Tracie Bennett Sings Judy: Songs From The Broadway Production of End of the Rainbow
Celebrity impersonators can allow us to relive wonderful moments in our lives by taking us back to a meaningful period represented by the artist, or they can make us cringe as we tolerate an attempt to recreate an artist whose time we must remember as the past, the recreation of which merely emphasizes the artist's special bookmark in our musical history. Masterworks Broadway brings us selections from Tracie Bennett Sings Judy: Songs from the Broadway production of "End of the Rainbow" and Other Garland Classics, in which the British stage veteran takes on the iconic performer in a play with music by Peter Quilter.
Though the play takes place in 1968, the songs on this recording are a compilation of Garland's most famous, tried-and-true hits. The challenge presents itself as a stand-alone release: as a soundtrack to the show, currently receiving raves on Broadway, it's a compliment to Bennett's work in personifying the superstar who would be dead within a year from her addictions to drugs and booze. To the listener wanting to partake in a subjective glance at a cabaret singer's attempt at the greatest hits of a worshipped diva, the recording has its peaks and valleys. Wonderful musical arrangements of "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "San Francisco" provide the perfect tandem to Bennett's impersonation, while songs which strongly feature her warbly mezzo, such as the classics "Smile" and "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart," can be grimacing as isolated listens.
If you have the chance to take in the show, don't hesitate to pick up this memory of the experience. If you want to enjoy Judy's greatest hits, go buy the real deal.
Tracie Bennett Sings Judy: Songs from the Broadway production of "End of the Rainbow" and Other Garland Classics
CD / Digital formats
Masterworks Broadway / Sony Music