Liza Minnelli in ConcertIt is no mean feat for anyone, (especially at the age of 63) to command the wrapt attention - even adoration - of an audience of over 2, 000 for two hours. From the moment she walked on to the stage in sparkly black, Liza held this audience enraptured. This is a remarkable performer.

She is so totally at home on the stage. After all, she was almost born there and has been appearing on one since the age of 5. She exudes an un-selfconscious confidence, warmth and naturalness with her singing, her chat and her trade-mark iconic eyes, that simply invites one into her life. And she certainly can sing.

She can croon soulful and passionate ballads, such as What makes a Man a Man (in honour of Charles Aznavour), and I Can’t Give You Anything but Love (in duet with her fantastic pianist of 18 years Billy Stritch), even though in these, a vibrato you could drive a truck through sometimes takes over. But the real crowd pleasers were the songs in which she pounded out driving rhythms and powerful notes, such as My Best Friend, and the old favourites and signature songs including Cabaret, Mammy and New York, New York which brought the house down.

No elaborate staging was necessary. Liza commands the space with gusto, and two big screens give us an up close perspective. The lighting is used skilfully to enhance the moods of the songs, and the fine twelve-piece orchestra led by drummer Michael Berkowitz provides a most accomplished accompaniment.

The ravages of encephalitis, alcohol, drugs, four husbands and the passage of time, all of which she has conquered, may have left their mark, but this consummate artiste is not to be bowed by these passing irrelevancies, when the show’s the thing, and performing is all. It is clear Liza lives and breathes performing, whether she is singing, acting or (not so much these days) dancing. Yet for all these stellar qualities which have made many others aloof, she radiates an intimacy which makes one feel she is performing just for me, and I forget the 2000 people around me.

This was emphasised as she came out for two encores in a T shirt with a towel over her shoulder, removed a sweat band and her false eyelashes and crooned The Lives of Me by former husband Peter Allen, and Everytime I Say Goodbye, with which she did just that to an audience on its feet. We left smiling, feeling we had made a new friend.

Liza Minnelli in Concert

Sydney Opera House
Friday 16 and Saturday 17 October
Bookings: 02 9250 7777 | www.sydneyoperahouse.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it <!-- document.write( '</' ); document.write( 'span>' ); //-->

Burswood Dome
Tuesday 20 October
Ticketek or 132 849

Entertainment Centre
Friday 23 October
Ticketek or 132 849

Rod Laver Arena
Sunday 25 October
Ticketek or 132 849

Entertainment Centre
Friday 30 October
Ticketek or 132 849

Sydney Entertainment Centre
Monday 2 November
Ticketmaster or 1300 883 622


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