Beyond The Chair with Broadway Utica Subscriber: Judy Galimo

December 6, 2022

Beyond The Chair with Broadway Utica Subscriber: Judy Galimo


Seven-year-old Judy Galimo arrived at Radio City Music Hall in the sweetest dress, with Mary Jane shoes strapped on her feet, a slight curl to her brown hair, and her mother’s hand wrapped around hers. A yellow glow filled the crowded theater as her mother guided her down the intricate aisles and toward their velvet-covered seats. Butterflies filled her belly as she swung her legs, gleefully awaiting the long-legged, female kickline every young girl wished to see. This wasn’t Broadway, after all; this was the Rockettes!

For ninety minutes, Galimo was captivated by the wooden soldiers, candy canes, dazzling sequin outfits, and women who kicked their way across the stage; their legs synchronized to a single beat.  As the audience burst into applause, a feeling of wonderment rushed through her veins. While Galimo wasn’t sure how to describe the raw adrenaline that consumed her, she knew the feeling was something she always wanted to hold onto – something she’d come to realize existed within the theater.

“That day I experienced the power of the theater. While I was too young to understand it all, I learned what it could offer. The confidence and poise of the artists, as well as the joy the audience experienced, embedded themselves in me,” Judy Galimo reflected.

As Galimo grew older, married, and had children, she made a point of surrounding her family with dance and creativity in hopes of providing that same experience. Performances and shows at The Stanley Theatre were among those elements.

“The Stanley Theatre is an emblem of the City of Utica. Between the marquee, the greeters, the ushers, and the ornate chandeliers, it is an experience within itself – a show before the show. Seeing all of the details of this historical space and feeling the energy stirs something within you. It’s a special place that allows you to become part of it while you’re there.”  

When Galimo’s children grew older, she began attending the theater more regularly; purchasing tickets to her favorite shows. Then, with a little nudge from Broadway Utica‘s Executive Director Danielle Padula, Galimo and her sisters-in-law, Allene and Jodianne, took a chance and purchased a subscription to Broadway Utica.

“Danielle’s enthusiasm was contagious. She brought vibrancy to our conversation with her knowledge and passion for the theater. We signed up as subscribers and ended up falling in love with everything – from the preplanned nights out together to the shows I wouldn’t have ordinarily seen to the people I’ve met.”

Among the shows Galimo may not have attended was Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

“I never saw Charlie and The Chocolate Factory before, but the music, the chocolate waterfall, and the technology that lit up this 100-year-old theater took my breath away. I looked around and quickly realized there were hundreds of other people who were experiencing this show in awe – just like me. That show highlighted my decision to become a subscriber; if I hadn’t taken advantage of the opportunity I would have missed that experience.”  

While the introduction to new shows was an eye-opener for Galimo, one of the greatest perks of becoming a subscriber was the domino effect it had on her family.

“My children have traded in their baseball gloves and evenings out for a subscription to the theater, which created a valuable bond. It squeezes extra time into our schedules to gather for dinner before a show, or meet the next day to discuss what we thought about the evening’s performance. That extra connection is the greatest gift.”

As a business owner and proud resident of Utica, Galimo’s infatuation for her hometown runs as deep as her love for the theater. After all, Utica is the city that holds her favorite memories, the vision of her family and friends, the street she grew up on, and the place she raised her children. In addition, it is an area that exemplifies the impact that art and theater have on a community, as well as the impact a community has on it.  

“Utica is a small-town community with a big-town vibe that I’ve always been proud to call home. When you sit back and absorb all that comes from Broadway Utica’s productions – the gift of Broadway in our backyard, the community of people who travel to our area; filling our restaurants and local shops, the crews and actors that stay in our hotels and see our town for the first time, and the significant revenue it all brings our city –  you realize the commodity it holds.  

Becoming a subscriber is part of that. It’s more than a season of incredible shows. It’s a subscription that reconnects you with people you haven’t seen in years, an opportunity to meet people who’ve come from different areas, and a chance to reflect on the show in passing conversations throughout the week. As a Broadway Utica subscriber, I feel as if I’m part of the long-standing institution that makes this city stand out, even though all I’m doing is simply enjoying a great night of theater amongst friends and family.”


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