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Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall

Forget Your Troubles Somewhere Over The Rainbow & Get Happy…

Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall Heigh-Ho, My Merry Rainbow Tribe! Bobby Patrick, your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in cabareT to bring you ALL the Tea!

Well my lovely rainbow readers, how we wish you had all been with us at Carnegie Hall last night to see, and most importantly hear, Debbie Wileman in HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY Judy Garland! So much more than an impression and more than a recreation - two things that are happening all over the city right now today, with a Judy on every corner belting out the oldies for Pride - LA Wileman, whose panDAMNIT Song A Day on the interwebs went super viral and has landed her smack dab in the middle of a career - gave some oldies new life and brought the great lady forward to our time with songs we just know she should have sung. So gifted at presenting Judy's voice at its fullest power is Wileman that it doesn't matter the tune my darlings, she is able to make you believe Judy was the intended vocalist, regardless of who wrote it, sang it, or when it was penned. Case in point, her softly controlled rendition of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, while seated on the stage floor, was so spot-on that it prompted one of the evening's half a dozen standing ovations. The adulation of the crowd last night, my dear ones, was a show unto itself, as each and every number was met with thunderous response after thunderous response. It was indeed reminiscent of the grainy old films and all of our vinyl record recordings of the lady's live performances where, as the saying goes, her crowds went wild. It is difficult to convey in print the almost eerie fascination of the evening. Wileman's talent is so prodigious that it made the experience difficult to wrap one's head around. We were sitting with Broadway World contributor Brady Schwind, who was so blown away (not an easy thing to have happen if you know little Brady and his discriminating tastes) that he kept referring to the chills he was getting, listening to Debbie singing modern-day songs in Judy's voice.

Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall

Everyone loves Judy Garland (and if you don't, be wise and don't speak of it) but she especially belongs to those of us celebrating our pride in these trying days. There is not a gay man fan of Dorothy Gale that has not imagined what her version of Sondheim's classic I'M STILL HERE would sound like or any of the songs from the Jerry Herman musical MAME. Many of us boys have read Gerold Frank's book JUDY, where there is an entire chapter devoted to Herman's struggles to produce a work that would bring Garland to Broadway in a show created just for her. JUDY tells of the night producers came to meet with Judy to respectfully hear her pitch to play Mame and to tell her that, owing to her reputation, they would not be able to insure her for the production and how, as the money men left, Judy threw open her window and belted out the title song to show them what they were missing. Last night, Debbie Wileman gave her peeps a real satisfying sampling of what could have been when she sang Mame's love song to her nephew - IF HE WALKED INTO MY LIFE, prompting one of those standing ovations Bobby talked about above. Debbie's new album I'M STILL HERE: Judy Garland'S 100th BIRTHDAY devotes many of its tracks to the songs Judy could've sung had she not been taken from us.

Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall

You see, my lambs, whether it was songs by Winehouse, The Beatles, Patsy Cline (Crazy), Jerry Herman, OR tunes so familiar to Judy fans that they felt like coming home, Debbie Wileman transcended the arts of impression, imitation, or recreation and elevated it all to an illusion so complete and full that it brought tears and cheers, and all of them well deserved. As part of the art of a great illusion, the magician creates a plausible diversion that grabs the attention of the house and then knocks them dead with the magic. Debbie Wileman's plausible diversion was, in fact, Debbie herself. Very wisely choosing to NOT perform the entire evening AS Judy (which she very well could have done), Debbie's patter between each number on her setlist was just her talking to just us. The Walthamstow (UK) Housewife and mother who dropped her performing dreams to be a wife and mother, speaking in her suburban British tones, charmed the audience so completely, drawing us all to her with her humor, laughter, and her utter awe at how her life had brought to New York and to this stage was so engaging that it was truly magic when that voice dropped into Judy's

Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall

The entire show in Zankel Hall was filled with magic, all evening, with expert support from the band: Music Director/Pianist Ron Abel, whose conducting is as much a master class of musicianship as his playing, drummer Ray Marchica, guitarist Jack Cavari, Robert Cookman on the synth, bassist Ritt Henn, Ben Kono killing it on the sax/reeds, and Kurt Marcum's wailing trumpet all must have had a great time, as the sheer power of Debbie's voice allowed them to add to that power in ways both subtle and roaring. Under Abel's able direction, the music was always in service of the singer, never dominating - not that they could have, given the lady's pipes - but always raising the water level that floated her brilliantly fun showboat. All in all, dear rainbow tribe, DEBBIE WILEMAN: HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY Judy Garland! was about as close as anyone in our modern-day will ever get to experiencing the magic of SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW (Her Encore) in the live voice of Judy Garland and not only was it worth it, it gets our unabashed...

5 Out Of 5 Rainbows

Pick Up I'M STILL HERE on the iTunes: HERE

Followe Debbie On Ye Olde FaceBooke: HERE

All Photos By My Boss, STEPHEN MOSHER

Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall Review: Internet Sensation Debbie Wileman Conjures What Might Have Been In HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY JUDY GARLAND! At Carnegie Hall


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From This Author - Bobby Patrick

Heigh Ho Friends & “Family”! Bobby Patrick your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in CABARET to bring you all the T. I am a queer reviewer, specializing in the seedy underbelly... (read more about this author)


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