Charles McNulty's blog review for the LA Times of the Liza Minelli concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night is partly admiring, and partly skeptical. Starting with the delay in getting the show started:
The crowd was growing restless at the Hollywood Bowl for Liza Minnelli to take the stage. An announcement explaining that there was some "technical difficulty" didn't prevent an outbreak of rhythmic clapping or a wildfire of snarky speculation on the precise nature of the snafu.
Was it really a sound problem or had Minnelli suffered one of her, define the word as you like, relapses? Her reassurance to the audience from offstage that she was here and dying to perform hardly settled the matter.
The title of Saturday night's bill was "Confessions." Could the dirty secret be that she was in no condition to go on?
He presents no evidence that it was anything other than the microphone issue she claimed. As for the performance, McNulty writes that "the unretireable Minnelli owed her success on Saturday as much to her signature strengths as to her often parodied weaknesses. She was, in short, better in control of her limitations, navigating around them with far more assurance than she did when she appeared at the Bowl in 2009, an anxious, exhausted and at times incoherent shadow of her former self." She missed some notes and told a stale joke that got almost no reaction, but McNulty writes that whenever the concert "threatened to go off the rails, a shout of adoration from a fan would get things back on track."
I'm glad it was McNulty there and not me.