Thursday, January 20

ISO: Liza Minnelli

Some people go through life, much as they come into it...quietly, without fanfare; leaving the same way. Others burst into the world with an inner pizzazz and inability to keep their excitement and zest for life inside. Liza Minnelli is a glamorous ball of energy willing to share her love of life, her flaws and God-given talent with everyone...anyone who wants to join her party, they only have to show up because all are welcome.

Being born into the Hollywood royalty family of Emmy, Tony, Grammy and Academy Jr. award-winning Judy Garland and Oscar-winning film director Vincenti Minnelli (Gigi), Liza (still with the sassy Z) developed a list of her own awards, including being one of the few people to achieve Grammy, Tony, Emmy and Oscar awards.

My first experience with Ms. Minnelli was as Sally Bowles in Cabaret...good place to start. As a fan of her mother, the appreciation and anticipation of her talent spilled over from my infatuation with Ms. Garland. She did not then, nor has she ever disappointed me. I admired her for trying all genres, including her under-appreciated work with the Pet Shop Boys. Seeing her perform at the Hilbert Circle Theatre with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, January 22, was a memorable moment for me.

Crossing genders, generations and lifestyles, loving them all and receiving their adoration in return...being able to bring together an eclectic group of people who normally would have little in common, but who, for one evening, would stand and cheer a common love, well, ladies and gents, that is a true superstar.

Minnelli zipped onto stage and gave every ounce of her energy for a topnotch show bringing the crowd to its feet four separate times. The show could have been called, The Best of..." with the song list including ConfessionsLiza with a Z, I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye and I Must Have That Man, among others. She also pulled from her latest CD, Confessions, with Heart of Mine, Confession and He is a Tramp. The vivacious lady was delightful in every sense of the word, making it a successful evening for the packed house.

Another sign of a true star is one who realizes they are no longer young and able to perform the exact same way as in their youth and adjusts to continue providing a quality performance. Whether singing a duet with her pianist, Billy Stritch, or bringing out her signature songs, Cabaret and New York, New York, the pint-sized stick of glitzy dynamite proves that the show must go on, even after knee surgery.

Showing her flaws during a couple of unreached vocals, and requesting a second chance for her 'dahlings' gave the audience one more reason to fall in love with the divalicious performer all over again. Her vulnerability, emphasized by her tiny frame, created a balance somehow with her bigger-than-life stage presence and powerful vocals.

Bottom Line: Sharing her talent and herself without holding back, Liza Minnelli proves she's a sassy, brassy dame and a classy lady indeed.

Photo Credit: Submitted Photo
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer and theater critic. Catch her as Indy’s Arts & Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC and follow her on Twitter @ejmusgrave1 and Facebook.
Gotta Go is published in the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, West Side Community News, New Palestine Reporter, West Indianapolis Community News, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

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