End of the Rainbow: See Judy Crawl

Why dwell on a great artist’s last desperate days?

No yellow brick road: Michael Cumpsty, Tracie Bennett, and Tom Pelphrey
Carol Rosegg
No yellow brick road: Michael Cumpsty, Tracie Bennett, and Tom Pelphrey

Details

End of the Rainbow
By Peter Quilter
Belasco Theatre
111 West 44th Street
212-239-6200
endoftherainbowboradway.com

Related Stories

More About

You don’t have to be a gay male to be riveted by Garland’s art, nor does your admiration depend on how old you were when you first saw The Wizard of Oz. It’s purely a matter of admiring an artist who does something consummately well, with complete truthfulness. That she did it well, under painful circumstances which made the completion of every song a battle, should be a cue for deeper admiration, not for a half-snickering gawk at her final falling apart. As the best rebuke to the image of Judy proffered by End of the Rainbow, you can take what Aretha Franklin wrote about her, in the liner notes to a 1998 CD reissue of rare Garland recordings: “This woman was soul personified.” I don’t advise weighing what’s onstage at the Belasco against that sentence.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
dredge
dredge

Thank you for your review. I am trying to understand the mind set of those defending this crap. And I can only imagine it's a mix of schadenfreude and a sort of OCD in the public these days for verisimilitude. Gee this is exactly what it's like to have a mental breakdown. This is exactly how Judy was in her last day. Completely without context. And without empathy. Vultures picking at a dead carcass. And Steve, you are quoting some else's subjective metaphorical take on Judy Garland. That is not research; And something a critic need not draw from to form an opinion or to analyze.

Steve Roscow
Steve Roscow

According to Mickey Deans' book, Bennett is getting the role exactly right. I suppose none of you have taken Ritalin. Here's how Deans describes Judy's performances at the Talk Of The Town in his book Weep No More My Lady...."Sometimes she wielded the microphone cord like a lion-tamers' whip. She did dance steps. She strutted, arms akimbo. Her movements were suddenly grotesque, like a marionettes. She threw her arms up stiffly, her legs came together at the knees."......A reviewer of the time, Derek Jewell said ..."No logic, no analysis, no judgment in the world can completely explain the phenomenon of Garland's performance at Talk Of The Town. She walks the brim of the volcano each second. At time her voice is flawed."Doesn't sound as though she was too frail to be big on stage then....'walks the brim of the volcano??? That sounds a very energetic performance to me.You should have done more research and have been less personal.

Joseph
Joseph

This review sums up the way I felt as well. Tracie Bennet works very hard but is one-dimensional. She lacks that one most important quality mentioned in the review: soul. The writing in the play is offensive and amateur. The only saving grace in this mess is the wonderful actor, Michael Cumpsty.

Carolynzaremba
Carolynzaremba

My mother, a classicly trained singer, was a huge fan of Judy Garland. I grew up listening to Garland's records and to my mother singing the songs. I learned all the songs by heart myself and consider both Garland and my mother to have been my first singing teachers. Aretha was right.

William V. Madison
William V. Madison

At once a vivid tribute to Garland and an eloquent analysis of the play. Thank you.

Michael O'Farrell
Michael O'Farrell

Although Tracie Bennett has been hailed by several theater critics for her performance in End of The Rainbow and the play was something of a sensation in London and now on Broadway, this theater/movie enthusiast and an unabashed fan of Judy Garland will resist the urge to see this production. A number of biographies, past Hollywood news items etc. have recounted Garland's demons, her struggles with pills and weight, her triumphs and failures, her supposed banishment from Hollywood (The "Annie Get Your Gun" debacle) only to rise like a phoenix from the ashes(first, "A Star Is Born", then her legendary Carnegie Hall Concert). There have been a select number of performing geniuses in the history of 20th Century Hollywood: Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Marlon Brando. Judy Garland belongs on this list. Her performance in "The Wizard of Oz" alone places her securely in the firmament of Hollywood's Legendary Galaxy of unforgettable performances. Garlands was a brilliant, intuitive actress and singer, one of those enormous talents who come along once in a lifetime. Her life was full of struggles. She was human, and human frailty can often bring a person down to unfathomable depths. But Garland will live on untarnished because of her overwhelming talent.

 
Loading...