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Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Critics mixed over Minnelli's comeback
Liza Minnelli
Minnelli: "Twinkled in a black basque"
Liza Minnelli has kicked off her European tour at London's Royal Albert Hall. Critics gave her a largely warm response, although one noted that he thought her voice had deteriorated.

The Daily Mail
Michael Coveney

Liza with a Zee is back with a Zing. Last night she totally confounded the cynics and the critics, among whom I am usually proud to include myself.

She entered in that floor-length white mink marriage coat and, casting it aside to reveal her pins and bust in good working order inside a shimmering black negligee-style dress, she roundly declared: "I'm happy and healthy and ready to rock!"

And boy, was she just. Could this possibly be that sad old frump we saw in a wheelchair, boozed-up and pilled to the eyeballs, overweight, apparently suicidal, over the hill, only a year or so ago?

Liza Minnelli
Minnelli was introduced as "a legend"
The Guardian
Caroline Sullivan

Lashings of... pluckiness, a key element of her repertoire, were in evidence last night. Defying both the thugs who tried to steal her necklace and rumours of nodules on her vocal chords, she twinkled in a black basque and sang blisteringly.

Her voice emanates from a body that seems too small to house it, which attached a touching aspect to her performance. But while she inherited the body, voice and diva gene from her mother, there's not so much of the vulnerability.

The audience shared her larger-than-life style - don't underestimate the appeal of a gig where the fans dress as if the OK! photographer is waiting in the wings.

The Daily Express
Simon Edge

She shakes those fake hips and manages a high kick of sorts

She proves she is still capable of creating a one-woman "cabaret, old chum", which can blow the roof off the Albert Hall.

Watched by an appreciative audience... she shakes those fake hips and manages a high kick of sorts. She strains at some of the new material, and in a couple of numbers, gives the distinct impression she is resting her voice for later.

But her signature numbers from Cabaret and New York, New York bring the house down. And then she is belting out the finalé as if her vocal chords had never been away. "I returned, thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous and you," she declares.

The Daily Telegraph
David Cheal

The voice is still big but a little husky, and also dramatically reduced in range

The compère, comedian and TV chat show host Graham Norton, had introduced Minnelli thus: "Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we are in the presence of a legend." There was little here, however, to bear out this statement.

The voice is still big but a little husky, and also dramatically reduced in range. Her version of Crying, for instance, though not helped by an inappropriately jaunty arrangement, fell a long way short of the industry standard that has been set by kd lang.

In between songs, meanwhile, she trotted out the kind of showbiz banter that was a staple on TV specials 30 years ago but which now sounds desperately dated.

See also:

17 Mar 02 | Americas
Minnelli weds for fourth time
17 Mar 02 | Americas
In pictures: Stars turn out for Liza
15 Mar 02 | Showbiz
Minnelli's turbulent times
31 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Minnelli leaves hospital
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