Review: Liza Liza Liza
Once, twice, three times a Liza
What’s better than a show with Liza Minnelli? A show with three Liza Minnelli’s, of course.
Teenage Liza, Cabaret Liza and modern day Liza interact with each other to tell the life story of a showbiz legend – herself – in her own words, as brought to the stage in this new play by Richard Harris. Yes, the Richard Harris that wrote Stepping Out. Yes, the same play that became a film starring Liza Minnelli. Yes, it’s a play with three Liza Minnelli’s talking to each other, which automatically should make something good. But Liza Liza Liza is far more than just good – it’s brilliant and a wonderful piece of new theatre.
When Liza says “We're going to have some songs, some dance, some facts and, who knows, maybe some fiction,” she’s not lying. Who really knows what’s fact and what’s fiction? Who really cares when the story is so good, and moves so quickly? But these are her own words, which Harris must have spent a very long time researching – probably as long as the three leading ladies have spent so fantastically emulating the various incarnations of Liza herself.
Of course, no show about the life of Liza Minnelli would be complete without an appearance from her mother, Judy Garland. Thankfully the production acknowledges the good times, the love and the laughter and doesn’t dwell too much on the drink and the drugs that have become synonymous with the world’s most famous Yellow Brick Road walker.
For a woman forever in the shadow of her famous mother, ironically it’s only really when Judy Garland passes away that the show really comes into it’s own – truly becoming about Liza. The second half, in which Sabrina Carter gets a chance to shine as ‘Liza 2’, is an absolute joy.
The direction is tight, never lingering on something for too long (The Results era flashes by via Losing My Mind in a second), the minimal set built around giant letters spelling out her name works wonders as the three Liza’s alternate their time centre stage.
Liza Liza Liza is a show with heart, when so many others fall flat with mockery and over the top caricatures. Yes - say yes. Book now.
GT gives this a: 4/5
Liza Liza Liza runs at The Tabard Theatre, Bath Street, London until 29 September. To book tickets visit The Tabard Theatre website.
: Darren Scott
: Phil Matthews
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