OFFBEAT: Lorna Luft's Judy Garland doc event cancelled, Asner still on the mend

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-03-22T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Lorna Luft's Judy Garland doc event cancelled, Asner still on the mendBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

The Miller Beach Arts & Creative District (MBACD) announced Thursday they have to cancel Saturday's event featuring a screening of the documentary "Judy Garland: The Concert Years," which is narrated by her daughter Lorna Luft, along with the wine and dessert reception.

The event was to be hosted by Larry Lapidus, who is a lecturer for Lyric Opera of Chicago. However, Lapidus became ill earlier this week and is unable to lead the event.

Fortunately, the event, which was going to be at Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, 540 South Lake Street, in Gary, did not include advance ticket sales. No word yet if it might possibly be rescheduled for a later day.

Karren Lee, interim president, Miller Beach Arts & Creative District, told me guests are still invited to the art exhibit by Denny Davis, a former resident of Miller, who died in 2010. He painted in his studio for more than 15 years, and previously, worked as a toy maker. The display is also at the Marshall J. Gardner Center and includes an array of his vibrantly colored acrylic abstracts and landscapes. For more information, call (219) 938-6422 or visit

The Miller Beach Arts & Creative District has had a tough month with their scheduled events. Last week, it was actor Ed Asner who became ill while on stage performing his one-man show, dedicated to the life of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a charity event for this worthy Miller arts outreach organization.

Lee told me Mark Spencer of West Side Theatre Guild, drove Asner and son Matt Asner back to the airport following his release from our area hospital, where he was taken after suffering from exhaustion.

Asner, 83, told Spencer that after his return to his home in Los Angeles to rest, he was hopeful about returning to the Region to still perform for the 360 audience members who weren't able to see the performance, since he left the stage for an awaiting ambulance.

Asner's performance of the same "FDR" show scheduled for a Milwaukee run last weekend was also cancelled.

Telelphone calls and emails to Windwood Theatricals of New York, the producing company for Asner's tour, and managers Paul and Diane Bartz, were not returned, seeking an update as to plans for the remainder of Asner's spring tour dates.

Windwood Theatricals' other touring show is a one-woman show with actress Loretta Swit playing Eleanor Roosevelt.

 As of now, Asner is still scheduled to come back to our readership area next month for one more performance of "FDR" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 17 at The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University in University Park, Ill. Tickets for this second date range from $15 to $55 and are available at or call (708) 235-2222.

When I called GSU Center for Performance Arts on Thursday, I was told they called Asner's management for confirmation he still planned to honor their stage date, and had not heard back, which, they said they are treating as a: "Yes, the show will go on."

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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