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

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.

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