Liza Minnelli at the Pasadena Pops last night!!!
Posted by: showtunetrivia 12:17 pm EDT 09/12/21

So daughter Rebecca and I ventured to an event for the first time since a high school production of SWEENEY TODD on February 28, 2020 (a coworker’s kid was in it). I still don’t want to try an indoor event, but this not only had mandatory vaccination checks, but was outdoors. And everyone was masked, save when eating dinner. (Ummm, delicious lamb wrap from Lebanese food truck…and falafels. But I digress.)

Michael Feinstein led the Pops orchestra in a celebration of 100 Years of Broadway (which, aside from a few twenties riffs in the “Broadway Fantasy Overture,” was more 1932 “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” to 2003 with “For Good”). Guest vocalists included the great Liz Callaway and young Jordan Donica from HAMILTON. Highlights included Feinstein’s “I Won’t Send Roses” (he said Herman told him it’s his favorite of his own songs); Donica’s “All i Care About Is Love,” and Callaway’s “Back to Before,” in an stunning new symphonic arrangement by the Pops’ Larry Blank. Wow.

Early in the second act, Feinstein urged folks to “stick around after the end; there may be magic.” Then he led the Pops in “Cabaret.” At the song’s end, I turned to Rebecca. “I wonder if he means Liza’s here; they’ve been pals since the early seventies.”

There were the usual boors heading to the exits during Feinstein’s finale (“Somewhere”). Their loss, because my prediction was correct. With the help of Michael and a husky young man, Liza hobbled out and took a seat by the piano.

Of course, we all went bonkers.

She joked with Michael, sang “Embraceable You” to his accompaniment, and did a delightful duet with him on Kay Thompson’s “I Love a Violin.”

I don’t know when she last performed in public, but she was clearly so happy to be there. And we were happy, too.

Laura, who had earlier thought few added effects could match the glorious meteor that zoomed over the trees to the right of the stage, early in the concert….but hey, a STAR trumps a meteor any old day!

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