Judy Garland and Harriet Tubman this week in theater 

If you thought Debbie Litch's performance skills were limited to pre-show speeches about how great it is to buy a subscription to Theatre Memphis, it's just not so. She's a spitfire cabaret singer who hit the Lohrey Stage last season playing Judy Garland in Peter Allen's musical biography, The Boy From Oz. That's also the character she's reprising in "Debbie Sings: Judy, Just for You" opening this week on Theatre Memphis' NextStage.

"I love the happy songs like "Clang, Clang, Clang," Litch says, listing selections from the MGM years all the way through the end of Garland's storied career. The big emotional ballads are her favorites.

click to enlarge “Debbie Sings: Judy, Just for You”
  • “Debbie Sings: Judy, Just for You”

"Debbie Sings: Judy, Just for You" was conceived by Theatre Memphis' longtime customer and Judy Garland aficionado André Bruce Ward.

Litch isn't the only Memphis solo performer wrestling with a legend this week. Memphis writer and actress Jackie Murray portrays the Underground Railroad's most famous engineer, Harriet Tubman, in her original one-woman show, Harriet Tubman: One Woman's Journey, at the Evergreen Theatre.

In a conversation about our changing relationship with history, Murray tells a story about how Tubman tried to buy herself out of slavery and failed."I think she'd love being on the $20 bill," says Murray, who started performing as Tubman four years ago.

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