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Monday, 4 July 2011

Liza and London

For a person who sometimes goes into epic panics debating whether to leave the house on any given day going to our splendid yet petrifying capital city is something of a mission. However, I endured it last week for one fabulous reason - Miss Liza Minnelli.

Seeing her at the Royal Albert Hall was literally a dream come true and not something I ever expected to happen. If you're interested in a good and proper review the concert was covered by the Telegraph (here) and the Guardian (here). I'm still in the gushing and babbling about the fact I actually saw her stage of proceedings so sense may be lacking around here. Still, she was amazing. After a bit of a nervous start she relaxed and realised we were going to adore her whether she paused to take a long breath, sat down or - once, quite memorably - halted half-way through a song so she could throw down some water and then do the final notes of a song justice. My favourite numbers of the night were probably 'Liza with a Z' (try getting that out of your head once you've listened to it, I dare ya), 'New York, New York' and 'Maybe This Time'. Then again, I also loved 'What Makes a Man a Man' and 'Cabaret', not to mention her encore - 'I'll Be Seeing You' sung without accompaniment because the band had packed up. I'm grinning like an idiot just thinking about it all. Most definitely one of the most memorable evenings of my life. Now go get this stuck in your head...

And what else did I get up in London? Well, I visited my favourite shop for starters. I used the opportunity to feed my recently-acquired Stephen Sondheim obsession, buying cast recordings of Do I Hear a Waltz? and Sunday in the Park with George along with A Stephen Sondheim Evening which featured, amongst others, Angela Lansbury and George Hearn. I also bought on DVD Sondheim: A Celebration at Carnegie Hall. I was dithering about it but then spotted it had Liza in it (alongside Patti LuPone and Bernadette Peters) so it was a done deal. My other music purchases were a Jane Russell album and the famous Judy and Liza concert recording at the London Palladium from 1964. I didn't have it. I'm ashamed. But I've rectified the problem so shush. Oh, I also made a new friend.

Wandered around various other shops while I was down there but made sure to nip into the brilliant Quinto Books on Charing Cross Road. By restricting myself to the literary criticism section I managed to buy just the two books - one of which wasn't in that section but caught my eye as I passed. Yes, I know. Just imagine what would've happened if I'd examined every shelf in there...

So that was my Wednesday and Thursday. Very good days. Smiling even happened. Though don't tell @clairemjc about that because I'll never hear the end of it.

1 comment:

MJPoetical said...

Smiling, who knew?