Rants + Raves

July 11, 2011

Toronto Fringe Focus – Michael Hughes’ ‘Mickey & Judy’

More articles by »
Written by: Elie
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In the age of Glee and Lady Gaga, some may forget what it was like when doll playing was done in secret, or listening to (or singing along with) your favourite diva was done quietly in the closet.

The all too familiar struggle between fulfilling our desires and society’s expectations is precisely what makes Mickey & Judy, Micheal Hughes’ pseudo memoir so endearing. A touching tribute to his idol, Judy Garland, this hour long one man show is a look at the powerful and positive effect an artist can have on someone’s adolescence, particularly in the lives of LGBT youth.

As is the case with almost everyone, social conceptions of gender and gender identity were forcibly massaged into our growing and stretching bodies and curious minds. With loving parents who supported his unorthodox ways (such as occasionally cross dressing) by his side, Hughes’ story is an insightful look at what happens when parents don’t stifle their children’s eccentricities and do their best to understand and support what makes their child special, gay or otherwise.

“The theme of the show is discovering who you are, accepting yourself and not letting society tell you who or what you need to be you,” he explains, “as told through my struggles as a kid”.

Though some may scoff at the cliché of Garland as a centerpiece of a show about struggling with one’s sexuality, Hughes’ sees it differently.

“I used to struggle with the cliche of loving Judy Garland and the stigma around her but what it means to me is what it means to me”.

And this is precisely what makes Mickey & Judy special. This is his experience and it’s refreshing to see someone forgoing trying to appear “cool” for the sake of getting people to see his show.

There’s a moment early on where Hughes describes how Garland, opted to break out into song whenever she found herself at a loss for words. It seems that the same could be said for Hughes’ himself as he walked us through the comical ups and poignant downs of his childhood. Hughes intersperses hilarious anecdotes recounting his upbringing, such as his experiences visiting a psychiatrist at the age of 4, with classics such as ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ and ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ throughout the show.

With his unabashed love for Garland and Broadway as a whole, Hughes, an established recording artist, appears extremely comfortable belting out tune after tune. The true soul of the show comes through though when Hughes’ takes the time to elaborate on the frustrations he encountered growing up in a world that frowned upon his tendency to choose to play with ‘girl’ toys, while opting to try on his sister’s clothes before choosing his.

The show does seem a little off balance at times, leaning a little too  heavily on the music and less on the confessionals – because as he himself put it, “I cant always speak but I can sing, I have trouble expressing my emotions”. It would’ve been interesting to hear more about the findings his psychiatrist produced or Hughes’ reaction to them.

Regardless check out Mickey and Judy for it’s touching and funny look at something so many of us can relate to. Should show tunes and Broadway magic also be your thing, then you’re sure to find yourself in for a treat.

Catch ‘Mickey & Judy’ July 12 (10:30 p.m.), 
Wednesday, July 13 (4:00 p.m.), 
Thursday, July 14 (1:45 p.m.), or 
Sunday, July 17 (3:30 p.m.). (Running Time: 55 minutes with no intermission). Tickets are $11 in advance and $10 at the door.

To purchase advance tickets, click here.

About the Author

|Toronto Contributor| Laptop hugger, metaphor enthusiast, lover of sandwiches, and writer of greeting cards.



Toronto Cabaret Queen Ryan G. Hinds Graces #MTL’s Just for Laughs

Just for Laughs is well underway, and Montreal is getting an extra serving of gay at this year’s festival. Every year is a big year for this event, but 2013 is boasting some of the worlds funniest LGBT and queer stand up acts...
by Ian



                  Late yesterday afternoon, Buzzfeed.com (credit for all .gifs) introduced their readers to Steve Grand, “the first openly gay male country star.” I mus...
by Kyle


An Open Letter to Travis Mathews

  *Dear reader, this is an open letter to filmmaker Travis Mathews. Its intent it to initiate discussion as well as introduce you to the important work of this amazing filmmaker. Dear Travis, First of all, please let me...
by Kyle



Feet Don’t Fail Me Now: From Finish Line To Starting Over

//Oh my heart it breaks every step that I take, but I’m open at the gates they’ll tell me that you’re mine.// I feel you, Lana. This fall, I ran my first, and only marathon, also my first race and competition ever and sim...
by Ian

tegan-and-sara-closer-vid-600x400 - The Gaily

Tegan and Sara Recreate the Teen Dream with Closer Video

It’s here! Tegan and Sara have released the official video for Closer and it’s all that I hoped it would be and more! I’ve been anticipating its release since my original post on the song written a couple of months ba...
by Caitlin


Photo Contest & Giveaway! Win An Evening with Comedienne DeAnne Smith & (Sexy) Guests!

One of my favorite weeknight traditions is  to grab a few friends and head to a cheap comedy show at Comedy Works. I mean what could be better than a few friends, drinks, and some lively stand up? Well some might say a strip b...
by Sarah


Screen shot 2012-11-29 at 11.39.06 AM

But Things Are Changing: AIDS Action Now! Launches Second Poster/Virus Campaign

AIDS Action Now! launched their second Poster/Virus Campaign at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto last night with an after party at Cold Tea in Kensington Market, featuring DJ’s Like the Wolf and Mama Knows. The Poster/Vi...
by Ian


What if Mr. Cosmo & Ms. Maxim Went on a Date?

In 2011 Cosmopolitan sold more than 3 million issues in the US alone. Sure, Cosmo talks fashion, self-presentation and blablabla but we all know that after we’re done with the way we look, we flip right to dating advice and s...
by Sarah


Apparition of the Wild: Jamie Ross Exhibits at SKOL in Montreal

An exciting new exhibit in Montreal opens this week, breaking new ground for queer artists and exploring in experimental ways how homosocial lives are lived on lands older than time. On Friday November 30th, SKOL will be hostin...
by Ian



Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *