Liza Minnelli has taken over the role of Victoria Grant in the Broadway musical Victor/Victoria for four weeks. We'd like to ask those who have seen her to review her performance. How is her singing, her acting, her dancing, her ensemble playing? Is she convincing playing a woman playing a man playing a woman? And, if you saw Julie Andrews, how does Liza stack up?
Write your review -- long or short -- and email it to Managing Editor Robert Viagas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reviews will be posted as they come in. There may be some editing for space.
Please include your town and state, and please note whether you'd like us to include your full e mail address so you can receive responses. This is optional, of course.
Playbill On-Line thanks all who took the time to write. Here are the responses so far: From Gymdrink@aol.com:
Saw Liza in Victor/Victoria on Sunday, January 19th - although she seemed visibly nervous and fumbling in the first few moments of the show, as the first act went on she got much stronger, and by the time she belted "Living in the Shadows" through the roof she had the whole place on its feet. Liza is in terrific voice, looks great, danced like a pro - what a treat to see her back on a Broadway stage where she belongs instead of some dopey casino show room.
As for the show itself, I saw it last year with Julie Andrews, and to be quite honest, I think the material fits Julie much better than it does Liza. Julie's cool androgyny is much more suited to the material than Liza's push-up-the temperature presence. I also think that the rest of the cast needs to be spruced up, especially Rachel York who goes WAY over the top.
Still, what a treat to see Liza back where she belongs. One thought that kept going through my mind as I watched the show was, why can't someone write this woman a great part? She is truly one of the all-time greatest Broadway stars, and wouldn't it be great to see her back on stage in a part worthy of her talents? Hey, Stephen Sondheim - stop writing those over-intellectualized shows and write a boffo show for Liza !! (1/21/97)
Last night it was Liza with a "V"! She was victorius in Victor/Victoria! Everyone in the audience was on their feet as Liza, Michael Nouri, Tony Roberts, Rachel York.....and Cast were given 2 standing ovations to thunderous applause at the end of the show. I clapped so hard.... my hands hurt! It was just so refreshing! (1/19/97)
From Juergen Buesselberg (Berlin/Germany) email@example.com
I saw Liza's opening night, saw her again next day (matinee) and I saw also Julie Andrews twice. First: It was great to see Liza on Broadway in a musical show. I love her since Cabaret, saw all of her shows in Germany when she was on tour here.
Liza seemed to me nervous at the opening night. Which is understandable. She did not have that much time for rehersals. So the next show on Wednesday was so much better, - Liza was great, - more familiar now with the text, the stage action, -- not nervous, - funny, - brilliant. It was great to hear her singing "Who can I tell" and "Living In The Shadows." But I really missed "When I were a man". Why did the take away this song ? So V/V got more of a comedy than a musical, you know.
She has a hard job to do, we all know this part is written for Julie Andrews and she is perfect as the woman who pretends to be a man who is a woman. But Liza takes the chance, changes the role for herself in a good way, - but, okay, - Julie convinced more as Liza to be a man. But, as Rjfmam wrote: Liza Minnelli is spelndid in her own right, clearly demonstrating that she more than deserves a big Broadway vehicle of her very own. Give her this chance!!!! (1/18/97)
From Dan Derby (Daninwmass@aol.com):
Victor/Victoria still is one of my true favorite musical comedies to have come to Broadway in a long time. I had the seen the show twice with Julie Andrews, and it was refreshing to see a new face in the title role of Victoria Grant. Though Liza (with a Z) Minnelli was not yet comfortable with the character but still did an oustanding job with what she had to work with. Without any previews, without any out of town engagements, and practicing while still doing her concerts, she performed with the best of them! Highlights were the act one finale, "Who Can I Tell" which reminds me of "And the World Goes Round" or "Maybe this time", and "Living in the Shadows". She is more convincing as a man then Ms. Andrews was and found a deeper character. Let's face it, the role was written for Julie Andrews and not for Liza Minnelli. I was upset that a highlight of the show was taken out. "Louis Says" was omitted from the show. As was "If I were a man". No songs were put in place of these numbers. But besides from that dissapointment... I was excited to see Liza back on Broadway. Hopefully, she will be back soon to start "spreading the news". (1/17/97)
Liza Minnelli does brilliant work in "Victor, Victoria" -- especially when one considers that she had limited rehearsal time (only four days with complete cast). Few major stars would have the guts, or the expertise, to step in as a replacement with so little preparation and seem perfectly at ease with a company that's been playing this material for months on end. Minnelli very much makes the character her own, creates instant audience empathy and delivers Victor(ia)'s two big ballads, "Who Can I Tell?" and "Living in the Shadows," with as much power and feeling as you'll ever encounter on a Broadway stage. The audience I saw her with clearly adored her in the role. Not a great musical, but a great performance. Comparing Minnelli with Julie Andrews seems pointless, since the two actresses are as dissimilar as their takes on the character. But Minnelli is splendid in her own right, clearly demonstrating that she more than deserves a big Broadway vehicle of her very own. (1/17/97)
From Brad Baker:
So Liza is in V/V... who cares? This show is so weak and uninterestingly staged that DENNIS RODMAN couldn't make it worth my $75!!! (1/16/97)
The show's no classic but it's great to see Liza in anything. She's terrific in the two ballads "Who Can I Tell?" (the high point of the show for me) and "Living in the Shadows". "Le Jazz Hot" was also fun. It's rare to see a living legend on Broadway and this is well worth the $$$. (1/16/97)
Saw V/V on Jan.l0; the show was terribly disappointing. Liza was good, as was Michael Nouri and Tony Roberts. Rachel York stole the show. The show itself is very weak -- book is fair, at best and the dancing is also just fair. On the whole, the show lacks a certain energy and spirit. (1/16/97)