Liza Minnelli | The Auditorium, Rome | 29 October, 2008

Liza Minnelli was in stunning form on the opening date if her Italian Tour in Sala Santa Cecilia at the Auditorium in Rome last night. I had bought the tickets in order to pay respectful homage to a living legend and hadn't been expecting such a dazzling performance - instead I was left, quite simply, in awe of the woman!

After years of ill-health Liza is well and truly back in a wonderful show in which she sings and dances with mesmerizing energy and enthusiasm, supported on stage by a 12 piece orchestra and four brilliant singers and dancers who play the part of the Williams Brothers in an affectionate tribute to her godmother Kay Thompson's review of the 1940s.

A natural raconteur, she shared personal reminiscences of her mother Judy Garland and father Vincente Minnelli between songs which included classics such as Cabaret and of course, her signature tune and concert closer, New York New York, as well as as some lesser known numbers – songs written for Chicago and Cabaret that never actually made it into the movies.

And what a voice – vulnerable and powerful all at once, she gave a faultless performance last night. The standing ovation and continued cheers from the audience at the end of the concert were rewarded by an extraordinary acapella version of I'll be seeing you – just Liza, no orchestra - you just HAD to have been there!

As a footnote...with Rome lashed by torrential rains and monsoon-like storms last night getting to the Auditorium involved wading ankle deep through flooded streets and praying that the bus we were on didn't aquaplane out of control! Some how we managed to get so very glad we did!