judy Garland’s distinctive style.  It was no wonder she’d played Garland in the play End of the Rainbow and the PBS special also entitled Get Happy.

Ingersoll’s  band featured local talent JP Thoma on sax and flute, Michaeloha Elam on trumpet and Susan Garrod on trombone. Shawn James Leavey played stand-up bass, Vance Okraszewski killed the drums (in a very good way!) while smiling most of the evening, and Angela brought her own piano player, Jeremy Kahn, who also led the band. The event was produced by Michael Ingersoll, Angela’s husband. Angela mentioned that the band had only rehearsed on the day of the performance, but one could not tell, as the music support was near perfect.

Angela told the audience all about Garland’s five husbands, her challenges being the movie studio’s “property” and discovering dancer/actor Gene Kelly, plus intimate details about her start in show biz, Garland’s family, personal idol Al Jolson and how she passed in the end. Angela also made the story personal – relating her own family pains with tears in her eyes.

Angela changed from a petticoat dress to a sparkly pants ensemble at intermission, to perform in the second act of the show. As promised, she opened the floor to Q&A with the house lights raised, which allowed a few audience members to inquire specifics of Angela and Garland’s lives.

The crowd provided two standing ovations at the end of Angela Ingersoll’s show, which were certainly earned!

As a fellow singer and vocal belter, I felt inspired to keep at it; while Angela has been performing since she was a child, (like me) she says she’s found her niche at 41, traveling, doing just this. At intermission, I happened to meet JP Thoma’s friends from Italy, for whom I felt inspired to sing a little opera for and perhaps I will follow through with finding my musical niche, maybe accompanying myself on ukulele to Opera songs, because no one does that yet!!

Ingersoll during her encore

When Angela returns, I highly recommend you see her show, as it’s heart-warming and inspiring and truly entertaining and vibrant, with Angela singing, dancing around the stage and almost embodying Judy Garland’s spirit in person.

Act I
Smile | I Got Rhythm/ Singing In The Rain | You Made Me Love You | But Not For Me | Zing! Went The Strings of My Heart | After You’ve Gone | Get Happy | The Man that Got Away | Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe | Rock-a-bye your Baby With A Dixie Melody |

Act II
When You’re Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You) | Come Rain Or Come Shine | Stormy Weather | Battle Hymn of the Republic | Make Someone Happy | Do It Again | Chicago | Over The Rainbow


To learn more about Angela Ingersoll’s tours and music, please visit her official website: http://angelaingersoll.com.

Love Guru Uma sings, plays ukulele, is a substitute teacher and writes books. She has just completed Book 2 in a series of adventure love story and self-help reads entitled Love is Crazy – Lessons in Love: Creating your own Happy Ever After and Love is Crazy Satisfying, More lessons in Love. See her perform and speak on YouTube at UmaSings and at www.umaojeda.weebly.com or on Facebook.

Photo credit: Steve Roby


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