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With all her recent misadventures, it's hard to remember that Liza Minelli was once a startlingly impressive stage performer, following in her mother's footsteps (Judy Garland, for those that haven't been paying attention). This made for TV concert from 1972 shines the spotlight on Liza at her peak, with songs by Kander & Ebb and choreography by Bob Fosse. Forget everything else; all you need to know and remember about Liza Minelli is right here.
The DVD Holy Grail for Liza Minnelli fans finally surfaces after 30-some years: Liza with a "Z", a splashy TV special from 1972. And wow, is it ever a product of its era. Minnelli and director-choreographer Bob Fosse were at the top of their popularity in 1972, having just made Cabaret, the blockbuster musical for which both won Oscars. Liza with a "Z" places the still-coltish Minnelli on the stage of the Lyceum Theater, in a one-night-only performance covered by Fosse's eight cameras. Songs by Cabaret composers John Kander and Fred Ebb provide a spine for the show, including a breathless rendition of "Ring Them Bells" and the tongue-twisting "Say Liza (Liza with a 'Z')," a goofball number that sounds more like one of Danny Kaye's patter songs than a tune for Liza Minnelli.
Liza treats each song as an emotional Mount Everest, never holding back a thing, and the result is a psychodrama played out in the klieg lights. (The outrageous costumes by Halston don't hold back a thing, either; Studio 54, here we come!) Memories of the all-or-nothing style of her mother, Judy Garland, are already heavy in the air by the time Minnelli reaches "My Mammy," and workouts on "God Bless the Child" and "Son of a Preacher Man" confirm the singer's approach.
As for Fosse's choreography, there are signature moves aplenty--his dancing so frequently suggested a choreographer lusting for actual sex to break out on stage. "Bye Bye Blackbird" gives Minnelli and her backup dancers a chance to stretch out in an echt-Fosse feast of bowler hats and white gloves. The bell-and-booty shaking in "Ring Them Bells" and the loony tuxedo-clad cowpokes in "I Gotcha" hint that Fosse was in the midst of a manic phase. Speaking of which, Minnelli tackling Joe Tex's "I Gotcha" is one of those jaw-dropping mismatches that she salvages only through dint of daft commitment. No quarreling with the Cabaret medley; say want you want about Liza, she owns those songs. Minnelli and Fosse won Emmys for the show. The restoration of the original materials looks about as good as can be expected, with the spirit of a glitzy seventies TV variety special quite intact. --Robert Horton
Poor visual quality. Would not have bought it had I known. Liza is great. Probably her best performance not counting Cabaret of course but I bought it because I assumed it had been... Read morePublished 4 months ago by R. Christian
True to the show I saw in person! Old DVD in New format.Published 5 months ago by Carole Lockwood-Rubury
Such a fun special! This is definitely a time-capsule of the 70s and Liza exudes the charm that made her a star in her own right. Read morePublished 6 months ago by SimplyBert
I can't believe I had never seen this. I went from someone who didnt care about Liza at all, to now thinking she's the best! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Chad A Olivera
Good concert from 1972. Liza was as energetic if not better than her mother. Bob Fosse did an excellent job with direction and choreography, Audio quality is excellent; video... Read morePublished 15 months ago by J. T. Stasiak
If you are not a Liza fan, you will become one. She surpasses her mother's talent and simply blows the audience away
well done LIza,
You must be kidding! Bob Fosse shot this entire show at a theatre in New York as if it was a one act play. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Roslyn Kern
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|LIZA LIZA LIZA..WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH||
I saw Liza With A Z while stationed in California, and was lucky enough to travel to Lake Tahoe where I saw Liza live...I think it was 1974...we were at a table next to the stage...her opening act was Paul Williams (of whom I had never heard, until he started singing songs he had written)...she... Read More
Apr 1, 2006 by Charles S. Mull | See all 3 posts
|Defective DVD's and CD's in this set. What's up with that?||
I watched the A&E Biography last night, and the picture does indeed pixilate several times. And yes, the first note of the cd is missing. It's a noticeable mistake and I'd like to know how I can exchange it for one that works. I havn't watched the show itself yet, I'm afraid it will black out... Read More
Apr 30, 2006 by Amazon Customer | See all 4 posts
|Since we're on the topic of Liza, why isn't "Stepping Out" on DVD?||
I too wish to know WHEN will "Stepping Out" be available on DVD
as well as "Liza In London?"
Aug 20, 2009 by Larry Heller | See all 2 posts
|Where is it?||
You're talking about "Liza Minnelli: Live at Carnegie Hall" from 1978, I believe. It's available as an audio CD, but I Googled it and cannot find a VHS version available, let alone DVD. Sorry. I hope maybe you've found it on you own since then.
Aug 1, 2009 by TurquoiseEyes | See all 2 posts
|Comments from children in their 20's who complain about the video...||
funny you resort to such a sterotypical generalization there
but i'm WELL AWARE BACK IN THE DAY FOOTAGE WAS NOT THAT GOOD AND FYI MADONNA'S BOOBS ARE SMALLER NOW
Apr 30, 2006 by paris | See all 7 posts
|Liza with a Z||Be the first to reply|