Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Review: Liza can still entertain crowd...Show biz legend's humor shines through performance

By DREW STERWALD • • March 29, 2008

"I Can See Clearly Now," Liza Minnelli sang in the opening number of her show Friday night at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers.

Whether the choice of song was meant as a statement on her current health is hard to say. But the 62-year-old showbiz legend did prove she can still belt a song, hoof a little and entertain a crowd of fans. Even if she has to stop and catch her breath now and then. Even if she has to sit more often than she'd like. Even if her voice occasionally wobbles.
From the sixth row, she looked better than she has in years. She thanked Jenny Craig for helping her lose 62 pounds.
"I'm lying," she said, "It was 42, but it feels like 62."
Minnelli's humor shone throughout the performance. She poked fun at her own troubles, which have included double hip replacement, a rod in one leg and a bout with viral encephalitis, She wisecracked about her four marriages and paid tribute to her parents and her musical influences.
Members of the audience shouted out their love for the daughter of Judy Garland, sometimes interrupting the narrative of her show. Minnelli took it in stride, closing the show with a heart-felt encore of "I'll Be Seeing You" - bravely sung a cappella.
That might have been the highlight of the night, which cost ticket-buyers up to $130 a seat. The 12-piece orchestra often drowned out the star of the show, especially when her vocals turned whispery.
Minnelli fared well on jazzy numbers such as "The Man I Love" and "He's Funny That Way," which showcased her vocal stylings. And the second section of the program, a tribute to her godmother and musical arranger Kay Thompson, featured tight harmonies and a little light choreography with her four male backup singers. Minnelli appeared to move stiffly at times and fumbled a few steps, jokingly blaming some new choreography.
The crowd roared for rousing interpretations of "Maybe This Time," "Cabaret" and the finale of "New York, New York" - Minnelli's signature songs.
They could see clearly now that even if her body's not always in step, Liza Minnelli's heart is still in it.

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