Friday, March 28, 2008

Liza Minnelli - a Performer's Performer!

Liza Offstage with Albanian Voice Coach

Liza Minnelli suddenly goes from 5'4" to 7' tall when she hits the stage lights, dazzling her audience with her own 10,000 watts of pure energy, 'til she leaves the stage, and the audience's standing ovation.

She started out Friday, March 28 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers, with a throaty voice, more suited for her torch songs, and her voice then gained back its' strength and upper register as the evening progressed. With a great 16 piece band, 4 dancers and a spartan black stage and set, the lighting and inventive choreography gave a wonderful support and emphasis to her captivating acting and singing. She gives full credit to her highly talented band members-briefly, the piano player even got up and sang, while a dancer took over the keyboard. Her drummer, said to be formerly with Henry Mancini, is second to none.

The audience ooh-ed and aah-ed with the frequently changing, stunning stage lighting on her face and simple black outfits, contributing to her larger-than-life stage persona. She sang old favorites like New York, New York, Cabaret, and even snippets from Mammy and other oldies. She added a new one honoring a wonderful woman, Sara Lee, and her tasty goodies!

She gave a heartfelt tribute to her godmother and guiding light, Kay Thompson, who was always there for Liza, especially after Liza's mother, Judy Garland, died when Liza was 22 years old. Kay was also vocal coach to Judy and to Frank Sinatra.

Born in 1946, Liza's dancing can exhaust most 20-somethings. When seen quite close up, she looks 38-40 years old! That's with two hip replacements and a shiny new knee, mind you. Top that energy! Slender, leggy and petite, she confided that she recently lost 62 lbs, just kidding, no, actually 42 lbs on a popular diet. Sign me up!

Her strength is in her Oscar, Tony and Emmy award winning acting, her shtick, her expressive face and her sharing with the audience. The singing is a bonus, people get goose bumps and drop their jaws when she sings her sultry "Life is a Cabaret". After belting out quite a few big songs, she said "I don't have any more loud ones left", cracking up her audience!

There's a stage presence, a charisma that Liza has, that few other living performers, save, say Tina Turner have; both performers give 110% of their all to an audience. This audience reflected back Liza's same dazzling intensity with enthusiasm. Amazingly, in two days, she will be performing again with her 20 piece orchestra and dancers in Melbourne, Fl, and then a Mexico tour, then off to Europe. Whew!

Don't miss her. This young living legend has enough firepower to electrify all on her world tour. After a couple days of rest, she's ready to let her light blaze forth anew, illuminating her adoring audiences' faces and hearts.

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