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Jim as Judy GarlandBILLBOARD: JIM BAILEY AT CARNEGIE HALL - By Phil Gelormine (taken from Billboard)

NEW YORK - Jim Bailey, UA Records artist, brought magic to the stage of Carnegie Hall in the guises of Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland. Bailey’s “tributes” to these ladies go beyond the point of impression or parody. While in character, he simply suspends disbelief. Not only does Bailey remarkably look like the performers he portrays, but the physical mannerisms, the stances, the vocal affectations plus the general aura of each have been meticulously created and captured for a devastating illusionary effect. One finds it difficult to realize that here is a man pretending to be a woman. Any uneasiness obtained from watching this transformation has been easily vanished by Bailey’s skilled, tasteful execution.

     Accompanied by a rich, full sounding orchestra, he had his Streisand jauntily wisecracking while running through “People,” “Happy Days Are Here Again,” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” As for the Garland reincarnation, daughter Liza Minnelli was recently moved to remark of it, “Why, that’s Mama I’m watching.” Such is the effect. Favorites like “Swanee,” “The Trolley Song” and, of course, “Over The Rainbow” delighted those never having seen Garland and those recalling Judy’s own historic Carnegie Hall concerts of the early 60’s.

     Two superfluous comedians bided time while Bailey changed costumes, finally returning to the stage as Jim Bailey, a highly stylized pop singer with a delivery curiously akin to the great ladies he so admires and recreates. He earned the emotional ovation his audience left him with-for they had been treated to not one, but three fine performances.

Copyright 2005 Jim Bailey. All rights reserved.