Monday, April 03, 2006

MargOH!'s first Review

Hey Kids,

Well let me tell you I liked "The Property Known as Garland".

I am not sure if it was the bottle and a half of Blue Nun Adrienne and I had before the show or just plain good acting.... I think the latter in this case...

I decided to review this piece not just because Adrienne Barbeau and I go way back but once in a while it's nice to just give your freakin opinion!

In my previous post I did mention some concern about Adrienne being cast as Ms. Garland but I was thrilled to see that she went about it in her own way;hats off to Adrienne for that.. She actually gave an essence of Judy both in Character and physique

The play takes place before Judy's last concert in Copenhagen and she is reflecting on her life and career. This play was based on the infamous garland ramblings she made for her autobiography that never had the chance to be written.

I have always been a bit suspect of anyone gathering genuine information from these tapes due to the fact that Judy was almost incoherent at the times she was making these recordings.

This is my only issue with both Adrienne's performance and the play. If it is based on these not so flattering tapes then why not portray Garland as a frustrated, weak and desperate character. This piece portrays Judy, vulnerable; yes, but nowhere near being the tragic voice speaking on those tapes.

The play uses voice overs to portray her mother, Ethel and Louis B. Mayer as the tyrants that they were. Judy directly spoke to these voices but I wish the voices had been in her head and she could speak to them which would have given Adrienne a bit more depth. The voices sounded a bit canned and took away from the flow of Ms. Barbeau's performance.

There is one supporting character named Ed played by Kerby Joe Grubb who spends all of his time trying to track down mashed potatoes and green beans that Judy had demanded she has before she goes on. There are some cute moments between the two characters especially when he acts fumbling and admiring of the awesome moment he is having being in the same room as Dorothy.

I do feel part way through the piece the dialogue does start to become repetitive and there are many references to various celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich, June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor. A high point for me is when Judy asks us " Is Elizabeth still alive". Billy Van Zandt did try to camp it up knowing that the Actor's Playhouse is located in gaysville USA but I think he could have done much better by Adrienne.

I did walk away from this play not knowing anything new about the fabulous Judy Garland but I did learn how a very classy actress named Adrienne Barbeau treaded this role with grace and elegance. She did not do an impersonation of Judy Garland but a lovely tribute to a character that can never be truly imitated though we do our best to do so.

"The Property Known as Garland" was an overall pleasant surprise that I would recommend to any Judy Garland Fan. It was fun spending a little time with Judy and that in the end is what it is all about.

Now, let me tell you that after the show Adrienne and I headed out for a wild night on the town.... I will let you know what happened in the next post....

Kisses, MargOH!

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