Liza With A "Z"
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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
- Includes Grammy-winning original Liza with a "Z" soundtrack on separate CD
- Remarkably candid, fulll-length program commentary by Liza herself
- Fan Q&A with Liza at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival
- Liza's performance at the 2005 GLAAD Awards
- Liza interviews legendary "Cabaret," New York, New York" and "Chicago" composer John Kander
- The complete "Biography: Liza Minnelli" from A&E Network
- Biographies of Liza Minnelli and Bob Fosse
Top Customer Reviews
The songs are:
1: "Yes," from the Kander & Ebb show "70, Girls, 70."
2: "God Bless the Child," a marvelous take on the Billie Holiday classic.
3: "Say Liza," a novelty John Kander number and the show's title song.
4: "It Was a Good Time," a touching song where Liza gets to use her acting talent.
5: "I Gottcha," the first of 3 production numbers, with Liza in a red micro mini.
6: "Son of a Preacher Man."
7: "Ring Them Bells" is very amusing with Liza having to travel to Europe to meet the boy next door.
8: "Bye Bye Blackbird," the standout number for choreography, staging and performance. Liza dazzles in black velvet!
9: "You've Let Yourself Go," Charles Aznavour's mature love song, and few can sing Aznavour like Liza.
10: "My Mammy," wonderful!
11: "Cabaret" medley ("Wilkommen," "Married," "Money," "Maybe this Time," "Cabaret"). What can you say...Liza IS Sally Bowles!
12: Curtain calls and titles.
I've only seen clips of the show over the years and look forward to sitting down and seeing it as those lucky enough in the audience did. Shot on film for a unique and different approach to the traditional variety or musical show, it's more like a movie of a concert than a TV special.
Grab this one right away...lest it disappear from the shelves for another 30 years!
UPDATE: I saw the show in Los Angeles on 03/23/06 at a screening with Liza herself, sponsored by the TV Academy, and it's truly amazing. I've had the album for years so I know every song, but to actually see the show as it was intended added a whole new layer and dimension. In the discussion panel afterwards (featuring Minnelli and the producers), they said, and rightly so, after the years of bad headlines and drama played out in the public, putting this out points the press back in the direction of what they should be talking about -- the singular and stunning talent that is Liza.
Run don't walk...and see what real talent is all about. This is it!
In nearly all of the extras, especially the panel discussion that's worth the price of the DVD itself, you're looking at contemporary digital video.
However, in the restoration of "Liza with a "Z" -- the 1972 program itself -- it must be noted that the video quality isn't up to the quality of the audio.
In fairness, this video restoration was based on raw material that was originally captured on 16 millimeter film. This is the kind of lower grade film stock shown in schools and small auditoriums. And small TV screens.
When you blow up 16-millimeter film stock (rather than standard 35-millimeter), you'll sometimes get, depending upon the size of your display screen -- a fuzzy, off-and-on, "out of focus" appearance.
This is most apparent in close-ups of Liza's face. The colors are brilliant, the sound is wonderful, the production is spectacular -- but this show was not intended for big-screen projection screens now available at electronics stores in the 21st century.
The intermittent fuzziness is more noticeable watching "Liza with a "Z" on a 32-inch TV screen vs. your computer.
One can only imagine the horrific problems that must have emerged during the restoration of this important historical document. That we're able to view anything at all with no degradation in color or sound is a miracle.
So to that end, customers -- be advised that this package is still, in my view, worth every penny.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fabulous. Liza Minnelli's whole life and mammoth talent squeezed into 60 minutes of the best musical and dance and entertainment you could ever wish for. Read morePublished 13 days ago by L Tache
liza's first big special should be in everyone's dvd collection. she shows us what a start is. as great as her mom was, liza surpasses her.Published 1 month ago by johnnyjoe
Did not have the song I was looking for. I do not know how to see what songs are on CD.Published 2 months ago by Duane Rauch
So happy I could see the show I had heard about for years from those who had seen it! Liza is a class act!Published 6 months ago by Michelle311211
The documentary-interview about Liza's life that is included as a special feature on this disk is better than the concert! Read morePublished 6 months ago by Andre Vellagio
I thought the quality was bad. Seemed to look as if it was copied from VHS.Published 8 months ago by anart07
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