By Beth Rivers
October 22, 2009 10:27am
LIZA Minnelli transformed the Perth Convention Centre into a Broadway theatre for one night only.Sparkling in a black-sequined top with a pink scarf draped around her, Liza walked on stage to a fanfare from her 12-piece band last night. The 2500-packed Riverside Theatre crowd jumped to their feet, thrilled the great American singer and actress had finally returned to Australia after 20 years. “We’re in Perth finally, we made it,” Liza said to her band. “This city has grown since I’ve been here.” She opened with Teach Me Tonight and proved her voice and stage presence was as boisterous as ever.
Liza Minnelli Perth concert pics
“Thank you Perth,” Liza replied to the audience through cheers and screams of “We Love you, Liza.” Daughter of entertainer Judy Garland and Hollywood film director Vincente Minnelli, Liza’s showbiz talent shined as she switched between sombre ballads and lively dance numbers. Although, now aged 63, she said her stamina was not was it used to be. “Has anyone seen me before?” she asked, pulling a directors chair into the middle of the stage and slowly slumping into it. “You’ll remember I used to sit down at the end of the second act, now I sit down in the first act.” During a pause in one song, she reminisced: “Do you remember when I used to get down on one knee? Forget it, it’s not happening.” And it was her witty humor that made the crowd adore her even more. “Over the years I’ve been particularly drawn to songs about falling in love,” she said. “However, at this point in my life I’m drawn to songs about falling out of love.” She then launched into If You Hadn’t, But You Did. Liza has been married four times. Other crowd-pleasure included What Makes A Man A Man, Maybe This Time, Liza With A Z and Cabaret. Liza also sang a duet with her jazz pianist, Billy Stritch, called I Got A Man, Crazy For Me. Liza heard Billy playing at a restaurant 18-years ago and asked him to follow her “for the rest of his life”, to which Billy had said he would “think about it”. Liza only needed a simply-lit stage – as her animated gestures and expressions had everyone absorbed. To stop the show, she proudly announced “I love you Perth, but here’s where I come from” and broke into New York, New York. The audience were on their feet again, applauding long before the song was over, and then began to chant “Liza” as she took a bow. Liza told everyone there was always a song that could say it better than she could and then encored with Every Time We Say Goodbye. Finally, the curtain came down on this Broadway act but not before a small tribute to her first husband, Australian entertainer Peter Allen, with The Lives Of Me. “Thank you Peter,” Liza said. No Liza, thank you.