Monday, October 19, 2009

Love Liza

Liza Minnelli is everywhere at the moment, isn't she? She's touring the country, she's been cast in the sequel to Sex and the City: The Movie and last night she appeared on Australian Idol. I haven't watched more than 30 seconds of this year's Idol until last night. I wasn't going to give up the chance to see Liza on my TV screen for two whole hours. And isn't that show the reason why high tech scientists invented the mute button?

She started the show by performing "Cabaret" and Andrew "Ginsburg" going loopy over her (he is married, fact). I can't help but imagine that she was disappointed by the singers' selections though. Considering the theme was "stage and screen" (the performers had to perform one song from the "stage" and one from the "screen") and of the six singers two of them performed songs from We Will Rock You, another from that Dusty Springfield musical and one last one from Jersey Boys, which makes a total of four songs from lazy jukebox musicals. The last two "stage" songs were from Phantom of the Opera and Carousel, so I guess that was something.

The even bigger farce came during the "screen" portion, during which singers performed songs with the barest of threads. Some guy (I don't know any of their names) sang Michael Jackson's "Thriller" because it was in Suddenly 30? Another sang the Garth Brooks version of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" from, of all movies, Hope Floats! You could basically choose any song you like and make some sort of tenuous connection to a movie at some point in history.

Liza remained the start of the evening though, naturally, and just continued the Minnelli kick that I've been on lately. I've chosen some of my favourite Liza clips to share. First there is "Mein Herr" from Cabaret, which is such a great scene. Next there is "Losing My Mind" from her 1989 Pet Shop Boys collaboration album Results. It's a fantastic album that not enough people know about so do yourself a favour and check it out. "Losing My Mind" is a Sondheim track done as a Pet Shop Boys track. Naturally, it is amazing (as is this performance on Top of the Pops).

Next up I chose an obvious track in "Theme from 'New York New York'" as performed in the climax scene of Martin Scorsese's film. Such a great movie that one is, but because it's not about violence and gangsters people routinely look over it. It's flawed, true, but there's so much that's done right, too. And the song is better by Liza than by Frank Sinatra, don't you reckon? After that is a tiny clip of Meryl Streep discussing how Liza Minnelli inspires her. Remember when Meryl wasn't a quip-a-minute wonder?

There are so many more that I could put up, but I'll leave it up to you to spend hours investigating all the clips that there are on YouTube. It's fascinating stuff.


FranklinBluth said...

urgh... Hope floats. That's in my top 3 worst films of all time. So shit.

Liza is also EXCELLENT in Arrested Development. So hilarious!

Glenn Dunks said...

I hope she's in the movie! Lucille 2 FTW!

Ben Rylan said...

I saw Liza's concert! I don't think many Australians "get" her. Which is a shame. It's as though they expect anyone who's not famous and "sexy" to be all serious and Cate Blanchett-like.