Mary Birdsong

Bruce Glikas (HX Magazine)
“… the amazing Mary Birdsong, whose Judy Garland was so dead-on, Judy Davis should give up her Emmy! May I just say: A Star Is Born!”

Murray Hill (HX Magazine)
“It was indirect diva worship uptown when we caught Mary Birdsong’s show ‘Judy Speaks!’ at the new Ars Nova Theatre…. as we mentioned last week, Birdsong’s amazing Judy practically stole the show at Tweed’s ‘Screen Door.’ She must’ve made quite an impression on the cast, too, because half of them were at Ars Nova. Seen: Lypsinka, Flotilla DeBarge, Mr. Murray Hill and Jackie Hoffman.”

(Next Magazine)
“the true revelation of the night was Mary Birdsong channeling a stunning Judy Garland with every word, sketchy hand gesture, and even a couple of brilliant, belting numbers.”

Minju Pak (Hollywood Reporter)
“Inspired by the recent double-CD release of Judy Garland’s private “journal” -type tapes, Birdsong is breathing new life into the late troubled songstress (and her words) in the one-woman show “Judy Speaks! (gumm’s last tape).” Birdsong has ben performing “Judy Speaks!” in the Big Apple for almost a year now, and critics have been enthralled. Drag queens, beware.”

Chris Willman (Entertainment Weekly)
“In a recent review of ‘Judy Garland Speaks!,’ a two-CD collection of private tapes Garland recorded late in her life, ‘EW’ wrote that the bitter, funny, druggy monologues ‘feel like a great one-woman Off Off Broadway show.’ Someone else thought so too. Actress Mary Birdsong, of the CBS sitcom ‘Welcome to New York,’ has created a piece around the soliloquies, titled ‘Judy Speaks! (Gumm’s Last Tape),’ which she’s just started work shopping…. ‘This show is unusual, for starters, in that it’s a woman doing Judy,’ she laughs, noting that some drag queens have already worked excerpts from the tapes into their acts. Why the ongoing fascination? ‘She failed so hugely, over and over, and then came right back- to me, it’s very comforting,’ says Birdsong. ‘Today an icon of a similar stature is Madonna, but she rarely screws up. She doesn’t appear at a concert half-tanked and embarrass herself in front of an entire country and then sing and we forgive her because she’s so brilliant.’ No, but Maddy’s not too old to try.”

Vandy Horwitz (
“But by far, the showstoppingest showstopper of them all was Judy Garland as performed by Mary Birdsong. Zowie!! …the voice was amazing, the mannerisms perfect and the spoken-word renditions of excerpts from “Judy Garland Speaks” were outlandish and brilliant. To rival Kiki (and you know I don’t say that lightly). When Judy/Mary started to leave the stage, the crowd literally erupted into applause! They were clapping and shouting and hooting and stomping their feet !!! It was as if the real Judy had come back from the dead for one last encore exclusively for her adoring fans. Really incredible!!And as usual, I have to play the “oh i’ve known about her for years card.” Because I’m a jerk like that. Back when I first moved to New York in November of 1995, I used to go to this comedy show at Luna Lounge. I’m not sure if it was called “Eating It” yet. Anyway it was this “alternative” comedy venue, blah blah blah. But I remember one night seeing this girl who was kind of overweight and she did this whole bashful, aw-shucks, bit about being in new york and at this cool venue and she just killed! Her name was Mary Birdsong. A few years later, my friend Jeremy who played bass for Hedwig was playing bass at Nightingale’s in the East Village, before it got all gussied up. So I listened to this band do a beautiful cover of Neil Young’s song Birds from After The Gold Rush. And who was singing? Mary Birdsong. Only she was thin and sexy and fabulous. And I realized that the whole “slightly overweight, aw-shucks” thing at Luna Lounge was probably ALL AN ACT! Okay, even if it wasn’t, this girl has so much f’in talent crammed into her that, boy howdy if this gal doesn’t get to be a HUGE star, well, there’s just no justice in this world!

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