- Springfield, MA
- June 26, 1967 -
Puts Over Her Songs in Tent Show
By Elliot Nelson, Boston,
At the Storrowton theater,
a summer music tent on the grounds of the Eastern State Exposition, Judy
Garland put on a good show Monday evening.
Opening a week in 'The Judy
Garland Show,' which consists pretty largely in her own personal appearances,
she sang fifteen or twenty of the songs which have made her famous, or
vice versa, and while stirring 2000 of her partisans to something like
happy hysteria impressed some of the rest of us by her showmanship.
Judy's voice is not what
it used to be: the pitch is off at times, and at times there is a grievous
stridency. She occasionally forgets a line of lyrics, a most unpleasant
fault. But she doesn't falter: she keeps going at the top of her bent,
creating an atmosphere of friendly acceptance and proving moment by moment
and song by song that she knows all there is to know about how to hold,
to please, to stir and delight an audience.
Judy is skinny at this time
in her life: not slender, but skinny. Architecturally, she resembles Twiggy.
In a spangled or beaded 'evening pants suit,' she looks glamorous. Her
hair is short of windblown bob, in the usual Garland style, but with a
hint - no more than a hint--of gray.
It is obvious as you watch
her circle the stage, looping the long wire of a microphone around like
a lasso, that Judy is no longer a girl. That's sad because she was one
of the loveliest of all the girls of Show Business and it seemed right
that she should go on being just that.
But just when you begin to
regret the hints of passing years that time has etched into her face, she
lights up with laughter, and there in her eyes is the girl again. Or she
pitches into a song that she sang twenty years ago and gives it the same
lift and same lilt and the same shouting, stomping exultation that marked
all her good work in her best years.
She stalks about with her
shoulders high and her head held just a little back. Sometimes as she croons
or pleads or purrs or hollers into the microphone she leans way back as
though she were eager to project her voice from a completely open throat.
It is fascinating to watch her work, to see her use natural talent and
personality in tandem with knowing showmanship, to force and hold the attention
and to stimulate the quick response of 2000 people. She can sing a song
with ridiculous lyrics and make it seem downright persuasive and significant.
She can hold her microphone under a baby spot cannily projecting and, looking
suddenly like a little girl, sing 'Ol Man River' as though it had personal
and deep meaning for her--and for everyone in the audience. 'Ol Man River
is a great canticle of Negro stevedores on the Mississippi. It has nothing
whatever to do with Judy Garland. But it seems to, when she sings it.
She is raucous in some songs,
and seems in these cases to be enjoying herself most, as though rowdyism
were part of her nature; or as though, perhaps she just likes to kick over
the traces and whoop. In one noisy song which celebrates the 'Clang, Clang,
Clang' of the trolley, she dropped out a line or two but went coolly ahead:
what difference does it make?
In some numbers she was off
key; in others, when she felt some danger in an approaching high note,
she slid shrewdly away from it: she spoke words that were meant to be sung--by
lesser artists that is.
When the audience had worked
itself into a frenzy of enthusiasm--they stood and cheered her five times
in an hour--she brought onto the stage a tall skinny teenager, her daughter,
who sang off key 'What's It All About, Mommy?' and made a hit; then introduced
her little boy, Joe Luft, who can't be more than nine but is bright and
cute (so is the girl!) and who played the drums in the pit and then on
Those who remember Judy with
affection from away back had best keep in mind, if they intend to watch
her at West Springfield, that she is no longer a girl. She is still, however,
a remarkable entertainer, a hard-selling songster with an unmatched style.
Judy at Storrowton:
She Wows Them Again
By Richard Hammerich,
The Springfield Union
There was a touch of tension
in the tent at Storrowton Theater Monday night long before Judy Garland
appeared. And as her overture began to end, people in the audience began
to stand and crane their necks to watch her entrance. There was a crackle
of excitement running through the crowd...the applause started before most
of the people could see her. It was welling up from those near her as she
worked her way down the ramp toward the stage...slight, fragile, almost
She was a success in Storrowton
before she reached the stage. And she was a success on the stage. A tremendous
success...even her little failures were applauded.
At first sight she was startling.
She wore a brilliant mod suit, sharp shoulders, square, slightly flared
jacket, subdued bell-bottom trousers, rust and gold glittering gold and
green sequins and glass beads sewn precisely on the swirling paisley pattern.
At second sight she was vaguely disquieting but commanding. She paced about
the stage restlessly, kicking the mike cord aside.
She was lean and springy,
She purred. Her voice was
husky. It showed the years of unfair demands she made on it...outrageous
demands. She demanded the ultimate from it again Monday. She put everything
she had into the songs, and the voice was not always up to the demand.
It broke now and then, wabbled sometimes and gradually roughened from the
pressure. It also moved the listeners to the edges of their seats and raised
many of them to their feet on nearly every song.
There were great cheers,
of course, for songs like 'Over the Rainbow,' the song no one can hear
without thinking of Judy. But the cheers were as much for the girl
as for the song. The shouting for others, Though, like 'Old Man River,'
was only for the song and its performance. Who could have predicted this
little girl with her air of insecurity and suspense could have produced
'Old Man River' with such dramatic power? There were many...all familiar,
some in medleys, some standing alone, all owned by Judy Monday night.
The listeners hung on every
note, smiled indulgently at the little fluffs, laughed at Judy's clownish,
leggy stride, sudden kicks and bizarre quirks of motion. They sighed with
nostalgia at the old songs and sat up rigid with response when she arched
her back, tilted her head way back and sent the big climactic notes straight
up with everything she had. And they smiled, too, when she directed lyrics
with special meaning straight to her son and daughter, Joey, 12, and Lorna,
14, children of her former husband and present manager, Sid Luft. They
were sitting in the front row.
Judy won another audience
Monday, with pure power of personality. She is one of the experiences of
Judy Garland Heads in Revue in the Round
By Allen M. Widem, Hartford,
The personal magnetism that
is Judy Garland brought last night's half-capacity audience springing to
it's feet, lustily cheering as the tiny, sequined pants-suited star of
two generations came bouncing down to the Storrowton Theater stage. "Judy!
Judy!' sang out a cluster of teenagers in the second row and a middle-aged
man 'down front' bellowed, 'You're my favorite!' as she stepped into the
spotlight. 'Sing San Francisco!' and 'Let's hear 'Chicago!' were shouted
pleadingly as she bowed graciously to the far reaches of the 2,300-capacity
in the round tent.
Miss Garland belted out 'I
Feel a Song Coming On' and 'Almost LIke Being in Love' and gave 'Just in
Time' a piquancy that was a joy to behold. She segued into 'You Made Me
Love You' and then asked the absorbed audience to join her in singing 'For
Me and My Gal.' Another outburst of tent-deafening audience ovation greeted
'The Trolley Song.'
14-year-old daughter Lorna,
and 12-year-old son, Joe, did 'turns' on stage next, helping Mom with 'What's
It All About' (Alfie) and 'Together' (Lorna singing, Joe attending to drums).
Youthful vigor prevailed.
Miss Garland concluded with
'That's entertainment,' 'Ole Man River,' 'San Francisco,' and 'Rockabye
Your Baby.' She started to leave the stage, and cries insisted 'No! No!'.
If the partisan patrons had
had their way, they'd have been sitting at Storrowton early this morning
watching one of the entertainment world's legendary figures snapping her
fingers, tapping her toes and singing with a throat-catching vibrancy mindful
of vitality that first brought her stardom 30 years ago.
Supporting acts, comic Rip
Taylor and singer-dancer John Bubbles did right fine, considering the audience
had come repared to see and hear only the headliner, a gamey gal
they'd long ago fondly categorize with superlatives.
Judy Garland at Storrowton,
Stole Hearts, Brought Back Memories
By D. C. B. - Holyoke,
Mass - Transcript Telegram
Judy Garland, the show-woman
she is, again stole the hearts and brought back memories to 'her public'
in the Storrowton Theater Monday night.
At first sight of her, the
audience responded with loud applause, cheers, and shouts for the girl
who rose to fame as Dorothy in 'The Wizard of Oz.' Sparkling was the only
word to describe her opening night.
The suit she wore sparkled
with glittering rust, gold and green sequins and beads. Her eyes sparkled
with tears as she heard her 14-year-old daughter Lorna sing 'Alfie,' substituting
the word 'Mommy' for 'Alfie.' The eyes of the audience sparkled as
Judy reminisced with many of her great hits.
Though older and having been
through many trying ordeals, as soon as the music began, Judy was in full
control--she was in the process of luring the audience and capturing the
hearts of 'her fans,' many of whom remember seeing her in such hits as
'A Star is Born' and 'Judgment at Nuremberg.'
She directed many a song
to her son, Joe, and daughter, both seated in the front row. They responded
with smiles and, most often, tears.
The audience didn't need
time to warm up to Judy. As soon as she began to sing, they were warmed
up. Throughout the performance the fans shouted for requests that only
Judy can sing. Her 'old familiar songs,' some sung in medley fashion, included:
...Do I love You, etc.
Judy seemed to be nervous.
She danced around the stage adding sudden kicks to her walk. She sang.
She danced. She laughed. And when it was over, she cried. Judy Garland,
the show-woman was trying her best--and the audience knew it.