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Liza Live from Radio City Music Hall

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Album Review

In one sense, it would seem Liza Minnelli has no need to release another live recording, this one being her fifth (not counting one with her mother Judy Garland and another with Charles Aznavour). But in another sense, Minnelli, despite her renown as a film actress and musical theater star, is primarily a nightclub and concert performer who has been refining and fine-tuning her act since she first introduced it in 1965. This version of that act, actually the audio companion to a home video, Liza Minnelli: Live from Radio City Music Hall does feature several songs heard on her last live album, Liza Minnelli at Carnegie Hall (1987) — Stephen Sondheim's "Old Friends" from the Broadway musical Merrily We Roll Along; Sondheim and Jule Styne's "Some People" from the Broadway musical Gypsy; a medley of Alan Jay Lerner and Kurt Weill's "Here I'll Stay" from the Broadway musical Love Life and George and Ira Gershwin's "Our Love Is Here to Stay" from the film The Goldwyn Follies; and the inevitable closer, "Theme from New York, New York" — but most of the songs are new, at least insofar as Minnelli is concerned. That said, she has not strayed far, relying as usual on the catalog of songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb for some of their lesser known tunes, such as "Seeing Things" from the Broadway musical The Happy Time (pitched as a tribute to her father, Vincente Minnelli) and the now age-appropriate "So What," a song from the Broadway musical Cabaret not used in the movie version, in which she starred. "Sara Lee," a Kander and Ebb novelty, was written for an earlier nightclub singer, Kaye Ballard, and resurrected in the 1991 Off-Broadway musical revue And the World Goes 'Round before turning up here. Best of all is an otherwise unaffiliated Kander and Ebb ballad of mature romantic recrimination, "Sorry I Asked." These songs take up the first half of the show. The bulk of the second half is devoted to a "Men's Medley" featuring a singing/dancing troupe of women who invade the stage and join Minnelli, launching into a seemingly endless mixture of songs about the male sex as viewed by the female sex that range from "Someday My Prince Will Come" to "I Like 'Em Big and Stupid." During such sections and the tap dance routine that follows, the CD does not quite do the show justice and the video seems required. But there is more than enough new here to justify shelling out for another Liza Minnelli live album.

Customer Reviews

The Best

Easily the best of her albums, you are overcome by her enthusiasm, charm, passion and that talent! The orchestra is fine form and Liza's voice was at it's peak. She swings easily from heartbreaking songs, to all out jazzy uptempo numbers. There's even a few tap routines. Highly recommended for any fan. This album would also serve as a good introduction to the music of Liza Minnelli.


I have this concert on video and have to say it amazes me everytime i watch it! I would say this is my fave Liza after liza with a Z. Watching her in this concert as well as listening to her, you can tell whe was really enjoying herself. Her interpretation of songs have never been better. She trully is one of our enduring "entertainers" Its a must buy! Stand out faves include "teach me tonight" , "Seeing things" , "Sorry I asked"

A lesson in performing...

When Liza Minnelli stepped out onto the massive stage at Radio City Music Hall in 1991, she broke all the records and sold out before the venue could ask her back. They did ask her back, and in 1992 she returned to the stage to do it all over again, and record it this time, for an album release and a video special. What you’re looking at now is that recording from that legendary run at that legendary venue by that legendary woman.

No more “Judy’s little girl”, Ms. Minnelli lands from the minute she steps into position for a rousing and sultry opener, “Teach Me Tonight.” She lets you know she’s in charge, and she’s calling the shots. With the drug and alcohol addictions and the Studio 54 days behind her, Ms. Minnelli takes a more settled approach to her one-woman set (Act I) as she does what she does best; "songs about woman in extreme emotional states.” From the jazzy “Live Alone And Like It”, to the gut-wrenching “Sorry I Asked”, and the homage to another great American woman, “Sara Lee”, Liza explores truth and honesty, as the Oscar-winning actress she is. She celebrates with “Some People”, and plays the sage in “So What” from “Cabaret”. Just when you think you can’t handle anymore brilliance, she explains why playing the Music Hall is so rewarding, seeing that her father (Hollywood Director and Oscar-winner Vincente Minnelli) worked at the same venue for 4 years in the 1930’s as art director. She closes Act 1 with a very touching tribute to her father (“Seeing Things”), and you remember that her brilliance comes not only from her mom (the iconic Judy Garland), but also from her visionary father. Two stars can only produce a star.

Most excitedly, she fills Act 2 with glitz, dance, lots of belting, and her 12 demon divas, who she drags onto the stage from the audience to be part of the show (“I Wanna Get Into The Act”, “Men’s Medley”, “Imagine”, "Steppin’ Out”).

She then reminds us what made us fall in love with her so many years ago, as she roars out her hit of the century, “Theme from ‘New York, New York’” (written for her by John Kander & Fred Ebb in 1977, and made uber-popular by Frank Sinatra in 1981). The song is rightfully hers, and she owns every second of it.

This album is a must have, not only for the mass of Liza fans out there, but for the actor, the director, the dancer, the human in all of us. Ms. Minnelli truly gives us a lesson in performing, and what truly makes a legend.


Born: March 12, 1946 in Hollywood, CA

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although singer/actress Liza Minnelli can count Academy Award-winning film roles, Tony Award-winning musical theater performances, Emmy Award-winning television specials, and gold-selling records among her accomplishments, she is primarily a concert performer whose career has been defined by a series of stage acts dating back to her nightclub debut in 1965. Her best work in film, in the musical theater, and on television has taken advantage of and grown out of her reputation as a live performer,...
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