- Academy of Music
At the Academy
Judy Garland Is Captivating In Own
By Samuel L. Singer,
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Billboard outside the
Academy of Music modestly had proclaimed Judy "The World's Greatest Entertainer."
While one may take issue with that statement, it is indisputable that Judy
Garland held a capacity audience in the palm of her hand all during "An
Evening with Judy" at the Academy Saturday.
The one-woman performance
-- backed by Conductor Mort Lindsey and a 28 piece orchestra -- of song
favorites from over the years, plus some chatter and a bit of dancing --
was Judy's first visit to this city since a stay at the late lamented Mastbaum
Theater in September 1957. Saturday's show was a benefit for the Polio
League of Philadelphia.
It was a case of the queen
can do no wrong. The program -- Act I, "Judy"; Act II, "More Judy" -- was
a cavalcade of the star's song hits from her movies, and some other songs
associated with her. Sheer personality, plus that distinctive voice with
it's patented quaver, brought solid applause, cheers and bravos! (gentlemen,
for a lady the word is "brava") after every number. Callas and Tebaldi
would be envious.
Judy came out in a short
black dress topped by a bright blue jacket. For the second half of the
program she wore toreador pants and a shining silver, spangled blouse.
Occasionally she broke into dance during a number, and the audience loved
'OVER RAINBOW' CLIMAX
More than a dozen hits led
up to "Stormy Weather," "For Me and My Gal" and "The Trolley Song," but
everybody knew the evening would not be over until "Over the Rainbow" came
The audience just stood and
applauded, and wouldn't go 'way even after Judy shook hands with practically
everybody in the first row of the orchestra pit. So, after half a dozen
more bows, Judy said, "We'll do them all; stick around. I'll name what
have; if you don't like
those, we'll repeat some of the others."
She named "Chicago" and "After
You've Gone," the audience liked them, and probably would be there right
into Daylight Saving Time except they finally lowered the curtain.
Acclaimed In Own Show at Academy
By Ernie Schier, The
Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia
Two Judy Garlands, the singer
and the legend, fought it out before a cheering, adoring audience Saturday
night at the Academy of Music. The legend won.
The faithful would have it
no other way. Even before Miss Garland came on the stage the packed house
was expressing it's enthusiasm. There was applause for the musicians as
they tuned up behind the curtain, applause for the lowering of the lights
and applause for the introductory strains of "Over the Rainbow."
Finally, there was Judy herself,
walking briskly onto the stage, bowing and nodding accepting the "bravos"
hurled by some already on their feet. Grabbing the microphone, she burst
into a brisk version of "When You're Smiling," and for some moments the
auditorium was still.
But the punctuation of the
evening continued, applause at the beginning and at the ending of each
song: waves of it, roaring up to the stage carrying shouts and screams
like golden offerings bobbing on the incoming tide.
Looking healthier and fitter
than she has in some time, Miss Garland responded with a warm, energetic
performance. She ran through the familiar, beloved songs, "Stormy Weather,"
"The Man Who Got Away" and a rousing "Come Rain or Shine." She cake-walked
her way through "San Francisco" and ordered the house to silence with "You
Go to My Head."
It was an impressive performance
by a great professional, even though she had to fight her way up through
the gaudy, brassy arrangements of a twenty-eight piece orchestra. But what
is that to a singer who can moan with the saxophone, sound as triumphant
as the trombone and as sweetly as the violin?
Her rhythm is unerring she
gives herself completely to every song.
Between songs, she sipped
at a glass of water, chatted candidly with the audience. Sometimes she
danced around the stage, carrying the microphone, other times she stood
still and let the voice, husky and heartbroken or poignant and appealing,
carry the emotion.
And for the finale, what
else but "The Trolley Song," Zing Went The Strings," "Rock-a-By My Baby,"
and "Over the Rainbow."
She left the audience, finally,
in a state of ecstasy. They were still cheering and calling when the lights
went up again.
It's been a long time since
the old Academy has seen anything like it.