We went to the “Liza in the Palace” concert today, which is a four-week series of Minelli concerts on Broadway. What can I say… I’ve got mixed impressions from this concert. From one hand, undoubtedly, she still got it. The opening was brilliant. The songs were great. She really knows how to do a show. She has a vibrant temperament, and you get instantly swiped out by her infinite charm, energy, and sense of humor. Her voice is still amazing, after all these years. Oh, and the accompanying musicians are simply wonderful.
From the other hand, this concert sadly reminds us that we are all mortal. Our mind is trapped in a body of a dying animal. Unfortunately, Liza’s is no exception. She was noticeably out of breath for the most of the performance. She really struggled with it when she spoke, and it did not feel like a regular short breath after a difficult number. It just would not go away. I am not a doctor, but I suspect she might have some kind of pulmonary problem. It was better when she sang, but it still was not normal singing, especially towards the end of the show. While closing the first act with the famous “New York, New York!”, she outright missed a couple of notes, and it looks like the orchestra had developed a special slower ending for her, so she could take breath between the notes.
The second act had a number performed by a male quartet, during which Liza inconspicuously disappeared from the scene for about 5 minutes. Despite this additional break, by the end of the second act she was visibly exhausted and could hardly stand on her feet.
Unless Liza’s health greatly improves, I am afraid this is her last concert series, or at least the last one I would recommend going to. The audience, however, did not seem to mind. They cheered like crazy and gave her several standing ovations. The audience was generally er… mature – people in their 50s and older. It was a little awkward after the show when I tried to buy Liza’s CD. The way to the CD stand was quite crowded and I’ve got repeatedly pushed away by some old people. Were it a regular crowd, I would probably press my way through – it is New York, after all, people expect you to be rude 🙂 . But this time I did not feel it would be appropriate.
Bottom line – I am glad I went, Liza’s a genius, but she definitely knew better days. Nobody’s getting any younger 🙁