End of the Rainbow, a tragic reflection with music of the last sad, declining days of the legendary Judy Garland, arrives on Broadway after breaking records in London’s West End and winning a bushel of awards for its star, a supersonically gifted dynamo named Tracie Bennett. At first glance, prancing her way into a suite at the Ritz to begin rehearsals for a five weeks of concerts at the fabled Talk of the Town, she does not sound, speak, sing or look anything like the greatest entertainer of the 20th century. I have seen drag queens do better Judys, mimicking every stage of her turbulent career. But then, despite the overbite and the hoarse voice without a shine in it, she begins to grow on you, like moss. Slowly, the nuances take you by surprise. Like Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn, she begins to stake squatter’s rights on the role, not just imitating Judy, but channeling her. The book and direction of this show, by Peter Quilter and Terry Johnson, respectively, are as solid, filling and substantial as cracker crust. But by the time Tracie Bennett works her magic, captivates your imagination and captivates your soul, you know you are in the presence of someone electrifying. Read More
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