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Liza Minnelli Visits Us in Guadalajara

Liza Minnelli Visits Us in Guadalajara

OMG.  We’ve seen and even met lot’s of stars and famous people here in Guadalajara.  But no one rocked us like Liza did!

April 28, 2008

Liza this week in Guadalajara.  Photo from El Universal.

Liza this week in Guadalajara. Photo from El Universal.

We’ve mentioned there is some great culture in Guadalajara.  So much so, that we have to miss some great concerts—Lila Downs, Enrique Iglesias, the Three Tenors—because when you are on a budget (and who isn’t?) you can’t see them all.

So when Omar got home last week and was practically jumping out of his skin with the latest news, I knew it was big.  He’s the calm, non-excitable type.

“Guess who’s coming to Guadalajara!”

“Don’t tell me.  Do they sing?”

“Yes!”

“Madonna.”  Madonna is probably the biggest difference between Omar and I.  He loves her.

“No.  I wouldn’t be so excited if it was Madonna.”  I gaped.  This WAS big.

And you know, Liza Minnelli crossed my mind, but I thought, “Nooooo….”

“It’s Liza!”

Now, you can’t imagine the magnitude of the event.  Liza Minnelli, in our town in Mexico.  Unthinkable.

We watch ‘Cabaret’ about once every 4 days.  We sing her songs in the car.  She is the living flesh and blood of MISS JUDY GARLAND, for goodness sakes.

Omar—“Can we see her?”

We had tickets within the hour.

One of the secrets of a wonderful life is to have something to look forward to.  We couldn’t believe it—we were going to see Liza Minnelli!

Now, I saw Liza in “The Act” about 30 years ago, and it was great.  But to be able to share with Omar, especially since he loves Liza so, was so unlikely and such a happy occurrence, we practically shook all week.

On Saturday we laid out our fancy clothes and heated up the iron.  They had turned off the water again in our development, but there was enough trickling from the showerhead to get a quick wash up.  But the most amazing thing is that we left the house two hours before the event, and got to the theater an hour ahead of time.  In more than eight years I have never seen Omar early for anything.

The TelMex Auditorium is brand new, and huge, and beautiful.  I hear it is the largest auditorium in Latin America, and wouldn’t be surprised.  They have the capacity to move the side walls in to make it more intimate.  Even with that, there were many seats empty.  But don’t feel sorry for Liza—if there were empty seats, it was only because of the enormous size of the auditorium.  The paper reports that more than 3,000 came.

I have to say I am surprised.  Three thousand Liza fans in Guadalajara, Mexico.  The highest priced tickets went for $120—the same as for a popular Broadway show—and though money is tight here, that section was full.  We sat up in the rafters with our $30 tickets, but still had a great view.  Before going I wondered how popular Liza could be here.  We mentioned her to Ceci and Pablo, and neither one had ever heard of her (they hadn’t heard of Judy Garland, either.  They are still our friends).  After watching 3000 people, on their feet and screaming “We love you Liza”—in English—well, now I know.  She is adored here.

And what a show.  Liza danced and sang practically non-stop for two incredible hours, joking about her artificial knees and lack of breath at Guadalajara’s mile-high altitude.  But when she sang, she sure found all the oxygen she needed, and more.  She was funny and warm—you feel like she’s your wonderful, talented buddy, up there having a ball and so happy you came to see her, and you can’t help rooting her on and, well, loving her.

“Cabaret.”  “New York, New York.”  “Mammy.”  (“If you think I’m going to get down on one knee for this last part, forget it!”)  She sang lots of old favorites and several new and jazzy songs as well, sharing the applause with her band and four young guys who really know how to sing and dance.  And Liza kept up with their every move.

She reminisced a lot too, about her life, her Mama, and especially her godmother, Kate Thompson.  She is so down-to-earth and self effacing that it almost comes as a shock when she mentions that her godfather is Ira Gershwin or says “Kander and Ebb wrote this great, wonderful song for me, so we went to see Fosse…”  She is the only Oscar winner whose two parents both also won Oscars, and is one of the few performers to have won the Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony awards.

She spoke two words of Spanish, and made no apologies.  It has to be hard to give a show in a country where the sense of humor is different, and you don’t speak their language.  But this was a savvy audience, which never missed a beat.  The only quiet moments came when Liza mentioned people or events which are not well known in Mexico, like Walter Winchell.

Liza looked great.  She had three or four costume changes with mostly pantsuits, but once wore the classic leggy leotard with a shirt over it, and you expected her to wrap herself around the back of a chair.  Despite her fondness for Sara Lee, she has just lost 30 pounds with another gal, Jenny Craig.

It was one of those shows that disconnects you completely from your life and, for two wonderful hours, transports you to another world.  We’d go again in a heartbeat.

Thank you, Liza, for coming to see us in Mexico!

Dan and Omar

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Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.