Last weekend in L.A., a group of us did—in the immortal words of my pal Chexy—the gayest thing since rimming...we attended a show by a Judy Garland impersonator. But as one must do when one rims, one has to go all out if one is going to see a Judy impersonator, so we didn't see just any old Judy stand-in, we saw Peter Mac's Judy Garland LIVE! In Concert at the French Market Place.
I really owe my pal Roy a huge debt for making sure we took this one in—it was a hoot.
Mac's show is part stand-up routine, part vocal performance and part seance as he brings Judy back to life with wit and vigor. He's got her tics down to a science and suggests her (live!) vocals well enough that as the show progresses there are countless spooky moments when I had to stop and remember she's been dead as long as I've been alive.
I loved Judy's barbs against her husband Sid Luft and old rival Deanna Durbin, and Mac's connection with his audience made the evening a night of unapologetic pleasures for the eyes and ears. (Don't tell that to the woman watching him from the front table the night we were lucky enough to squeeze in; it was an entertainment all unto its own watching her scowl or look on in slack-jawed bewilderment at the act, as if she could hardly wait to get home and take a shower.)
The best part of his act is "the songs that got away," when Mac's Judy tackles numbers that were made famous after she hit the grave. There's something transcendant about watching "Judy Garland" belt out "I Will Survive." (She would be 90 this year had she lived this long, BTW.)
If you're in L.A., check this out. I bet even Liza Minnelli would label it "terrific!"