Reprinted from yesterday's late edition
Liza Minnelli is to Sally Bowles what her mother Judy Garland was to Dorothy - the perfect embodiment, so perfect that the character became the performer.
Now past 30, Minnelli is the childlike, would-be sophisticate Sally to the life. Even when reenacting a number from her other big Broadway smash, "The Act," the glitter of decadent Berlin and green nail polish lingers.
And, as she demonstrated again at the Merriweather Post Pavilion Wednesday, Minnelli is still the premier cabaret entertainer. In two sets of an hour each, she brought the quintessential Broadway elements together: the Bob Fosse choreography, the sequined gowns, the bowler over one eye . . . and the material. One of the highlights of the evening was her impassioned version of Rose's lament, "Some People," from "Gypsy."
Once upon a time, in Minnelli's wide-eyed, spike-eyelashed youth, it was fashionable to say that she was haunted by the ghost of her mother. Far from exorcising a ghost, she is carrying a magnificent torch for Garland. And unlike other performing children of performing parents, who generally seem to inherit little of their parents' talent, Minnelli is Garland - not only in voice and gesture, but in motion and pose. Every shrug of those too-broad shoulders and every bend of those dancer's legs is Garland. Minnelli's encore, a stunning "Mammy," was both a moving tribute and a fully realized performance.