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StageStruck! Conference Film Screenings to Celebrate 100 Years of MGM

4/25/2024 12AM

Special Industry Guests Include Lorna Luft and Patrica Ward Kelly to Share Memories of Legendary Film Stars Judy Garland and Gene Kelly


CARMEL, Ind. – The Great American Songbook Foundation will host two special film screening events as part of its StageStruck! Conference to honor the 100th anniversary of MGM. This celebration will feature participation by distinguished guests including Patricia Ward Kelly and Lorna Luft to shed light on the life and legacies of film icons Gene Kelly and Judy Garland.


The first event will take place on May 14 and will highlight the enduring impact of Gene Kelly and his contributions to classic films like Singin’ in the Rain. The Songbook Foundation will welcome Patricia Ward Kelly, wife and official biographer of the legendary dancer, director, and choreographer. Mrs. Kelly will host a prescreening presentation featuring behind-the-scenes stories about the production process of Singin’ in the Rain and Gene Kelly’s experience starring in and co-directing the film.


On May 15, the Songbook Foundation will welcome esteemed actress and singer, Lorna Luft, known for her versatile talents and rich family legacy in the entertainment industry. Luft will share memories of her mother, Judy Garland, and insights into her work and legacy, including her starring role in the film Meet Me in St. Louis. This screening event is part of a yearlong celebration of Judy Garland as a recent inductee to the Songbook Hall of Fame.


Both screenings will take place on the campus of the Center for the Performing Arts, the home of the Great American Songbook Foundation. Free general admission tickets may be reserved online at or through the Center’s Fifth Third Bank Box Office at or (317) 843-3800.


"We are thrilled to explore and celebrate the rich legacy of MGM Musicals through these iconic films," said Christopher Lewis, Executive Director of the Great American Songbook Foundation. "With our special guest presenters, Patricia Ward Kelly and Lorna Luft, these screenings promise to be unforgettable experiences for fans of classic cinema and the American Songbook."


Event Details:


May 14 Screening

  • Location: The Tarkington
    • 5:45 p.m.: Lobby doors open | Patricia Ward Kelly available to meet & greet attendees
    • 6:15 p.m.: Prescreening presentation by Patricia Ward Kelly
    • 7:00 p.m.: Screening begins 
    • 8:45 p.m.: Post screening Q&A with Patricia Ward Kelly


May 15 Screening

  • Location: Palladium
    • 5:45 p.m.: Lobby doors open
    • 6:15 p.m.: Prescreening Q&A and discussion with Lorna Luft
    • 7:00 p.m.: Screening begins


These free public events are hosted in conjunction with the StageStruck! Conference taking place May 15-17. Nostalgia and the Hollywood Musical is the theme for this international academic conference. Hosted by the Great American Songbook Foundation in partnership with the University of Sheffield (U.K.), the conference attracts scholars and students from around the world, with sessions hosted in a hybrid format offering interactive online participation as well as on-site attendance. More information can be found at


In addition to the screening and discussions with industry guests, attendees will have the opportunity to view treasured artifacts from the Songbook Library & Archives and browse newly published books authored by visiting conference presenters exploring the evolution of Hollywood.


About the Great American Songbook Foundation

The mission of the Great American Songbook Foundation, founded in 2007 by five-time Grammy® Award nominee Michael Feinstein, is to inspire and educate by celebrating the timeless standards of pop, jazz, Broadway, and Hollywood. Headquartered at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana, the Foundation advances this rich legacy by curating physical artifacts of its creators, performers and publishers in the Songbook Library & Archives; operating a multimedia exhibit gallery; overseeing the Songbook Hall of Fame; offering programs for the public and research opportunities for scholars and artists; and providing educational opportunities for student musicians, including the annual Songbook Academy® summer intensive. The Foundation is a Cultural Affiliate of the Los Angeles-based Grammy Museum®. More information is available at