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Christine Dolen review | ‘End of the Rainbow’ revisits a troubled Judy Garland near the end of her life

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For much of her too-short life, the great Judy Garland walked a precarious tightrope between glory and doom.

At one end was Garland the legend, the star ofThe Wizard of Oz and A Star Is Born, the performer whose extraordinary skill at conveying the emotions in a song helped make her an icon. At the other end was the damaged Garland, an insecure woman who drank too much and depended on pills — uppers to sing, downers to sleep — to make it through life.

In End of the Rainbow, a newly opened play-with-music at Actors’ Playhouse, playwright Peter Quilter serves up both Garlands, painting an unsettling portrait of a star in steep decline. Tracie Bennett won acclaim for playing Garland in End of the Rainbow in London in 2010-2011, then starred in the show on Broadway in 2012 and Los Angeles last year.

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What: ‘End of the Rainbow’ by Peter Quilter.

Where: Actors’ Playhouse, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables.

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday (additional 2 p.m. show Jan. 22), through Feb. 9.

Cost: $55 Friday-Saturday, $47 other shows (10 percent senior discount, $15 student rush tickets, Saturday-Sunday excluded).

Information: 305-444-9293 or www.actorsplayhouse.org.


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