By Patrick Christiano
March 13, 2013: The incomparable Liza Minnelli and the sensational Alan Cumming, two dynamic performers with theatrical backgrounds, who just happen to be good friends that are associated with the landmark musical "Cabaret," joined forces for an unforgettable two hour concert at The Town Hall in New York City with Lance Horne and Billy Stritch. Liza of course won an Academy-Award for "Cabaret," and Alan won a Tony-Award for the acclaimed Broadway revival.The concept for the show was born from Daniel Nardico’s presentation with the two stars on Fire Island last summer.
Reports are the new show has changed substantially with additional new material. The first of two shows, a sold-out memorable evening in the intimate theater, took place the night after Liza’s 67th birthday and will be followed by a second show tomorrow. The two hour evening was a dynamic tour de force by two of the gay community’s most beloved entertainers.
After Minnelli’s full band finished the overture the two stars emerged from opposite ends of the stage to a thunderous standing ovation. The audience literally jumped to their feet at the very sight of the pair coming together launching into "Nowdays" and then "Class" from Chicago as the audience went wild with enthusiasm.
Liza departed for some" mourning time," and Alan took over delivering a compellingly powerful set of songs that covered a diverse range of material from a mashup of Adele with Lady Gaga songs to the songs from Once. Alan was his impish charming self regaling the audience with stories of coming to New York, winning the Tony, meeting Liza, and on doing their show last summer in Cherry Grove, he commented with Liza there, "It was like a papal visit- if you can imagine a church full of homosexuals."
When the legend herself came back in a black bugle beaded ensemble for her solo set with Billy Stritch on piano, she sang almost every one of her old standards, and the crowd when crazy during and after each song as she delivered an emotionally rich set. She started right off with her signature song, "New York, New York," and then moved to "Teach Me Tonight," "Maybe This Time," "Cabaret, "And The World Goes Round," and "Liza With A Z" – all packed with the professionalism of a consummate performer that makes her the incomparable, the one and only Liza Minnelli.
The set was a love fest between the performer and the audience as they embraced her unconditionally, and she acknowledged their approval with "You spoil me." Maybe they did, but she gave 200% of herself and then some managing to get in all of her trademark leg kicks, jazzy hands, and shoulder shimmies while commenting, "I hope I’m doing okay for you." And the packed house jumped to their feet once again with thunderous approval.
The lavish after party was on the enclosed rooftop of the Copacabana with great food and a fabulous birthday cake for our fabulous Liza. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIZA! We love you!
Photography: Barry Gordin
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