End of the Rainbow is a play with music telling the behind the scenes story of the last commercial performances of Judy Garland’s tragic life. The show is led by Tracie Bennett as Judy herself, Tom Pelphrey as her soon to be fifth husband Mickey Deans and Michael Cumpsty who plays Judy’s faithful accompanist and fan, Anthony.It takes place at the Ritz Hotel in London, December 1968.
– The set was simply marvelous. It was elegant and lovely and fit into the Belasco theatre exquisitely. The way the hotel transformed into the stage and the center piece of the whole thing was a grand piano that played such a pivotal role in this particular production, that was great!
– Tracie’s singing voice. Her singing voice was much closer to Judy’s than her speaking voice was and that was nice.
– Despite all the issues I had with the play overall, there were just some moments in the script that were simply beautiful, some lines that cannot be skipped over.
– “I miss being loved.” // “I didn’t think there was anyone more loved than you.” // “It’s not the same.”
– “It’s a terrible thing to know what you’re capable of and never get there.”
– “I’m always on my own up there.”
– Michael Cumpsty gets a bullet point all his own because he was very very good. I wish there had been more about him and less about the others. Anthony, the accompanist whom he played, was sweet, warm and absolutely believable.
– The accent. I’m sorry to say that no matter how good of an actress Tracie Bennett is, I just couldn’t get over the fact that when she spoke she sounded nothing like Judy. Not a stitch. She had hints of the british accent still in there and it made me long for an American actress to play this American icon.
– The play itself seemed…pointless. Not through the whole thing, it picked up in oh, the last 15 minutes. That’s not enough. I wasn’t alone in this thought, either. At intermission nearly everyone around us was asking, “Is it just the same scene over and over again? We already know she was a wreck!” We’re gonna need a little more than that to sit through 2 hours.
– The mood swings, the ups and downs moved way too quickly. It was really not natural in any way, even for a drug addict.
– Tom Pelphrey as Mickey Deans had only two levels: REALLY happy and in love with her and IMPOSSIBLE angry and against her.
– They tried to make it look like Mickey Deans killed her with pills. Everyone knows she had her problems long before he came along. Don’t pin it on him.
– Judy, in this play, appeared to be a caricature of herself, a strange version of the woman we all loved.
– They moved some historical references around to fit what they wanted the story to be. I didn’t love that, in fact I didn’t even like it, but I didn’t hate it so much that it took away from the show.
– I couldn’t tell sometimes if the play was about her or about Anthony. That’s the indifferent part. The secret? I kind of wished they’d taken a new spin on her story and made it about Anthony. That would’ve been really interesting and Michael Cumpsty was fantastic enough to carry an entire play.
– They had Tracie sing all Judy’s songs. That seemed unnecessary. They’ve been done before and better, just play the track like everyone else. Also, why did people clap at the beginning of each song as though they were hearing Judy do it?