Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Liza Minnelli at the Paramount in Asbury Park


There was no "maybe this time this time I'll win" for Liza Minnelli Friday night at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park.

It was a win-win performance for both singer and adoring audience during an uneven evening of 13 songs ranging from such classics as "Cabaret" and "Maybe This Time" to selections from her upcoming CD "Confessions" due in September.
"The gay community loves you, Liza" shouted a fan at one point. "So do the straights," another fan immediately added.

"I love you, too, you know I do," she said more than once.
A virtual love fest, the audience supported her with frequent applause and partial standing ovations, until she ended the evening with "New York, New York." Although she lost her way toward the end of this signature song, stumbling over the lyrics, she recovered with the help of her band and ended with a bang bringing the entire house to its feet.
There was no encore and Minnelli, who had a knew replacement in January, was helped off the stage after she brought her quintet out front to join her in a bow.
The performance, a benefit for the Boys and Girls Club of Asbury Park, began with a video about the organization and a brief welcoming speech by the non-profit's executive director Robert Taylor.
When the curtain rose again, Minnelli was onstage in her familiar black pants and sparkling off-the shoulder top looking pretty good at age 64, especially for a woman plagued for years by health problems including two hip replacements and a serious bout with viral encephalitis.
She immediately launched into "The Nearness of You," but had trouble hitting and holding some of the notes. As if to dispel the problem, she grabbed a pair of binoculars and peered through them bringing the audience even nearer to her, causing some laughter. Without stopping she slide right into "Teach me Tonight," which she handled beautifully.
By the fourth song she mentioned her knew replacement and asked the audience if it minded if she sat down. Most of the rest of the night she sang from a director's chair tackling "He's Funny That Way" "And the World Goes 'Round," plus selections from her upcoming album, "I Must Have That Man," "You Fascinate Me So," "If I Had You," "Moments Like This" and the delightful "He's a Tramp," from the Disney film "Lady and the Tramp."
She did just fine. But then she had the support of such experienced musicians as Mike Renzi on piano, Chip Jackson on standup bass, Rick Cutler on drums, Dave Trigg and Ross Konikoff both on trumpet, and Chuck Wilson on sax, clarinet and flute.
Minnelli noted many of the remaining 25 concerts on this tour which extends into December she'll be traveling with 12 musicians or have the backing of an orchestra.
"Tonight, I've pared down to these incredible musicians," she said. "You have no idea what this night means to me."
Judging the audience's reaction, there is no doubt most felt the same.

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