April 19, 2012
To the Editor: I agree whole-heartedly with David Kennerley's review (“A Star Is Burnt,” Apr. 11-24). Having seen “End of the Rainbow” last night, the only jaw-dropping moments were when Ms. Bennett sang, truly channeling Judy with gestures, mannerisms, phrasing –– to say nothing of hair, make-up, and wardrobe. The rest felt a bit over the top –– if she really wanted to take the pills again, why would she lift the piano lid in full view of the fiancé and not just sneak them? The pouring of the Stoli? Over the top. The almost homophobic nature of Mickey Deans? Ludicrous. Even the piano player seemed like a caricature of a gay man. Lonely and pathetic.
The only time the play worked for me was whenever she sang. And then, the work truly lifted itself up from caricature and became a performance of pure genius. I like Judy as much as any gay man –– or perhaps less. But this “inside” look at the period shortly before her death seemed crafted mostly for shock value.
And how come there wasn't a single mention of Liza?
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