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BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below

Vaudeville’s Frances Gumm Becomes Judy In Nuthin Flat

BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below

Heigh-Ho, My Rainbow Tribe! Bobby Patrick, your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in cabareT to bring you all the T!

So, my merry rainbow readers, there are a lot of things in this life that Michael Feinstein DOESN'T need. He DOESN'T need piano or singing lessons... He DOESN'T need advice about what music to sing... He DOESN'T need to put Liza on speed dial (hint: she's already there) and one thing Michael Feinstein certainly does not need is another review. What could little Bobby write about the man that could make the least bit of difference to him, or about him, or for him? Nothing that anyone could say in print at this point will reduce or augment the attendance of his sold-out performances. No written word from a musical theatre queen typing away in this little corner of BROADWAY WORLD will create any revelation that will make this consummate performer jump up from his desk with a bold AH HAH! So let's not review Wednesday night's performance of GET HAPPY: Michael Feinstein CELEBRATES THE Judy Garland CENTENNIAL (part 1) At Feinstein's/54 Below. Just pull your chair up closer to your screen or turn your phone to portrait view and let Bobby whisper about why this show is essential. As we move into 2022, leaving behind the dreary, tacky wallpaper we've been stuck staring at in the previous 2 years and we move closer to Dorothy Gale's centenary on June 10th, there will be more and more and more salutes to the lady whose passing on June 22nd, 1969 is, to this day, a sad memory even for those not alive at the time. As these memorials and celebrations and cabaret compilations stack up higher and higher between now and June 10th, you won't be able to swing a drag queen without hitting some other drag queen in Jane Falbury's black fedora, tux jacket, stockings, and pumps, but the GET HAPPY you want to hear is this man's.

BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below

A divine historian, curator, and musicologist there really is no one who knows more about Esther Blodgett than Michael Feinstein, and there isn't a history professor alive today with the charm, charisma, or pipes to turn history into HER-STORY. Focussing on the strengths and power of his subject rather than her troubles and trials, using the music she made with brilliant creators, all of whom rightly believed she was the greatest there ever was, what emerges in Michael's musical musings is a clearer picture of the young woman (this is part 1 of GET HAPPY after all) who rose from vaudeville split weeks to Hollywood superstardom and remains a revered symbol in the worlds of music, movies, and queer iconography (What?! Bobby knows words!?). Walking his audience through the highlights of Manuela's rise, picking up tidbits that, while not necessarily unknown, lived in dusty corners for years, and adding tunes from her earliest days as well as some songs intended for the lady that were never realized, all while mixing in the familiar with honest love and admiration, MF's powerful voice that never feels loud tributes his star for a generous 75 minutes. Each of the familiar compositions given life by his silky voice and the expertise of the best music director/arranger in the free world, Tedd Firth, MF shines a light on Hannah Brown that stands out amongst all those other lights because it is actually illuminating. Michael talks about the people that he has known that knew and worked with his hero, telling of the strong choices she made in her music that inform his own choices today, and certainly in this tribute. His voice as filled with emotion as Esther Smith's when he encored with her HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS, followed his telling of how the song almost didn't make it, owing to a lite feud between her and Hugh Martin over lyrics she felt were too dark for the moment - a known story if you are a fan. The lesser-known part of the story is that it was her leading man, Tom Drake, who went to Martin and urged him to re-write the few words required so that he would have the song in the film thus leading to HAVE YOURSELF... becoming the perennial holiday classic it is, to this day. You see, my lambkins, when an artist knows... they know, and she knew. Of course, the nods to OZ were the tent posts upon which the early life tributes were hung, but in a really interesting turn, the music chosen to tribute were the Dorothy Gale-adjacent songs of her 3 companions. Singing in sequence the full numbers in the IF I ONLY HAD... trilogy brought sadness (BRAIN), sweetness (HEART), and the power of humor (DA NOIVE) all elements that mixed themselves in the voice of the great one whenever she sang - Illuminating indeed.

BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below

Finally, dear ones, the highlight of the night for one and all came from Feinstein's life-long propensity for finding musical artifacts. The story of coming upon ancient, non-professional recordings secreted in one of the walls of her mother's home brought forth the voice of 19-year-old Judy Garland through an old, scratchy tape singing I'LL BE SEEING YOU, a song she never recorded otherwise, allowing Michael Feinstein to sit at the piano and accompany her in the here and now... Worth the ticket price all by itself. This tribute, more than any others we have ever experienced before now and would take bets on being the best of any to come, is why Bobby is wiping away a few lovely rainbow tears and urging you all to TRY to get tickets to GET HAPPY: Michael Feinstein CELEBRATES THE Judy Garland CENTENNIAL at Feinstein's/54 Below because it cannot be given less than our full...

5 Out Of 5 Rainbows

The show continues tonight December 16-19 at 7 PM

AND

December 22-24 at 7 PM

As Well As Christmas Day - December 25 at 8 PM

And Boxing Day - December 26 at 7 PM

Read All About It: HERE

All Photos By Yours Truly, Bobby Patrick

BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review: From His Own Stage, Michael Wishes Judy A Happy 100 In GET HAPPY: MICHAEL FEINSTEIN CELEBRATES THE JUDY GARLAND CENTENNIAL At Feinstein's/54 Below


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From This Author - Bobby Patrick