The Broadway production of End of the Rainbow, written by Peter Quilter and directed by Tony Award winner Terry Johnson, will play its final performance today, Sunday, August 19, 2012. The production, which began performances on Monday, March 19 of this year and opened on Monday, April 2, will have played a total of 176 performances at Broadway's Belasco Theatre. With this flashback, BroadwayWorld remembers End of the Rainbow's run on the Great White Way.
Tracie Bennett's Broadway debut and star turn garnered her the 2012 Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Theater World Awards, as well as a 2012 Tony Award nomination. She leads a cast that features 2012 Tony Award-nominee Michael Cumpsty, Tom Pelphrey and Jay Russell.
The creative team of End of the Rainbow includes William Dudley (Scenic & Costume Design), Christopher Akerlind (Lighting Design), 2012 Tony Award-nominee Gareth Owen (Sound Design), Chris Egan (Orchestrations), Gareth Valentine (Musical Arrangements), and Jeffrey Saver (Music Direction).
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.
End of the Rainbow began on London's West End at the Trafalgar Studios, also starring Tracie Bennett, and ran through April 16, 2011, before it premiered in the U.S. at Minneapolis' Guthrie Theatre with the full Broadway cast, eventually moving to the Belasco Theatre in March of this year. Previews began March 19th for an April 2nd opening. Scroll down for production shots and video highlights from End of the Rainbow's Broadway run!
Just prior to the show's official opening night, Masterworks Broadway announced the release of "Tracie Bennett Sings Judy: Songs from the Broadway Production of End of the Rainbow and Other Garland Classics" album. With the accompaniment of a six-piece onstage band, Bennett brings alive some of Garland's most memorable and beloved songs, including "The Man That Got Away", "Come Rain Or Come Shine", "The Trolley Song" and of course, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". In addition to these songs, the album includes other Garland favorites such as "Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart", "San Francisco" and "When The Sun Comes Out".
When the show did open on April 2nd, BroadwayWorld was there as the premiere curtain came down. Below, see our coverage of the curtain call and encore performance, as well as video interviews with Bennett and company from the Plaza hotel celebratory after party.
Leading up to the 2012 Tony Awards, BroadwayWorld's Richard Ridge was thrilled to sit down and speak with nearly all of the year's Tony Award nominees at the official Tony Brunch on May 2. He spoke with Michael Cumptsy, nominee for Best Featured Actor in a Play for End of the Rainbow. Watch the interview below!
Following the Broadway production, Los Angeles audiences will get to experience Bennett's remarkable portrayal when End of the Rainbow plays the Los Angeles Music Center from March 12 through April 21, 2013, as part of CTG/Ahmanson Theatre's 2012/2013 Season.
A National Tour is being planned on the heels of that West Coast premiere. Details on the National Tour will be announced shortly, along with additional information about the film adaptation, also starring Bennett, that is currently in development.
So, the show's Broadway run might be ending, but for Bennett and the company, this won't be the "End of the Rainbow."