End of the Rainbow Will End Aug. 19; But There's More Judy Beyond

By Kenneth Jones
and Adam Hetrick
31 Jul 2012

Tracie Bennett
Tracie Bennett
Photo by Carol Rosegg

Broadway's End Of The Rainbow, Peter Quilter's play with music about the final days of Judy Garland, starring the hailed-as-incandescent 2012 Tony Award nominee Tracie Bennett as the broken songbird, will close Aug. 19 at the Belasco Theatre. The producers had hoped the run would last to Jan. 6, 2013.

As previously reported, the production (first seen in London) will play the West Coast March 12-April 21, 2013, at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. A post-L.A. tour is in the works, and a film adaptation starring Bennett is being developed.

Tony Award winner Terry Johnson (La Cage aux Folles) directed the searing biographical work. Producers announced the premature closing July 31.

The production began performances on March 19. It opened to solid reviews — blazing for Bennett — April 2. By close, it will have played a total of 176 performances on Broadway.



Bennett's tireless turn earned her the 2012 Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Theater World Awards, as well as a 2012 Tony Award nomination as Best Actress in a Play. She leads a cast that features 2012 Tony Award nominee Michael Cumpsty, Tom Pelphrey and Jay Russell. Gareth Owen was Tony-nommed for his sound design, too.

Here's the drama at a glance: "It's December 1968 and Judy Garland is poised to make a triumphant comeback...again. The drama unfolds in a London hotel room as she prepares for a series of concerts at the famed 'Talk of the Town' nightclub. Alongside her young fiancé and trusted pianist, Garland — with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity and razor-sharp wit — takes on her most challenging role ever: herself."

Music director Jeff Saver leads a six-piece on-stage band, backing Bennett throughout the evening with arrangements faithful to Garland's originals. Bennett delivers such Garland signatures as  "The Man That Got Away," "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "The Trolley Song" during the performance. The production received its U.S. debut at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis prior to Broadway.

End of the Rainbow is produced on Broadway by Lee Dean, Laurence Myers, Joey Parnes, Ellis Goodman, Chase Mishkin, Shadowcatcher Entertainment/Alhadeff Productions, National Angels U.S. Inc., Charles Diamond/Jenny Topper, Myla Lerner/Barbara & Buddy Freitag, Spring Sirkin/Candy Gold, Hilary Williams, and S.D. Wagner, John Johnson, in association with Guthrie Theater.

The album "Tracie Bennett Sings Judy: Songs from End of the Rainbow and Other Garland Classics" is now available on Masterworks Broadway.

The production has set and costume design by William Dudley, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, arrangements by Chris Egan. Kate Wilson is voice and dialect consultant.

Bennett previously worked with Johnson in the London revival of La Cage aux Folles. She earned Olivier Awards for her performances as Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray and as Ilona Ritter She Loves Me. Her stage credits also include Les Miserables and Cash On Delivery. Numerous screen appearances include "Vincent," "The Long Firm," "Heroes and Villains," "Next of Kin," "Coronation Street," "Going Out," "Shirley Valentine," "Knights and Emeralds" and "Deep Red Instant Love."

For Broadway ticket information, visit telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200, or go to the Belasco Theatre Box Office (111 West 44th Street).

 

End of the Rainbow plays the following performance schedule: Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday at 2 PM and 8 PM, Thursday at 7 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.

Visit endoftherainbowbroadway.com.

View video highlights from the production: