Monday, August 30, 2010
My review of Liza's show in San Diego, August 28th... by Anthony.
Hey guys, I'm back. Here is my review of Liza's show in San Diego last weekend. I went, I saw, Liza was fantastic. The much needed rest from the stage that Liza took seems to have helped her knees a good deal. She was practically dancing at the show. She only sat down in the director's chair for two songs, and she did not sit down for the whole time during those songs. Her knees seem to be leaps and bounds better compared to when I saw her in Saint Louis, where she sat down in the director's chair for most of the songs, and did not move around the stage. Liza's set was only an hour, 13 songs. Something I did not know when I arrived, is that the show, which ran from 8-10pm, was only half Liza. The time from 8-9pm, Thomas Wilkins conducted the symphony orchestra, performing selected pieces from famous composers. The first couple of numbers Mr. Wilkins conducted were "I got rhythm" and "Embraceable you". I thought this must be Liza May's overture, she has sun g those two numbers before, and mabey she plans to sing them tonight. Well after about 30 minutes of the orchestra, and no Liza, and after thinking "damn this is a really long overture", it became apparent that this was not just a really long overture, but an hour long symphony. Liza's time slot was from 9-10pm. She came out on stage, 9 on the dot, ready to sing. She launched straight into "Alexander's Ragtime Band". I was so thrilled with the way she looked and sounded, her vocals soaring far into the night air, I daresay, a bit chilly night air, but not too cold. Her next number was "Teach me tonight". When she got to the middle of the song and her "bah, buh, doop a doo-wah", she was really workin' it, letting loose. Liza's third number was "Here I'll stay/Our love is here to stay". This song I have always wanted to hear live and it ranks amoung my favorite Liza numbers, so magical it was to hear it performed at this elegan t affair, under the night sky. This song alone was worth the trip as was the next song "My own best friend". This version of the song was the best I have ever heard Liza do. Before the song started she acted out the scene from "Chicago" in the same way as she did in "At the Palace", you know, "to hang? they're gonna hang her? hey where ya goin? screw me" screw you!", absolutely fantastic. Concert staples "Cabaret" and "But the world goes round" were performed back to back with no intermission between them as it was only an hour long set. The second half of the show was mostly songs from "Confessions". She opened this half with the song "Confession". From there we were treated to "I hadn't anyone but you", then "I must have that man". "You fascinate me so" was performed as was "He's a tramp". Before I mention the last two numbers I would like to say a w ord about the crowd at this event. Much of this crowd seemed subdued and distracted during the show, and I think it was because, this sounds strange, they were not there to see Liza Minnelli. In fact, bizarrely enough, as I talked to different audience members before the show and during the intermission, which ran between Thomas Wilkins's set and Liza's set, I found it to be literally the case that many did not come to see Liza. Most of the people who attended are associated with the Salk Institute or with the University in some way, and they attend the annual "Symphony at Salk" every year regardless of who's performing, this year it happened to be Liza Minnelli. We were all sitting at round tables that seat ten people, as dinner was served beforehand. I became annoyed several times during the show as a few of the people at my table and the table in front of me kept talking during Liza's set. I wanted to tell them, be quiet, the lady is on stage. Talking throughout Liza's set is near blasphemy in my opinion. And after the songs, several of those in the audience would not applaud. Especially those in the back half of the audience where I was. I was sitting at about the fourth row of tables from the back, even so I was not very far from the stage as this was not a large gathering. Personally if I am at any show, and say I am not enjoying the performer or interested in the performer, I applaud anyways, as it is disrespectful not to do so when a performer is on stage, and Liza was really throwing it out there for us. I just became annoyed with some of the people. In between two of the songs when Liza was talking about either Ira Gershwin or Vincenet Minnelli, she talked about both men during the night, when she had finshed talking, at a point when it would be normal to applaud for Ira or Vincente, there was a dead silence, Liza waited a couple of seconds expecting some kind of response, then she said "Thank you" and started up t he next number. I think most of the attendees were bigger fans of The Salk Institute then of Liza. One of the bigger rounds of applause Liza got was after her speech of how honored she was to perform at "The Symphony at Salk", and how she remembered when she was a kid, living in England, her nanny picked up a newspaper one day, read it and dropped it crying tears of happiness, Liza asked her, what was it, and her nanny told her that scientists at The Salk Institute had just discovered the cure for polio. Noble prize winning scientists have come from The Salk Institute and during the show scientists were coming out onto the balconies from the research labs to watch the show. The people sitting at my table were quite fascinated by my level of dedication to Liza. They were quite taken by the idea that someone would travel across the country just to see a show, then go home. To me it is normal, and if I had it in my pocket to do so right now, and if Liza were performin g in England, I would fly to England and back to see her. After the shows closer "New York, New York" ended, she was really singing that one with all she had, you know "mmyyyy lliitttllee ttooowwwn bbllueees!", some people in the audeince left right after the song ended. A couple of people at my table started to leave, I told them "wait Liza is going to do an encore". And she did. She did a song I have never heard her sing "Everytime we say goodbye", this was a real treasure, she sat at the piano bench with her back to Billy Stritch as he thumbed the notes. I give this show 50 stars and it was so special to see Liza as she was that night, she was in fine form, strutting around the stage in her usual black sparkling blouse, balck slacks and black shoes and a long pink scarf draped around her neck. The memory lives on in me. Love, Anthony..