I'll call her Minnelli the Magnificent from now onsince the only word to describe Saturday night'sperformance is "Magical"!!! The ONLY place to go to last Saturday night in Ft.Worth was Bass Hall to see Liza Minnelli. The placewas packed. The lobby looked like a Neiman Marcusfashion show. My Ft. Worth neighbors (I live inDallas) cleaned up REALLY well.As I went to my seat, second row aisle, thank you verymuch, I noticed that the 2,500-seat hall wascompletely full. No wonder it took me 10 minutes toget a glass of wine!After a short Overture Liza appeared onstage with theblack and red outfit you saw in the newspaper article.She started with Teach Me Tonight. No "hoarsness", no"warming up for a couple of numbers", no "missing highnotes". She was flawless and at a 100% from the getgowith a voice so strong like I have not heard sinceRadio City. Not to mention she looks thin and herface looks gorgeous. She hesitated a little before starting My Ship/The ManI Love. But once she started, there was no way back. She approached The Man I love as if her life dependedon it. She gave it her all, held the last note forwhat seemed like forever and brought the house down. The first of one of many standing ovations.After the ovation, she started reciting the words:"Someday he'll come along, the man I love."At that time a guy in the audience yelled: "I loveyou, Liza!" She replied: "I love you too but I ain'tgonna marry you."Living alone and I like it - She started by sayingthat long ago she used to sing these songs about oldladies and that now she HAS become one of thoseladies. Hilarious! It must be said that she has really honed in hertalent to tell stories. Not since Fred Ebb's scriptshas she ever been so on target in her stories. My Own best Friend - She told the story about how shecame to be in Chicago (in a very humble manner, asusual). She said she played Roxie, a woman accused ofmurdering her husband and then said: "I can relate tothat.", to the laughter and applause of the audience. I REALLY hope David Gest doesn't turn out dead or ourLiza will be suspect #1. Anyway, she is telling the story of how she begged Fred and Bob (Fosse) to be in the show and all of asudden, in the middle of the sentence, BAM! she goesinto character and starts a Roxie monologue. My jawdropped to the floor. She inhabits these characters athe drop of a hat in such a way that you believeanything she sells you. She's the best. She beltedthe HELL out of My Own Best Friend.Maybe This Time - She grabbed a chair and said:"Remember how I used to get this chair in the secondact?", then went on to say how Cabaret needed a balladand that she had recorded this song a few years beforeCabaret and that Fred and John and she decided itshould be in the movie. She pronounced every wordwith such love and expertise that you could feel it inyour soul. Another ovation.He's Funny That Way - I cannot tell you much aboutthis song since it is one of my all time favouritesfor VERY personal reasons and I was a total wreck allthrough it. All I know is that I felt like she wassinging directly to me, or rather speaking to me andagain, totally immersed in the character. She putmore emotion and nuances in the simple phrase "Whyshould I leave him, where would I go?" than otherartists can't put in a whole show. The final noteagain lasted forever and ANOTHER ovation.Cabaret - She said she wanted to sing a new song andjumped into Cabaret to the roaring applause of theaudience. She used the long ending to the song andpulled through it. Keep in mind at this point she hadbeen singing and telling stories for 35 minutes.Here's to the Band - She introduced the orchestrawhile she changed into a see-through blouse withbrocade circles and a long black skirt.Kay's Act - It was fabulous. She did not sit stillfor a second. It was non-stop dancing and singing. She is full of energy!She started singing the "La, Da La", from thebeginning of Look for the Silver Lining and I mustadmit she channeled Garland for those few seconds. She said Kay told Garland to do that at the beginningof the song.The Kay act is great! Somewhere at the beginning ofthe act she goes offstage for a few seconds only toreturn in a leotard and knee-high suede boots. Herlegs rock! And she give her 4 male dancers a meanride for their money. She went offstage again to change into a blacktrousers and black sequined blouse. She looked reallythin and in shape.My Mammy - She said she hadn't done this song in along time. Towards the end of the song she stoppedand said that in the past, she used to go on one knee,but that she could no longer do it due to all hersurgeries. She continued the song to a soaring endingnote that lasted forever. How does she do it??? Some asshole asked fro what sounded like Over theRaibow and she said that "it's been done" and thewhole bit about Judy telling her to be a first rateversion of herself, etc.New York, New York - She said how the song had beenwritten for her. Just two bars into it and theaudience went wild!! By the end of the song pandemonium ensued. People were going crazy. Theovation was deafening. I'll Be Seeing You - She retuned to the stage afterthe ovation to sing this. She said that in her youthshe was very shy and that she found an outlet to whatshe wanted to say through songs, and that she wantedto tell us was: "I'll be seeing you..." You couldhear a pin drop, the audience standing mesmerized byMinnelli the Magnificent and a certain guy on thesecond row aile, who's been a fan since he was a teen,was wiping the tear off his face. It's the best 500.00 I've ever spent. I gave it tomyself as one of my advanced birthday presents (mybirthday is in November).She left the stage and the ovation went on for fivemore minutes. People just would not have her leavejust yet. She HAD to return to the stage toacknowledge the audience and left again, this time forgood."I'll be seeing you, Liza!" I said to myself.I left the theater and went directly to the stagedoor. It has a glass door that leads to a narrowvestibule facing a glass window where a stern femalesecurity guard kept telling people to wait outside theglass door. There was a line of people inside thevestibule all facing a second door that wentbackstage. I entered the first glass door expectingthe security guard to tell me to go outside, but shedid not. I must admit that I looked good in my blacksuit and white shirt and white silk tie. Either thator she mistook me for one of the musicians. I saw aguy opening the door and calling last names of peoplewho were not there. I figured he was Gary (Liza'sManager). I went all the way to the beginning of theline and when he reopened the door I politely gave himmy business card (I work for one of the biggestinternational companies in Texas) told him I was ahuge Liza fan and that I would love to meet her. Goodthing I did not have to pull out thefive-hundred-dollar-ticket card, because just likeLiza, I'm striving to be humble...He asked me to wait, and wait I did for 5 minutes. Hewent out again and asked me to go inside. I wanted todie!!! I was about to meet Liza for the seond time inmy life after so many years!!! The first time I mether it was for a brief moment outside the stage doorof The Rink. I talked to her a little and gave her alove letter. I remember I told her I thought she wasthe best in the world and she replied: "You just mademy whole week!." When I gave her the love letter, sheheld it tightly in her hand and said: "I promise youI'll read it." Fast-forward to last Saturday again...I barely saw herexiting her dressing room into another room. She wasin full Kevin Aucoin style makeup and another outfit. She was gone for about 10 minutes and I thought shehad left the building when all of a sudden I hear hersinging Happy Birthday! to someone. After that shereturned to where I was and Gary introduced her to me.She looked BEAUTIFUL up close. I told her thanks forall these years of good memories and wonderful music. I was probably making no sense at all. I had my phonein camera mode but everything happened so fast that Idid not want to spoil the moment. She thanked me,hugged me and I left. I could not tell her how I mether years ago at the stage door of The Rink. I couldnot even thank Gary or say goodbye. I was in cloudnine.So that's the story, folks! Hope you enjoyed it asmuch as I enjoyed living it.
Emilio the Mesmerized