Showbiz legend Liza Minnelli, currently in the midst of a multi-city tour with her Simply Liza concert, pulled into Davies Symphony Hall last Friday for a 90-minute show that encompassed old favorites and some nice surprises.
Though the notes aren’t all there and her physical condition seems to be posing her some challenges, Minnelli still knows how to work a room. And her fans are as adoring as ever. She performed much of the show from a director’s chair at center stage, and watching her get into and out of the chair was a bit she milked as if it were a slapstick routine from her Arrested Development gig.
I reviewed the concert for the San Francisco Chronicle. Here’s a sample.
The 68-year-old Minnelli is making the best of what she’s got. She does not have the voice she had when she was 19 and won her first of four Tony Awards. She has neither the voice nor the Bob Fosse-inflected moves she had when she was 27 and won an Oscar (for “Cabaret”) and an Emmy (for “Liza with a Z”) in the same year.
But she’s got an invaluable sense of showmanship, and though the big notes on songs like “Maybe This Time,” “The World Goes ‘Round” and “Ring Them Bells” might be either ragged or wholly absent – she referred to her singing as “honking” – she’s got a reliable lower range, a canny musical director and a personality that audiences relish.
And here’s Liza recently on the Today show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.