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End of the Rainbow
At the Bellasco Theatre located at 111 West 44th Street. The played opened on April 9, 2012 and is an open-ended run. It runs for two hours and ten minutes with one intermission.
The show premiered on August 2005 at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. It ran at the Theatre Royal in Sydney in May 2006. Caroline O'Connor play Garland in both productions. It also played at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It then was performed at the Northamptons's Royal & Derngate from February 5-20, 2010. Tracie Bennett played Judy Garland. "End of the Rainbow" ran in the West End from January 16, 2010 thru May 21, 2010 at the Trafalgar Studios, starring Tracie Bennett. The West End productions was nominated for four Olivier Awards.
The play made it's United States debut at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis from January 28, 2012 thru March 11, 2012. Tracie Bennett repeated her role as Garland.
Tracie Bennett won an Olivier Award in 2008 for "Hairspray" and was nominated for an Olivier Award for "End of the Rainbow". She has been nominated for a Tony Award for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play" for "End of the Rainbow".
Tom Pelphrey won a day time Emmy as "Outstanding Younger Actor" in 2006 and 2008 for the soap "Guiding Light".
Gareth Owen has been nominated for a Tony Award for "Best Sound Design of a Play" for this show.
Michael Cumpsty has been nominated for a 2012 Tony Award for "Best Performance by an actor in a Feature Role in a Play"
The play takes place at the Rita Hotel in London, England in December 1968.
Judy (Tracie Bennett) is performing in London at the Talk of the Town nightclub for a five week run. With her is her fiance Micky Deans (Tom Pelphrey) and her piano player Anthony (Michael Campsty).
Garlands personal problems haunt her, she really doesn't want to do these concerts but she is plagued with finical problems.
Micky is trying to keep her off the booze and drugs, which she has struggled with most of her career. He will be her fifth husband. Their relation is violator, one minute loving the next fighting.
The show follows her performances on stage and back at the hotel were her demons overtake her.
The set is at the hotel. When she is at the Talk of the Town the center stage wall comes up and there is an orchestra. The piano player is in the front, which is part of the hotel room.
At the end Michael steps forward and tells the audience what happened to Judy until her death five months later at age forty seven.
Tracie Bennett gave one heart wrenching performance of the tormented but talented actress/ singer. She takes your breath away. Bravo.
Michael Cumpsty does a great job as the gay man in her life that really cares for her as a person.
Tom Pelphrey does a convincing job of the man you you wonder what his motives really are. You leave not liking him at all.
Jay Russell plays several small parts. The best is as the ASM. He shine in that part.
Some of the songs are sung all the way and others just part. They are well done and the rendition gives honor to Judy's memory.
Even if your are not a Judy Garland fan you will still love this play. This show is well acted and enjoyable to watch. It will bring tears to you eyes even though you know what is going to happen. You can't help yourself you get so caught up in the cast performances.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.