ON THE RECORD: Julie and Carol and Liza, Live; Plus a Re-Listen to Maury Yeston's Titanic

By Steven Suskin
15 Apr 2012

Cover art

Liza Minnelli Live at the Winter Garden [Masterworks Broadway]
"Liza Minnelli Live at the Winter Garden" is — well, Liza Minnelli live at the Winter Garden.

The show itself, which opened Jan. 6, 1974, for a limited engagement of 23 performances, was a smash hit sellout; the 27-year-old Liza was at the height of her fame and, perhaps, talent. (The show, in the theatre, was simply titled Liza.)

This is quite an act, written by (of course) Fred Ebb and directed by (of course) Bob Fosse. And it is recorded live, with an audience of fans at least some of whom seem overwhelmed. But it is very 1974, if you will; all those pop music flourishes sound — well, 1974. (I didn't much like this sound then, either.)

Conversely, there are a few prizes hidden away. Two very Kander & Ebbish pieces of special material, "Exactly Like You" and "I'm One of the Smart Ones." Both of them are bright, smart and brash; this concert came just around the time that the boys were writing Chicago with Fosse. The latter song has an arresting comedy orchestration by Jonathan Tunick. Minnelli also sings two dramatic and very good Charles Aznavour songs, "And I in My Chair" and "There Is a Time." (Ebb provided the translation for the first, as well as a Piaf song included in the show.) There are also three bonus tracks which did not appear on the 1974 LP release, including a tender "My Shining Hour" which mixes in K&E's then-recent showtune, "Yes."

Yes, Liza sings up a storm, live at the Winter Garden. Somehow, though, much of it leaves me kind of cold.

Read more about Liza Minnelli's Broadway career in the Playbill Vault.  

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