Thursday, February 23, 2012

End Of The Rainbow - A Review

Touches your heart, just like Dorothy searching for the Wizard. 

End of the Rainbow, written by British playwright Peter Quilter, is full of chills and thrills. Your heart soars as you listen to Judy Garland (played by the extraordinary Tracie Bennett) sing and breaks as you watch her final days on earth unwind. End of the Rainbow is like having front row seats to Garland's soul. The truth behind the mask she put on for all her adoring fans.

Set in a London hotel room, the year before Judy Garland dies, she struggles to make a comeback. She is exhausted and broken but taking a break is financially impossible. She is about to marry her fifth husband, Mickey Deans (played by Tom Pelphrey) while her accompanist Anthony (played by Michael Cumpsty), although gay, still pines for her love. A dynamic and codependent love triangle that Garland takes full advantage of...each of them wanting to give her what she needs. Her deep addiction to prescription drugs throwing her emotions to highs and lows tantamount to Kingda Ka. Mickey and Anthony trying to keep up with the next trying to give her safety, the other feeding her habit.

There is something you fools do not understand. I am an addict. And when I want something, I can get it. ~Judy Garland

The play bounces back and forth from the hotel room to the Talk of the Town Cabaret seamlessly. You truly feel like part of her audience and that you are back in those moments with her. Tracie Bennett's voice is mind blowing...if you close your would swear it is Judy on that stage.

Some of the featured songs you will hear:
(click to listen...some great videos on You Tube)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow
For Me and My Gal
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Come Rain or Come Shine
and many more...

This is a true testament that life is not simple, nor is it usually what it seems for those that are famous. We have watched this story happen over and over to those lovely stars that we cherish. Judy's soul is now at rest....over that rainbow.

Heart wrenching, emotional and beautiful. 

End of the Rainbow runs through March 11 on the McGuire Proscencium Stage  
Guthrie Theater 
818 South Second Street
Minneapolis, MN 55415


  1. This looks wonderful. I adore Judy Garland. Her vulnerability was always there and we related. Her voice! unmatched. The sadness of how her talent was used and abused, the way she ended up. I would love to see this.

    1. I know...truly so sad. She was amazing!

    2. I saw it in the UK last November,Wonderful performance by Tracie Bennett.I hope it will be a huge hit in the USA.Veronica Hearst,County Kildare,Ireland.

  2. Tracy Jo - what a wonderful review. If I lived a tad closer I'd be picking up the phone and reserving my tickets. I'm humming "over the rainbow" as I type! Judy was bright light with so many dark days; it's a shame how a life so promising ended the way it did. Makes you wonder if the glory of fame is worth the price many pay.

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    1. So true. I can't imagine how hard it is to be in the spotlight all the time. Thank you so much, Jenny. Always love your comments. :-) Have a fantastic weekend!

  3. Wow! It's eerie how much she sounds like Garland. Great review.

    1. I know, right?! Tracie Bennett, truly amazing. Thank you!!

  4. Great post, Tracy Jo. I could feel your passion for the play's intensity and depth. My parents adored Judy Garland. I so remember them playing her records, especially Over the Rainbow, now one of my favorites. (She was pregnant when she made the movie, barely so.) Man, could she sing. What a sad end to one of the greatest voices of all time. I'd love to see this play. Maybe it will travel to Va.

    1. Thanks so much, Kittie! I really loved it and was very touched. I hope you get a chance to see it. Have a wonderful weekend!

  5. So many gifted people who seem to have it all, don't.

    As usual, your review was well written and heartfelt. I loved your line about the play being like having a front row seat into Garland's soul. Beautiful!

  6. Wow! This was so beautiful! What a voice.

  7. Tracy Jo- This is a wonderfully written review! I would love to see this.


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