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  • Isabelle Hill

Review - I'm Still Here

Ambassadors Theatre



Review {AD-PR Gifted}

I’m Still Here featuring Debbie Wileman is a one-night only tribute to Judy Garland. Wileman dazzled the audience in a sequined trouser suit and impeccable “Judy” makeup. She charmed the audience with anecdotes about musical films, and Judy's love for classic musicals. Her deep passion and knowledge of the genre were evident throughout. With a fantastic band led by Steve Orich, Wileman delighted the audience from start to finish.


The show opened with the titular song that profoundly resonated with Judy Garland’s life. From the very first notes, Wileman transformed into Judy, mesmerising the audience. Her voice and ability to mimic Judy’s mannerisms were outstanding, particularly during performances of several beloved songs. The audience was transported back in time, experiencing the enchantment of classic Hollywood musicals.

Debbie also performed timeless classics, but the highlight of the evening was her powerful rendition of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ as her closing number. There was raw emotion in her voice which moved everyone present.

Whilst Wileman’s portrayal of Judy Garland was a captivating tribute, it did have moments of dissonance. As she transitioned between being herself and embodying Judy, the shift sometimes felt abrupt. In one breath, she’d share personal anecdotes, and in the next, she’d channel Judy’s iconic voice and mannerisms. While this duality showcased her versatility, it occasionally disrupted the show’s flow and on occasions, felt improvised and disjointed.

 

On a similar note, it would have been enriching to delve deeper into Judy Garland’s life. A more structured narrative that weaves in Judy’s personal struggles, triumphs, and career into the performance could have provided a more immersive experience. Nevertheless, the sheer passion and love for Judy Garland that Debbie exuded kept the audience engaged, bridging those gaps.

 

While the I’m Still Here concert wasn’t flawless, it undeniably delivered enjoyable moments. Debbie Wileman’s talent shone through during her captivating renditions of Judy Garland’s iconic songs. Her powerful voice and emotional connection to the material made the evening memorable. For fans of classic musical songs, her album “I’m Still Here” will provide an excellent listening experience, capturing the essence of timeless melodies.

 

Creatives

Composer, Arranger, and Orchestrator: Steven Orich

Producer: Scott Stander

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