At the urgings of fellow critic Don Grigware I went to my first Peter Mac show at the French Quarter Restaurant in West Hollywood. Unlike other Garland impersonators, Peter Mac does not make fun of Judy nor her frailties, but rather gives a real tribute performance of her songs and style of singing. He is considered to be the premiere tribute artist doing Judy Garland.
Mac changes his shows every month to keep the audience coming back. On this particular occasion he performed (with great liberties taken) a “Lost Easter Special” that Judy Garland performed on television. It may not be the actual show but it certainly has the feel of those family specials she did on television.
Mac brought with him special guests DJ Schaefer with a spot-on impersonation of Bea Arthur, Alissa Cote as Lorna Luft, Gloria Gale as Liza Minnelli, and David Marker as little Joey (he is over six feet tall). Each of these guests had his or her own number while Mac changed clothes (including terrific Easter-colored representations of Judy Garland’s gowns). Mac also performed with his guest artists, and the highlights included Gale and Mac singing “Put On A Happy Face,” a performance of “Bosom Buddies” with Schaefer, and “A Couple of Swells” with Cote. Mac himself sang many Garland classics, including “From This Moment On,” Carolina in the Morning,” “Trolley Song,” “Suwannee,” and of course “Over The Rainbow.”
The most impressive aspect of the show is how Mac gives his all, like Judy did, with much of the same passion and artistry. He repeats this concert this weekend on Friday and Saturday at The French Market in West Hollywood. His upcoming concerts will also include dates on April 20, 21, 27, and 28 where he will perform Judy Garland’s Complete Carnegie Hall Concert.