The new musical The End of the Rainbow is a rare breed on Broadway these days.
Neither a revival nor based on a film, like most shows on NYC’s Great White Way today, The End of the Rainbow is an original musical drama by British playwright Peter Quilter.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t already know the story — or the songs.
Based on the final year of Hollywood actress Judy Garland’s troubled life, The End of the Rainbow is as tragic as the beloved songs sung by Garland were uplifting. This musical, which got its start at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is set in December 1968 on the eve of yet another comeback performance by the star best known as Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” Crackling with wit and featuring a voice as superlative as Garland’s herself, The End of the Rainbow is sure to be one of 2012’s most memorable shows on Broadway.
And following a critically acclaimed sold-out run in London’s West End, the phrase “eagerly anticipated” just doesn’t do justice to the excitement surrounding this new show.
Reprising the lead role, for which she received an Olivier Award nomination, British actress Tracie Bennett brings to life many of Garland’s most beloved songs, including “The Man That Got Away,” “The Trolley Song,” and — of course — “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” In her West End run as Garland, Bennett was widely praised for delivering “the performance of a lifetime.”
Broadway veteran Michael Cumpsty joins Bennett on stage as Garland’s trusted pianist, while newcomer Tom Pelphrey (an Emmy Award-winner who you may know from the soap operas “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light”) assumes the role of her young new fiance, Mickey Deans. The End of the Rainbow is directed by Tony Award-winner Terry Johnson (La Cage aux Folles). Previews begin March 19 for The End of the Rainbow at the Belasco Theater. Tickets are available now.