Mickey & Judy will make you laugh, inspire you to follow your dreams

Michael Hughes poses with a photo of Judy Garland.

Michael Hughes, the play’s author and main actor, poses with a photo of Judy Garland.


It’s often said that you should never forget where you came from.

Michael Hughes, actor, musician and playwright, is returning to his roots at Sheridan College next week with his one-man show, Mickey & Judy.

Hughes, the titular “Mickey” (it is his nickname), chose to highlight his relationship with actors Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, whose films inspired him to get into musical theatre.

Hughes, who graduated from the Musical Theatre Performance program in 2005, has received rave reviews for the show, which he wrote and stars in.

Mickey & Judy has received positive feedback from audiences in New York City, Edinburgh, Toronto and London.

The show was named Best of Fringe during its 2011 debut at the Toronto Fringe Festival, where it opened to a sold-out audience.

It has since received numerous awards, including the Broadway World Cabaret Award and the 2012 Canadian Comedy Award for “Best One Person Show.”

The Toronto Star has named Hughes “one of Toronto’s most gifted male Musical Theatre performers”.

The show, which Hughes describes as being “One boy’s journey from psychiatric ward to off-Broadway” is guaranteed to make you laugh and inspire you to be yourself and follow your dreams.

“I starred in The Music Man while I was studying at Sheridan,” he said. “While the audience exited the theatre, I remember that they had light hearts and were humming the songs from the show and were happy. I wanted Mickey & Judy to leave that same impression.”

Hughes found his inspiration for writing the play in the least likely of places – his childhood therapy records.

“I don’t remember much of it since I was so young,” he explained. “A few years ago, while I was out living in Vancouver, I get a call from my childhood therapist who wanted to check up on me, 20-odd years later. He ended up giving me copies of my childhood charts. I didn’t recognize this funny, creative and imaginative kid in the records. In my post-Sheridan years, I had grown a bit jaded. I had used these records and stories as a jumping-off point for writing my show.”

He credits Sheridan’s intensive musical theatre program with giving him the confidence to pursue a career in performance.

“I had to take classes that I wouldn’t have taken if I hadn’t been forced to do them, but I grew so much,” he said. “During a third-year writing class, we had to put together a set of three songs complete with choreography, costumes, light patterns and set design. I was terrified [of the] project when I heard about it in first year, but it was one of the best experiences of my life.”

As a word of advice to aspiring performers and writers, Hughes says you must “be brave, take chances and do things that scare you. Learn from everyone and everything that you see.”

“When I was backstage at the first opening night of Mickey & Judy, I said, ‘This is either going to be a complete disaster or something really great.’ And I still went on stage anyway. Luckily, it turned out to be something really great.”

Mickey & Judy will be running at Theatre Sheridan from Dec. 3 to 8. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the box office at 905-815-4049. Click here for details.

For more information on Hughes and the show, visit mickeyandjudy.ca.

Michael Hughes performing as “Mickey” in Mickey & Judy.