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411: End of the Rainbow


glutes
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Truly amazing! One of the "must see' performances of this Broadway season. I saw it last night and was blown away by Traci Bennett mesmerizing reincarnation of Judy Garland. I won't bore you with the plot of the show as you can read about it in Lucky's other thread or the reviews, but I will say that the small supporting cast is very good and the concert numbers Traci performs are more than worth the price of admission. Available on discounts, RUN don't walk to the box office!

 

ED

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It would probably be a better idea to write about the shows in individual threads, so that someone looking for the discussion can find it easier. My theater thread was more meant for those who cannot get enough theater and would enjoy seeing someone pig out on 7 shows in 6 days! Here are my comments on End of the Rainbow from that thread:

 

The End of the Rainbow is a show I had decided not to see. I know so little about Judy Garland that the authorities at Gay, Inc. just gasp. and I did not want to see a show about some drunk crawling across the stage. But, Ben Brantley changed my mind. The End of the Rainbow opened last night and the reviews of Tracie Bennet's performance were amazing. So, I felt that I had to see this show.

 

Forget Judy Garland,the show may be inspired by her, but there is no doubt that it is Tracie's show. I am not exaggerating here, but I think her performance was the single best performance I have ever seen.

all gay men who love Judy Garland, along awith those of you who just love good theater, must see her perform. It's that good.

 

At the end, when she bellows out Over the Rainbow, I doubt that there was a dry eye in the house.

 

(The show did turn out to be my favorite for the week.)

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I thought it was the worst play I've seen in quite some time and Bennet's performance was an impersonation, not a portrayal. I found the whole thing just bitchy and had every bad gay stereotype in it. I can't imagine how anyone would like the play or the over-the-top drag queen quality performance.

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Truly amazing! One of the "must see' performances of this Broadway season. I saw it last night and was blown away by Traci Bennett mesmerizing reincarnation of Judy Garland. I won't bore you with the plot of the show as you can read about it in Lucky's other thread or the reviews, but I will say that the small supporting cast is very good and the concert numbers Traci performs are more than worth the price of admission. Available on discounts, RUN don't walk to the box office! ED

 

Ed, I totally agree. Saw this show for a Wednesday "sold out" matinee... If Meryl Streep can take home an Oscar for "Iron Lady", Tracie Bennett can take home a Tony for "End of the Rainbow"... It's Bennett's performance that turns this otherwise mediocre play into a smashing hit... Suggestion, don't leave after the standing ovation, Tracie returns singing one more memorable Garland hit.

 

Thanks to Lucky and Ed James for suggesting this show.

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Lucky, One of the things I liked most about this show was that the audience was really caught up with the story. When Mickey Deans started to give Judy the pills, you could hear them gasp. I thought someone was going to get up on stage and grab the pills away. Also, when the announcement was made that Judy had died, everything got quiet. The guy next to me got very emotional. The audience had fallen in love with Tracie Bennett's performance. I love it when there's a real connection with the audience... Finally, not only was Bennett's singing outstanding but so was the orchestra, right up on stage with her.

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For those of you who may never have seen Judy in person or in concert, SEE this show and you will think you had.

 

Remarkable and spellbinding performance. You will be engrossed and not even realize time passing by. You will hate to see it end... but you certainly will come away KNOWING Judy...

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There will never be another Judy Garland but Tracie Bennett comes pretty close. I really think her portrayal was dead on and done with a lot of love and respect for an incredibly talented and tragic artist.

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I agree with the majority here...I found Ms. Bennett evoked Ms. Garland pretty exceptionally. I will not pretend to be one of the "Jud-elites" who can quote every song and comment on every gesture, but I thought this was an amazing performance.

 

Granted, I thought that the play had some "sensational" moments...one where Judy is pretending to be her husband's dog, for example. Didn't love that moment, but overall, I have been recommending this to most people.

 

I thought that Michael Cumpsty was pretty terrifically understated as the fictional pianist. And his reactions were pretty accurate to what her friends and admirers must have felt at the end. In fact, that was the toughest part of the show for me...watching someone that I admire (almost to the point of caring about) fall apart for two hours. I would suspect most of the folks on this board have watched dear ones undergo this kind of collapse...most recently as victims of Crystal Meth. Watching Judy during her slide was tough. But the stellar performance of Ms. Bennett was as riveting as her subject was.

 

Not a great play, not an easy play...but a great performance.

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Judy Garland in concert, the last half of a special, circa 1962.

 

She's not in particularly good voice...but it's an excellent representation of Judy on stage including ALL her mannerisms.

 

The show's ratings convinced CBS to sign Garland for a weekly variety show for the 1963-64 season.

 

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