Manuel Betancourt, "Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020)

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In Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall (Bloomsbury Academic, 2020), Manuel Betancourt explores what makes Judy Garland’s landmark album great, and why it holds such a central place in queer culture.

A hit when released in 1961 (it was the first album by a woman ever to win the Grammy award for Best Album), Judy at Carnegie Hall quickly came to occupy a central place in the gay imaginary. And yet by 1967 characters in the play The Boys in the Band would mock Judy fandom as the height of outdated cliché.

What accounts for Judy Garland’s strange temporality, somehow always so ten years ago? Why is there such an intense association between Garland and nostalgia, and between Garland and nostalgia’s twin, failure? Why can we accept Judy Garland as a comeback kid but not as a success?

Betancourt’s book explores these questions and more in a deep dive into the nature of queer fandom.

Manuel Betancourt is a writer based out of Los Angeles. He earned his Ph.D. in English Literature from Rutgers University, USA.

Andy Boyd is a playwright based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the playwriting MFA program at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the Arizona School for the Arts. His plays have been produced, developed, or presented at IRT, Pipeline Theatre Company, The Gingold Group, Dixon Place, Roundabout Theatre, Epic Theatre Company, Out Loud Theatre, Naked Theatre Company, Contemporary Theatre of Rhode Island, and The Trunk Space. He is currently working on a series of 50 plays about the 50 U.S. states. His website is AndyJBoyd.com, and he can be reached atandyjamesboyd@gmail.com.

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