- Carnegie Hall -
Judy Garland Gives Concert at Carnegie
By Frank Aston,
New York World-Telegram
Judy Garland walked out on
the Carnegie Hall stage last evening and let them have it. That is, she
let them have it as soon as they let her let them have it.
They were mostly stage people,
taking in a show on their night off. And being of that particular breed,
they were, of course, demonstrative, They knew Judy and she knew them,
so first of all they had to stand up, clap and holler. Judy frisked about,
making her hobbing bows and looking wonderful in a black dress with a short
bright blue jacket.
After the audience had warmed
up to its own satisfaction, the little girl with the band looked as big
as homecoming day in the Big Ten was allowed to proceed.
She smacked out 'When You're
Smiling' with a volume that threatened to bend her mike stand into an inverted
U. She followed with 'It's Almost Like Falling In Love' at possibly a trifle
Then she cut down sharply
for 'Do It Again,' singing softly enough to sound like a vocalist. Not
quite satisfied with her tone, she said she evidently had picked up some
fungi and needed water. So she went to the wings and got it. She sipped
a while, twinkling at us over the edge of the glass, put the tumbler on
the piano and went into 'You Go To My Head.'
Arranging nine specialists
of the orchestra down front, she did four jazz songs to their accompaniment,
after busily helping them get their furnishings arranged and making sure
the drummer had his sticks. In bits like that Judy is endearing, with a
singularly easy way of implying she is behaving impromptu while making
sure you know every motion is carefully rehearsed. Her professional audience
ate it up.
Changing into black tight
slacks and another jacket, this one looking like many metals of many hues,
she got to work again, feeling so good, she grabbed her conductor, Mort
Lindsey, and danced a little with him. She brought on another glass of
water, told a couple of amusing anecdotes and sang and sang.
Big, Loud Finish
"I wish I would perspire,
but I sweat," she said confidentially, using up a string of handkerchiefs.
If she had started with makeup she closed without it. Nothing could resist
Her finish built bigger,
stronger, louder as she piled up 'Stormy Weather,' 'You Made Me Love You,'
'Me and My Gal,' 'Rockabye My Baby' and other favorite lung splitters.
She'd wriggle and hop and wave in front of her microphone until you'd swear
she was manipulating herself on a string.
She'll be back in May. Try
to get tickets. Just try. This kid is still a killer.
Garland Sings to Cheering Throng
By Harriet Johnson,
New York Post
Judy Garland's 38 years together
with her past avalanche of assorted troubles seemed to have rolled away
last night as she sang in Carnegie Hall to a cheering sold-out house that
rose when she made her first entrance on-stage.
Slimmer than in recent years
and dressed in knee-length skirt and blue silk jacket, she was once again
the wistful kid with the powerful, heartbreak in her voice.
Whether she belted out 'Who
Cares,' or 'Zing Went the Strings of My Heart,' or whether she sang with
a thread of voice, 'Do It Again,' or her famous 'Over the Rainbow,' she
put across the old Garland magic far more successfully than when she appeared
at the Metropolitan Opera House, May 11, 1959.
Has Audience from Start
Then it took her until the
second half of the concert even to begin to recapture her old zing and
it wasn't there in full force until the evening was almost gone. Last night
the magnetism was circulating from the moment she stepped on-stage.
At the Met she was
puffy, fat and self conscious but now, merely healthily plump, she was
able to charm and thrill her listeners, whether she kicked up a sexy leg,
or told a story on herself about the "over-weight Balenciaga model hairdo"
she got in Paris, or merely confessed as she kept wiping her face, "I don't
know why it is I can't perspire, I just sweat."
The haunting poignancy was
back in her voice when she sang in that unique, nostalgic style a song
like 'Stormy Weather,' while the old vitality zoomed out in numbers like
Judy's Own Show
This was Judy's one woman
show minus the assistants she had in her Met appearance, and she seemingly
mesmerized her listeners from start to finish. the continuing bravos were
shouted with the frenzied intensity of a voodoo rite. She was acclaimed
not only for her singing but for her jokes, for teasing her orchestra of
approximately 40 pieces and for poking fun at herself.
For the second half, she
appeared with an upsweep hairdo, toreador pants and a sequined jacket.
For 'Swanee,' she wore the familiar topper, otherwise she was hatless.
During three numbers, 'You're Nearer,' 'If Love Where All,' and 'Foggy
Day,' she sat down in a chair and in a relaxed Helen Morgan manner, sang
to piano accompaniment. Then she topped this sequence off by kissing Mort
Lindsey, her pianist-orchestra leader, and dancing with him.
Full of tricks, she pointed
suddenly down front and said, "Come on, Harold, take a bow.' It turned
out to be composer, Harold Arlen, looking with his fancy mustache like
a French Count.
Judy is still wacky, from
the looks and sound of her last night, but there's a difference. Now she
gives evidence of putting all that wonderful zany quality on-stage and
leaving it there when she walks off.
First Night Report --
By Judith Crist,
New York Herald
There was an extra bonus
at Carnegie Hall last night, Judy Garland sang.
She didn't have to, as far
as the fans jamming the walls of the hall were concerned. The very overture,
involving 'The Trolley Song' and 'Over the Rainbow,' was drowned in applause
and when Miss Garland appeared she got a standing ovation that went on
and on and on and on. Hers was a personal triumph right there. And then
And she sang, let it be reported,
as she hasn't in years -- not at the Palace and not at the Met; she sang
with all the heart that has been her hallmark, but added to it is a happy
self-confidence that gives new quality and depth to her performance. It's
a performance that deserves all the pre-commitment her very name evokes.
There's no blatant banking
on nostalgia, even though all her standards are in the program, from 'When
You're Smiling' right down to 'Chicago.' But the tuxed-and-chorus boys
and smudged-faced-tramp routines have been set aside; there's only some
joyous heel-kicking onstage, the donning of a top hat for 'Swanee' and
some sef-derogating chit-chat in Bankheadish tones and good humor.
But it's a satisfying solo
performance. For Judy Garland is a gal who can belt it out right over the
brassiest band and belt it strong and true. And she can sit down with the
pianist and whisper it a little and get that heart-pulling quaver on just
the right notes. And she can swing it out with a jazz octet with a purity
of style and true tempo that verges on the classic.
This is a stylish and poised
Miss Garland, slim-legged and big bosomed, chic in black sheath and blue
jeweled mandarin jacket for the first half of the program and black toreador
pants and a
sequined top for the second.
She also has a stylish hairdo that collapses in no time at all with all
her characteristic brushing-back of her bangs and her athletic enthusiasm
in the depths of song. It is a gay Miss Garland and a sure one -- with
plenty of reason for her new self-assurance.
Her ingenuous warmth dominates
the evening, but there is neither coyness or girly-girlishness in her approach.
She can jazz up 'Puttin On The Ritz' with a fine flair, bring down the
walls with 'Come Rain or Come Shine' and bring a raucous half to reverent
silence with 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby.'
Well, I can't give you anything
but raves, Miss Garland. And it's a pleasure to note a repeat concert is
scheduled for May 21.
Judy Garland in Concert
Attracts Cheering Fans to Carnegie
By Lewis Funke,
The New York Times
The religious ritual of greeting,
watching and listening to Judy Garland took place last night in Carnegie
Hall. Indeed, what actually was to have been a concert - and was - also
turned into something not too remote from a revival meeting.
From the moment Miss Garland
came on the stage, a stage, incidentally, on which have trod before her
the immortals of music, the cultists were beside themselves What Billy
Graham would have given for such a welcome from the faithful!
They were on their feet even
before the goddess grabbed the microphone, and by the time she had bestowed
the first of those warm smiles, they were applauding and screaming "Bravo!"
Miss Garland could have probably ended the concert, right there and they
would still be cheering. The fact is that at least a half a dozen times
more during the evening the standing ovation plus screaming took place.
Whether or not this sort
of unadulterated adulation was warranted is a matter a noncultists had
better not discuss in public. And whether or not so professional a performer
as Miss Garland requires the ritual to put on her mettle is questionable.
But on her mettle she was last night as she went through a repertoire of
Looking trimmer and a good
deal more youthful than she has in years, Miss Garland was always in control
of herself. She soothed the tender songs, and she projected the loud one
with all the vigor at her command. With 'Alone Together' or 'The Man That
Got Away' she wove enchantment. With 'San Francisco,' 'Come Rain or Come
Shine' or 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love' she whipped the adherents
into frenzies of exaltation.
It was to be truthful, surprising
that this audience was able to muster the pandemonium it let loose when
Miss Garland wound up with 'The Trolley Song,' 'Rock-a-Bye' and included
among her encores 'Over the Rainbow' and 'Swanee.'
Through it all she was the
usual Judy; perspiring profusely ("sweat," she said candidly and more earthily)
taking the usual sip of water, standing frequently in front of the microphone
letter her voice convey her emotions with a minimum of gesture or movement;
other times she skipped a bit, sort of dancing lightly with the rhythm,
always making her audience feel - as one listener remarked - "as if she's
singing just to you."
In any case, one thing is
certain: old Carnegie Hall can take it and by this morning everything undoubtedly
is serene again on West Fifty-seventh Street.
THE TV SCENE ---
Judy's Old Magic Still Impresses
By Cecil Smith, Los Angeles
NEW YORK--Judy Garland received
an ovation that rocked staid old Carnegie Hall Sunday night. In some ways
it was more like a revival meeting than a concert because the ovation began
when Judy first poked her nose onstage and swelled as she swept through
a repertoire of standard songs and numbers like 'Over the Rainbow' and
'The Trolley Song' which are particularly hers. Later that night the faithful
gathered at Luchow's to celebrate this latest re-arrival of the star. Judy,
looking trimmer than she has in years -- and singing better -- was radiant
when she arrived at the party in her honor to renewed applause and cries
of bravo. The partygoers were mostly of Broadway and Hollywood and television.
It was immediately announced that the concert will be repeated here May
21 and much of the material will be utilized for Judy's CBS TV special
There was a winning simplicity
to the show that may make it her finest television effort. She did none
of the routines she has leaned upon in recent years - there was no clown
makeup, no tramp outfit. She stood up there and sang. People such as Dore
Schary particularly talked of the simplicity of the show. "She used almost
no gestures, just let that voice carry the evening." he said.