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Cabaret Review (West Hollywood): Judy Garland and Friends by Peter Mac at the French Market

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Peter Mac is the leading Judy Garland tribute artist. What makes him stand out is the quality of his voice, his ability to capture Judy’s mannerisms, and above all, the fact that his act is a true tribute to the best of Judy Garland. One doesn’t feel like Mac believes he is the reincarnation of Judy as some tribute artists have claimed to be, but rather he is a damn good actor who wants to present his idol in the best possible light and drops the impersonation once the act is over.

Peter Mac is currently appearing at the French Market in West Hollywood and will be there for some time to come. Judy Garland and Friends is my third visit to the French Market to see and hear this remarkable performer. Previously I had seen him in a concert called The Lost Easter Special and then again when he sang all the songs from Judy’s famous Carnegie Hall appearance. This time Judy had asked some guests: Peggy Lee, Liza Minnelli, Tallulah Bankhead, and Katherine Hepburn, with a special appearance by Bea Arthur. Peter Mac performed all these gals, with the exception of Bea Arthur who was presented by D. J. Schaefer.

Judy appeared first and sang six songs in her usually masterful way: “Almost Like Being in Love,” “This Can’t Be Love,” “The Man That Got Away,” “I will Survive,” “I am Changing,” and “I’ll Go My Way By Myself.”

Tallulah was up next and regaled the audience with “Everybody’s Fucking But Me”. She didn’t disappoint in the off-color remarks either. Next up was Peggy Lee with a bleached wig and huge sunglasses, singing a version of “Is That All There Is” during which some objects were hurled at her.

In a more serious vein, we met Liza, complete with giggles and a huge talent. Mac does Liza almost as well as he does Judy. Liza sang “Say Yes” from Liza with a Z. Nest up was Schaefer as Bea Arthur singing “The Man in the Moon is a Lady” from Mame, then Kate Hepburn who sang a song from her only musical show, Coco. This was followed by a stunning tribute to Spencer Tracy featuring his last speech in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner.

Judy made one last appearance, singing “The Trolley Song” and a song from Pippin, “No Time At All.” All told it was a glorious evening. Next Mac is doing a special concert in honor of Judy’s 90th birthday. Peter Mac appears on Fridays and Saturdays at the French Market.

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About Robert Machray