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'End of the Rainbow' with Tracie Bennett opens U.S. tour in L.A.

May 15, 2012|By David Ng
  • Michael Cumpsty and Tracie Bennett in "End of the Rainbow" at the Belasco Theatre in New York.
Michael Cumpsty and Tracie Bennett in "End of the Rainbow" at… (Carol Rosegg )

"End of the Rainbow," the Broadway play about Judy Garland currently running at the Belasco Theatre, will make its Los Angeles debut in 2013 at the Ahmanson Theatre, with the Tony-nominated Tracie Bennett reprising her role as the troubled actress and singer.

The Los Angeles engagement is scheduled to run March 12 through April 21, though the exact opening hasn't been announced. The Ahmanson engagement will be the first stop of a national tour of the play.

Bennett, who is British, has received rave reviews for her performance as Garland. The play, written by Peter Quilter, takes place in 1968 near the end of Garland's life, as the actress continues to struggle with drugs, alcohol and bad relationships. The play is set in London, where Garland has set up shop with her manager and fiance Mickey Deans, to prepare for her umpteenth comeback in a series of live shows.

"End of the Rainbow" features such classic Garland numbers as "Over the Rainbow," "Come Rain or Shine" and "The Trolley Song."

The Broadway production also received Tony Award nominations for featured actor Michael Cumpsty, playing Garland's piano accompanist, and for sound design.

Bennett has performed "End of the Rainbow" in Britain at the Royal and Derngate Theatre in Northampton, followed by the West End in London. She also starred in the play at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, where it had its U.S. debut earlier this year before transferring to New York.

No other casting has been announced for the L.A. engagement of "End of the Rainbow." The play will be directed by Terry Johnson, who staged the current Broadway production.

The Ahmanson is currently hosting the recent Broadway revival of the musical "Follies."


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