Liza With a Z!

Mitchell and I are going over to Alex’s apartment tonight… and we are all going to watch Liza with a Z … the TV event of the decade. It hasn’t been seen in 34 years. I know about it because Mitchell used to blast the album in college. But now … we get to see it.

Here’s a nice article about the whole thing. The whole Liza with a Z thing.

We get to see it. The fact that I get to see it with Mitchell and Alex – two Liza Minelli FREAKS of the highest order – is so so perfect.

I love how much press it’s getting. She deserves it. It’s an EVENT. Bring it, Liza, bring it! I’m thrilled to see her at her prime … when she had no fear, when she was a lunatic, yes – she always was … but people don’t really have careers like hers anymore. That kind of all-out big-singing ENTERTAINER.

To be cynical about her, or to only snicker at her because of her public meltdowns … is to miss the point. When the snickerers have won three Tonys, one Oscar, an Emmy, and a Grammy Legend Award – maybe then I’ll listen to them. But until then? I’m givin’ Liza the props she deserves (and if you want to see why – watch her interview on Inside the Actors Studio – it was absolutely extraordinary.) I realize that she was once a bloated tick in my presence, and that was highly unfortunate. Her meltdown a public event. I felt HARASSED by Liza Minelli. But to discount what she accomplished because of her private life, her drug problems, her tabloid meltdowns? I will not do that. That was why the bloated-tick experience was so upsetting. Because …. it was feckin’ LIZA MINELLI. So far to fall.

You want to see her at her height? You want to see WHY the chick has won three Tonys (oh wait – she actually won a fourth Tony – basically just for being HER), an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Grammy? Tune in tonight to watch Liza with a Z. You don’t win that many awards without having your shit TOGETHER.

Meryl Streep was in acting school – which can treat acting like a very self-conscious and precious thing… people being self-involved, precious with their gift, holding back, second-guessing. Meryl Streep, obviously a phenom in her own right, didn’t really feel like this whole acting-school thing was for her. And then Meryl went to go see Liza Minelli in The Act (Liza won one of her Tonys for that). Meryl said that she got standing room tickets, in the back row – and that she will never forget how Liza Minelli just threw herself so into her part, into her singing – her energy was so enormous – that Meryl Streep, in the back row, felt it like a physical assault. Meryl realized that if you have a gift – for acting, for singing, whatever – the point is to SHARE it, with all you’ve got. GIVE IT. It was a revelation to her, being in acting school … which can make actors timid. Meryl never looked back. Liza Minelli was who she aspired to be. No fear, no timidity: GIVE IT OUT.

I love that story.

So tonight? I’ll be sitting in between Mitchell and Alex, reveling in the return of Liza. Nobody has seen this TV special since it was first on 34 years ago. If you have wanted to see it before now, you would have had to go to the Museum of Film and Television here in New York and request it … which Alex did, so obsessed she was with … Liza, and WHY everyone still references Liza with a Z as some kind of high-water mark of not only television, but music, dance, and Liza’s career.

So tonight? We’ll be watching. We’ll be watching one of the biggest phenoms of our profession – and yes, she’s crazy, and yes, she makes people uncomfortable, and yes, she has not aged well … but Liza in her prime? Untouchable. We will revel in it tonight.

This entry was posted in Television and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Liza With a Z!

  1. Amanda says:

    I’m convinced! I’ll be watching it too. =)

  2. KMae says:

    OMG!!!! It was SOOOO FABULOUS!!
    (Darling!) – hahaha!
    (Great bloated tick story!)

Comments are closed.