November 24, 2014
Actress Karina K in Judy Garland’s body and soul
For The Herald
With a perfect combination of comedy, drama and music, Al final del arcoiris shows the sunset of a Hollywood starThe name of Judy Garland (née Frances Ethel Gumm, hardly the name for an actress) may not ring a bell in today’s younger generation’s ears, but is that of one of the most famous Hollywood and Broadway stars. As it happened to several colleagues, Garland was the product of her film studios' stable of young players, such as Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor, many of whom were children, like Garland, who even went to school in MGM, their employer.
At the same time the children were educated and acted in films playing roles especially written for them. But movie life was not a bed of roses and she had to endure lots of pressure from the studio and her bossy mother, who drugged her so she could endure her hectic schedules in more than twenty films,including the classic The Wizard of Oz that earned her the first of her two Oscars in an award studded career.
But her brilliant achievement, until her early death at 47, was plagued by her constant bouts with drink and drugs plus five marriages. Not to mention money problems and tax evasion. Nonetheless she became a world famous, loved performer who not only excelled as a serious and comic prize winning actress, but also as an Emmy and Grammy winning singer and also as a dancer.
Interpreting Garland is a prize role and Karina K is at the cutting edge of it in the local version of Peter Quilter’s At the End of the Rainbow (Al final del arcoiris). Best-known as a lady of musicals (Cabaret, Victor Victoria, Souvenir) she had proved her acting mettle on several occasions. This is certainly the most demanding role to come her way and she plays it as if her life depended on it. Judy’s does, for the action takes place during her last year alive. K’s emotional range is enormous and she amazingly swings from comedy to drama and tragedy, not to mentions her singing the several songs of Garland’s repertoire. She sings on stage in very good Spanish adaptations by Karina K and Alberto Favero (also the live combo’s excellent leader). Director Ricky Pashkus found an ideal balance between comedy and drama. Héctor Calmet’s set is tops, as are David Seldes’ lights and Pablo Battaglia’s wardrobe. Last, but certainly not least, Antonio Grimau, a masterful,moving Anthony, Judy’s mature, sensitive gay friend and companion and a very adequate Federico Amador as Mickey, Garland’s last husband.
Where and when
Teatro Apolo (Av. Corrientes 1372). Wednesday- Friday 9pm; Saturday 8.30pm and 10.45pm; Sundays 8.30pm