END OF THE RAINBOW Opens Tonight at the Belasco
The Broadway production of END OF THE RAINBOW will open tonight, April 2, at the Belasco Theatre. Michael Cumpsty, Tom Pelphrey and Jay Russell join two-time Oliver Award-winner Tracie Bennett in Peter Quilter's acclaimed play about the legendary Judy Garland, directed by the Tony Award winning Terry Johnson.
The landmark 1954 world premiere of A Star Is Born will be recreated on 44th Street as the Belasco Theatre transforms into Hollywood’s famed Pantages for one night only. Throngs of fans and theatrical luminaries, including Whoopi Goldberg, Joel Grey, T.R. Knight, Hunter Parrish, Jane Krakowski, Elaine Stritch, Jennifer Tilly, Stephanie J. Block, Richard Kind, Larry Kramer, Tovah Feldshuh, Montego Glover, Stacey Keach, Isabel Keating, John Pizzarelli & Jessica Molaskey, Molly Ranson, Charles Osgod, Edward Hibbert, Lisa Lampanelli, Kathleen Chalfant, Susan Jaffe and more will turn out in high style to cheer for Tracie Bennett making her electrifying Broadway debut as Judy Garland, alongside costars Michael Cumptsy, Tom Pelphrey, and Jay Russell, as well as director Terry Johnson and playwright Peter Quilter.
Starring Olivier® Award-winner Tracie Bennett in a bravura performance as Judy Garland, End of the Rainbow received four Olivier® Award nominations in London. The setting is December 1968, and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback... again. In a London hotel room preparing for a series of concerts, with both her new young fiancé and her adoring accompanist, Garland struggles to get "beyond the rainbow" with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity, and razor-sharp wit. This savagely funny drama offers unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of the most beloved figures in American popular culture. End of the Rainbow features some of Garland's most memorable songs, performed with the show-stopping gusto for which she will always be remembered.
Prior to its Broadway run, End of the Rainbow was performed at Minneapolis's Guthrie Theater, with the full Broadway cast.
End of the Rainbow recently played a run in London's West End, produced by Lee Dean, Jenny Topper, Laurence Myers, Charles Diamond, Hilary Williams, David Bailey in association with Royal & Derngate, Northampton.
Tracie Bennett (Judy Garland). West End theatre: Jacqueline in La Cage Aux Folles (Playhouse Theatre, for which she received the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical); Velma von Tussle in Hairspray (Shaftesbury Theatre, for which she received the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance and the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical); Madame Thenardier in Les Misérables (Queen's Theatre, London); Ray Cooney's Cash on Delivery (Whitehall Theatre, London); and She Loves Me (Savoy Theatre, London, for which she received the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance). Television: Tracie has played leading roles in numerous programs, most recently: "Candy Cabs," "Doctors," "Dalziel and Pascoe," "Casualty," "Northern Lights," "Vincent" with Ray Winstone, "The Royal," "The Court," Judy Garland in "The Long Firm," "MIT," "The Bill," "Heroes and Villains," "Keen Eddie," "Burn It," "Mersey Beat," "Where the Heart Is," "The Ambassador," "Verdict," "Heartburn Hotel," "Heartbeat," "Next of Kin," "Joking Apart," "Making Out," "The Gingerbread Girl," "Rich Tea and Sympathy," "Ruth Rendell Mysteries," "Made in Heaven," "The Bretts," "The Ritz," "The Refuge," "Unnatural Causes," "The Rector of Stiffkey," "Boon," "The Courtroom," "Brush Strokes," "Coronation Street," "The Upper Hand," "Alias Smith and Jones," "Black Silk," "Relative Strangers," "Going Out," "Educating Marmalade" and "Jackanory." Tracie also won "Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes" as Judy Garland and played God in "Harley's Angels." Presenting: Anchorwoman for "Soap Fever," "The Bombing of Manchester" (Documentary), OKTV for Carlton and had her own show called "Tracie Goes to Hollywood." Film: Shirley Valentine (Paramount); Knights and Emeralds for David Puttnam; Deep Red Instant Love; Lofty Life (animated short) and F2.8. Tracie also produced a short - French Fries on the Golden Front - which won "Best Short" at the Miami Film Festival. Concerts: An Evening With Cy Coleman (St David's Hall, Cardiff); An Evening of Gershwin (Royal Albert Hall); and An Evening With Tommy Steele (tour). Recordings: Forever England, People Like Us and The Snowfield. Tracie is the recorded voice of Bridget Jones for both books of Bridget Jones' Diary and The Edge of Reason for which she received the International Audi Award for Comedy Best Actress. Tracie has a Green Card and splits her time between London and Los Angeles.
Michael Cumpsty (Anthony). On Broadway, Mr. Cumpsty has appeared in Sunday in the Park with George, The Constant Wife, Democracy, Enchanted April (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), 42nd Street (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), Copenhagen, Electra, 1776, Racing Demon, The Heiress, Translations, Timon of Athens (Bayfield Award), La Bête and Artist Descending a Staircase. His off-Broadway credits include Hamlet (OBIE Award), Richard II and Richard III (all for Classic Stage Company); Twelfth Night, Timon of Athens, All's Well That End's Well, Hamlet, Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale (all for the New York Shakespeare Festival); The Art of Success (Manhattan Theatre Club); Man and Superman (Roundabout Theatre Company). He has appeared in many of America's premiere regional theatres, including the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage, ALLIANCE THEATRE, McCarter Theatre Center and Guthrie Theatre. He starred in The Winter's Tale for the Royal Shakespeare Company at their home in Stratford-upon-Avon. On television he has appeared in the TV films "Dolley Madison" (PBS), "Alexander Hamilton" (PBS), "The Lady in Question" (A&E), "Night Sins" (CBS), "Mistrial" (HBO), "Hamlet" (PBS) and "The Kennedys of Massachusetts" (ABC). Mr. Cumpsty has appeared as a series regular on Fox's "King of New York," CBS's "Bob," and NBC's "L.A. Law," and has played recurring roles on "Nurse Jackie," "Star Trek: Voyager," and currently "Boardwalk Empire." His film credits include "Eat Pray Love," "Wall Street 2," "Starting Out in the Evening," "The Ex," "Flags of our Fathers," "The Visitor," "The Ice Storm," "Fatal Instinct," "State of Grace," and the forthcoming "Downtown Express" and "Burning Blue."
Tom Pelphrey (Mickey) is a 2006 and 2008 Daytime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Younger Actor for his work on CBS's Guiding Light, on which he played bad-boy heartthrob Jonathan Randall. Teen People named Tom one of their "hot Hollywood" actors to watch. Tom gained recognition for his compelling portrayal of Roy in the Apothecary Theatre Company's Off-Broadway production of In God's Hat at Playwright's Horizons: The New York Times said, "in a word; terrific." He has guest starred on Numb3rs, Ghost Whisperer, CSI Miami, Law & Order SVU, The Good Wife, Body of Proof, and Blue Bloods. He recently completed lead roles in the films Junction, Tiger Lily Road, and Excuse Me for Living. Other film work includes Birds of America (director Craig Lucas) and The Girl is in Trouble (director Julius Onah, executive producer Spike Lee).
Jay Russell (Various) was seen on Broadway in The Play What I Wrote (directed by Kenneth Branagh). His Off?Broadway credits include Our Town (Barrow Street), Around the World in 80 Days (Irish Rep), The Normal Heart (Public), Private Jokes, Public Places, The Green Heart (MTC) and many more. National Tours include Beauty & The Beast (Lumiere), and Applause. His Film and TV work includes Morning Glory, Louie, Ugly Betty, The Sopranos, Bored to Death, The Unusuals, Onion News Network as well as numerous Law & Orders. Regional work includes City of Angels (Goodspeed), A Civil War Christmas (Long Wharf), Noises Off (Arena Stage), Tarzan (North Shore),
Natural Selection & Listeners (Actors Theatre of Louisville/Humana Festival), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Utah Shakespeare Festival), Anything Goes (Ordway), Gross Indecency & An Ideal Husband (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Importance of Being Earnest (Cincinnati Playhouse) and many more. Internationally he was seen in Fully Committed (English Theatre of Vienna) & Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (English Theatres of Frankfurt & Vienna).
Peter Quilter (Playwright) is a British playwright whose work has been translated into 21 languages and produced in 27 countries around the world. End Of The Rainbow marked the launch of his career with its award-winning premiere in 2005 at Sydney Opera House in Australia. The play has since had successful runs throughout Europe, including a sell-out seven-month tour of Holland, which concluded at the Royal Le Carre Theatre in Amsterdam. Just two months after the opening of this play, came the premiere of Glorious! (the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, the worst singer in the world) at Birmingham Rep. The show transferred immediately to London's West End, where it played six months at the Duchess Theatre, starring Maureen Lipman. Glorious! was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award as Best New Comedy. Peter's recent work includes the two-actor comedy Duets (which premiered last year in Atlanta and just finished a sell-out run in Sydney), and the female monologue Just The Ticket, which will open in Germany, Australia and Brazil in the coming year. He is also the author of Boyband (London, South Africa, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Slovakia); The Canterville Ghost (UK tour starring Ron Moody) and the screenplay The Coogan Act (filmed as Rodzinny Show for Polish Television).
Terry Johnson (Director) won the 2010 Tony® Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his acclaimed revival of La Cage aux Folles. His work has been performed all over Great Britain and worldwide. He is the recipient of 11 major British theatre awards including the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival and Critics' Circle Best Musical 2009 for La Cage Aux Folles. He also won the Olivier Awards for Best Comedy of 1994 and of 1999, Playwright of the Year 1995, Critics Circle Best New Play 1995, the League of American Theatres and Producers Best Touring Play 2001, two Evening Standard Theatre Awards, Time Out Best Play Award 1995, Writers' Guild Best Play 1995, Writers' Guild Best Play 1996, the Mayer-Whitworth Award 1993 and the John Whiting Award 1991. In addition he has received over a dozen further nominations for various awards. In recent years he has had 12 productions running in London's West End: The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, La Cage Aux Folles, Rainman, Whipping It Up, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Hitchcock Blonde, Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Graduate, Dead Funny, Hysteria, Elton John's Glasses and The Memory Of Water. He has twice worked with Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, directing John Malkovitch in The Libertine, which was nominated for five Jeff Awards, including Best Production, and Lost Land, both plays by Stephen Jeffries. For the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain he has written and directed three productions: Cleo Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, The London Cuckolds and Sparkleshark by Philip Ridley. In addition he has written and directed television drama that has been broadcast worldwide, most recently: "The Man Who Lost His Head" for ITV and "Not Only But Always" for Channel 4, which won five international award nominations, Best Film at Banff, and the Best Actor Bafta for Rhys Ifans. He wrote and directed "Cor Blimey!" for ITV, which was nominated by the Royal Television Society as Best Drama. He also wrote "The Bite" for the BBC and ABC Australia. His film Way Upstream was chosen for the London Film Festival and Insignificance was the official British entry at Cannes in 1985. He is a former Literary Associate at The Royal Court Theatre where he has had five of his own plays, Insignificance, Cries From The Mammal House, Hysteria, Hitchcock Blonde and Piano/Forte. He has produced and has directed two further premieres including: Joe Penhall's Dumb Show. He is exceedingly proud that his play Hysteria is currently featured on a Royal Court 50th anniversary mug.