Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Liza'a At The Palace- And Applause Theatre Service Loves Her New Show

Who says you can't go home again? Not Liza Minnelli that's for sure.

My wife Celeste and I were lucky enough to get a chance to see the first and only dress rehearsal for "Liza'a at the Palace" brand new "song and dance" show in New York City last night. And my goodness, does she aim to please every second she is on the stage. Working at Applause Theatre Service in New York City for over 31 years years, we often have the great privilege of getting to see many Broadway shows while they are in "preview mode", prior to official opening on Broadway. It is something very special to be able to see a show that departs from the usual Broadway Theater we get to see. We often see shows that have upwards of 40 actors performing for you. This time around we get to witness one of our modern times legendary concert, theater, film and television actresses, Miss Liza Minnelli (daughter of Judy Garland and director Vincent Minnelli), in a show that will take you back to a time when an "entertainer" with tremendous natural talent and heart ruled the day. Liza'a at the Palace has tremendous significance to Ms. Minnelli herself. The idea for her new show on Broadway came quite simply to her. In June 2007 Liza was asked to perform one song at an AmFar benefit for her very dear friend Kenneth Cole (whose devotion to Aids charities and benefits meant so much) at New York's Rainbow Room. Some devoted Liza Minnelli fans at the Rainbow Room offered a $50,000.00 donation to charity on this special night if Liza would perform just one song. She sang one of her favorite songs, "Our love is here to stay". Soon after, Liza and her very good friend Ron Lewis left on a trip to Europe and South America with the goal of creating a show about Liza's godmother, Ms. Kay Thompson, who was MGM's in house voice teacher and talent coach, and a very close friend with Liza's mother, the legendary film and singer Miss Judy Garland.

The show played throughout Europe and met with tremendous success everywhere they went. After several months there, Liza and Ron decided to bring the show back to the states to see if the American audiences would enjoy it as well. I personally just went on-line and read dozens of reviews on Liza's new show just to see if people enjoyed it as much as I did. Well friends, apparently Liza, her band and dancers have pleased tens of thousands across Europe as well as out-of-town fans in North America as well. The word of mouth is outstanding and I couldn't agree more.

At the age of 62 years young, Liza Minnelli takes the stage for well over 2 hours performing song and dance routines, often chatting away and performing monologue's with her dance partners, the band and the audience as well. And with a wonderfully, warm and energetic playfulness and enthusiasm that made me think, "I would really enjoy seeing her perform again". Liza always aims to please just before preparing to sing a new song, during the song and after as well as she moves along into the next song on her play list.

For those that may not know, Liza's godmother Kay Thompson had a very popular 1940's nightclub act of her own. Liza's at the Palace was written by Liza herself and David Zippel, who wrote City of Angels and The Goodbye Girl. This show is directed and choreographed by her friend Ron Lewis with her musical director Billy Stritch. The band is lead on stage by her very close life-long friend, conductor/drummer Michael Berkowitz. John Sher is the shows producer.

The first half of Liza's at the Palace is a concert where she sings songs that have been quite meaningful to her in her career. Especially "Maybe this time", "Cabaret" and "New York, New York", written for her personally by the famous Broadway songwriting team Kander and Ebb. The second act is a "tribute" to her godmother Kay Thompson. We quickly learn that Ms. Thompson's song and dance nightclub act of the 1940's, called Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers (Andy Williams who made "Moon River" one of the biggest hits ever, was one of the Williams Brothers) was the inspiration behind the shows second act. The four Williams Brothers sing and dance and take us back to the 1940's with their amazing dance and old fashioned crooning singing styles. These guys sure can dance and have a wonderful chemistry with Liza. One that appears quite deep indeed, like a long lasting friendship.

Although Ms. Thompson was known to "nurture and develop talent at MGM Studios" (Liza's mother Judy Garland was one of her most talented students of the stage), she also penned "Eloise at the Plaza", one of the most famous children's books of our time. Kay Thompson's significance on Liza's life is so strong and significant that Liza must have felt it most important to devote the most of the second act to sharing her godmother with the rest of us. It's amazing how deep an impact someone can have on your life when you think about it. Liza and Judy Garland both adored Kay, that's for sure.

Liza Minnelli songs include "Cabaret", "Teach Me Tonight", "If You Hadn't, But You Did", "Hello, Hello", "Mammy", "The Theme From New York, New York" and many others. Liza has won several Tony Awards as well as a Grammy, an Emmy and also won an Oscar for her outstanding performance in "Cabaret".

Liza At The Palace is a limited engagement and plays through December 28, 2008. If you want to see one of our times most legendary song and dance performers, you should consider getting yourself and someone you care about a ticket to Liza's amazing new Broadway show. Liza's mom Judy Garland once said "until you play the Palace, you haven't played the top". How true these words are.

Applause Theatre Service is a local Broadway ticket expert and can secure great seats at reasonable prices for you right now. They can be reached toll free at 1-800-451-9930 or locally in New York City at 212-307-7050.

Liza's back in town friends. And I guarantee she will bring a smile to your face if you've been a fan and followed her career. I have no doubt she will inspire a new generation of fans as well. Enjoy Liza's new Broadway show.

Rich Gladstone
Applause Theatre Service
311 west 43rd street, suite 601
New York, New York 10036

toll free 1-800-451-9930
local phone 212-307-7050

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