Liza Minelli - Singer – Actress
Liza is the daughter of Judy Garland, who once said, “Liza is pure show business”, and producer Vincenti Minelli. Like her mother, Liza has had her fair share of problems – dependency on pills, alcohol addiction, problems with her weight, not to mention encephalitis plus a couple of hip replacements. However, she seems to have found a saviour in her latest husband whom she married recently – producer David Gest who ‘nursed’ her back to health and gave her the encouragement to get back on stage again. (Although Elton John was less than flattering when he said that what he wished for Liza was a heterosexual husband). Liza, like her mother before her, is very much a gay icon.
Now 56, Liza (often known as “Liza with a “z”), was back in London in March for five performances at the RAH which pulled in 7,000 fans at £95 a ticket! After a nervous start she really wooed her audience, and supporting her was her new husband who produced the show and watched from the front row.
The concert finished with what the audience had really come to hear – a selection of songs from ‘Cabaret’ for which Liza donned a Cabaret-style basque and bowler hat and ‘New York, New York’. Just before the end she talked about when she sang for the Queen Mother, singing an a cappella (unaccompanied) version on “ I’ll Be Seeing You”. Said Liza: “ I was lucky enough to meet and perform for the Queen Mother: she was a marvellous woman and I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I heard that this was one of her favourite songs and I would very much like to sing it for you and for her”.
Liza received nine standing ovations for her 2-part/2-hour show. Being tiny in stature she exudes an aura – as her mother did – of the little girl lost just wanting to be loved. She needs an audience to shine. It is a two-way thing: “If I give you enough love” she says “you will give it all back to me, won’t you?”
Martine McCutcheon, one of Liza’s bridesmaids at her wedding last month said; “Liza is such a huge inspiration to me. To see her a year ago and to see what she has achieved now is just incredible. Liza has really taken me under her wing and I have really learned so much from her. I thought the show was spectacular.”
There was some suggestion that she mimed a lot of her performance and at the after show party Sir Cliff Richard was positive she had. He said: “She did mime some songs – maybe three of four. I personally think it is quite acceptable for an artist to mime some of the show. I did the same when I was on stage with Heathcliffe. I had the flu for around a week and mimed every single track. I couldn’t sing a note “. He went on: “I think it is so much more difficult to mime than to actually sing because you have to step back and realise you can’t give it your all because it won’t look right because you are miming. It all comes down to either giving a good performance with dancing and miming, or just straight singing”.
Kym Marsh, formerly of HearSay, with her fiancé, East Enders star Jack Ryder, was equally certain. She said: “It was quite obvious that she was miming but I totally understand why. All the dance movement and everything can’t be done without miming. It’s very hard to dance and sing in the right note at the same time”.
For Neil Tennant, lead singer of the Pet Shop Boys, who recorded Liza Minelli’s ‘Losing My Mind’ track, nothing was going to spoil his enjoyment. He said: “I thought Liza sung tonight the best I have ever heard her. I can’t make a comment on the miming.”
According to many fans, Liza mouthed her way through at least five of her best-known songs, titled “Liza’s Back”.