You Made Me Love You: A Tribute to Judy Garland starring Jennelle Gilreath Owens
The Midnight Company presents the cabaret theatre production, YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU, an intimate, very personal tribute to Judy Garland, starring Jennelle Gilreath Owens, written and directed by Midnight’s Artistic Director Joe Hanrahan.
Early during her performance training, a voice coach told Jennelle Gilreath Owens that she had a vocal quality very close to Judy Garland. This, along with her appreciation for Garland’s music, caused Jennelle to vow to do a Judy story someday. Hanrahan has taken on the role of writing this story, and directing it. (Owens and Hanrahan have worked together previously. In 2017, Hanrahan directed her in THE FLICK by Annie Baker for R-S Theatrics. And in 2018, for the Midnight Company, Hanrahan wrote and directed a short script for The Theatre Crawl, THE AUDITION, featuring Owens and Colleen Backer.)
In YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU, Jennelle will reprise the refrain Judy sang to Clark Gable when she was just fifteen years old, but she will sing it to Judy, honoring her her talent, her resilience and her success. Hanrahan said “You have to acknowledge Judy’s tough times; how she was treated when young, her self-destructive periods, her battles with the showbiz establishment. Jennelle’s going to tell that story. But she’s also going going to celebrate how Judy rose above personal afflictions to give us some of the most brilliant performances - on screen and in live appearances - ever seen.”
“And Jennelle,” he continued “sparked or inspired by Judy’s story, will tell us about her own life, her growth as an artist, serious personal challenges she’s faced, her career in a variety of mediums, her hopes and fears.” He also said “And telling Judy’s stories, Jennelle will be singing many of her greatest songs.”
The YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU band will be headed up by John and Lea Gerdes.
In March, The Midnight Company brought its first cabaret theatre production to Blue Strawberry with their Linda Ronstadt show, JUST ONE LOOK, (continuing at the time of this release with extended performances due to sellout crowds.) Hanrahan said “With the Ronstadt show and now with YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU, we’re working to make story a key part of the presentation. The music is important and central to the story, but we think the combination of the two, the right mix, can provide a memorable evening.” Jim Dolan of Blue Strawberry commented “Working with Joe and Midnight has gone very well. We both have the understanding that theater is at the heart of the art of cabaret, and Joe has taken it another step closer.”
As an actress, Jennelle Gilbreath Owens has been nominated for St. Louis Theatre Circle and Arts For Life awards. In the last year, she’s been seen in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF for Kirkwood Theatre Guild, URINETOWN for New Line Theatre, THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME for Hawthorne Players, UNCLE VANYA for St L Actors Studio, and INTO THE WOODS for Stray Dog. She’s also an award winning Burlesque Performer and Hostess, and has produced World War II USO Canteen shows across the country and locally.
In addition to writing and directing JUST ONE LOOK at Blue Strawberry, for Midnight Hanrahan last year also wrote and directed ST. LOUIS WOMAN, and the previous year wrote, produced and performed in NOW PLAYING THIRD BASE FOR THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS…BOND, JAMES BOND and TINSEL TOWN. Both were nominated for Best Play by St. Louis Theatre Circle, with TINSEL TOWN winning the award.