Review: Judy: I’m Still Here, Ambassadors Theatre

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Seeing Debbie Wileman stay as Judy Garland on the Sunday of Pride weekend felt good. For years, being a Judy Garland fan or a ‘Friend of Dorothy’ was a type of snide, homophobic innuendo. Now, mercifully, the LGTBQ+ neighborhood and everybody else can have fun her expertise with out all that baggage. Her legacy is free to shine.Wileman’s Judy: I’m Still Here asks us to think about a world the place Judy lived past 1969. Which artists would she have coated, and what hits may we be having fun with now? Did we miss, as with Ethel Merman, a shock disco album? How about an 80s…

Rating



Good

A musically beautiful powerhouse star flip that, regrettably, performs it secure and treads an excessive amount of acquainted floor to really excite audiences.

Seeing Debbie Wileman stay as Judy Garland on the Sunday of Pride weekend felt good. For years, being a Judy Garland fan or a ‘Friend of Dorothy’ was a type of snide, homophobic innuendo. Now, mercifully, the LGTBQ+ neighborhood and everybody else can have fun her expertise with out all that baggage. Her legacy is free to shine.

Wileman’s Judy: I’m Still Here asks us to think about a world the place Judy lived past 1969. Which artists would she have coated, and what hits may we be having fun with now? Did we miss, as with Ethel Merman, a shock disco album? How about an 80s resurgence within the type of Sir Tom Jones? Could it have been Judy Garland becoming a member of dance-rock provocateurs The KLF in 1991 reasonably than Tammy Wynette? (Google it, children.)  

Instead of something remotely dangerous, we get Sondheim, Disney, a Beatles medley, Patsy Cline’s ‘Crazy’ and Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back in Black’. All are, to be truthful, stunningly carried out. However, they do little to discover an thrilling concept past the plain. Off the highest of my head, I can consider dozens of different artists’ work I’d love to listen to carried out with Garland’s model of vulnerability: Kate Bush, Nick Cave, The Flaming Lips, Fleetwood Mac, Billie Eilish, Adele, and extra. That’s with out even going remotely leftfield. How about Pink Floyd, Radiohead, or… nicely… Leftfield. It’s no shock that Wileman sticks to hits, thoughts you. She reinterprets Garland’s catalogue afresh, no mere tribute act, backed by a superb band underneath the supervision of West End and Broadway stalwart Steve Orich. The present’s musical high quality is simple. Wileman has performed Carnegie Hall, she tells us. Twice.

Between songs, there’s loads of charming casual banter. Ms Wileman is nice firm and proves a terrific mimic. We get a couple of asides in Judy’s immediately recognisable voice, however there are too few in my e book, as they’re all delivered with glorious off-the-cuff comedian timing. We additionally meet a solid of entertainingly realised supporting characters. My favorite was a Welsh psychic who had rung Wileman to say that Amy Winehouse permitted of the present from the ‘other side’. There was additionally humour available from our host’s short-sightedness, a pair of valuable however misbehaving earrings, and Wileman’s reasonably fabulous sequinned trousers. All the cabaret-esque bonhomie made me remorse the distancing impact of theatre stall seats and, frankly, a flowery cocktail or two, or three.  

Wileman briefly shares her success story, too, which started when she started recording a track a day for pals throughout lockdown. Once they went viral, she caught the attention of bigwigs within the music business, an album adopted, and now now we have the stay exhibits. They actually present a Judy Garland repair if you happen to’re a fan. There’s ‘The Boy Next Door’ and ‘The Trolley Song’ from Meet Me in St Louis, ‘I Could Go On Singing’ from the movie of the identical title, ‘A Foggy Day In London’, ‘The Man Who Got Away’, ‘Get Happy’, and, inevitably, ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’. It’s exhausting to explain the present as something apart from successful. The frustration is that reasonably than trot out acquainted classics, Wileman is a gifted performer with the expertise to thrill us with one thing new. Maybe subsequent time. I’ll actually be within the queue for tickets.


Musical Director: Steve Orich
Producer: Scott Stander

Judy: I’m Still Here has completed its run on the Ambassadors Theatre.

Further info and to obtain the album, click on right here.



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