BWW Reviews: SOMEWHERE UNDER THE RAINBOW - THE LIZA MINNELLI STORY, Leicester Square Theatre, May 12 2014
On the very day that Liza herself had to cancel her Summer Tour, and below an uncannily well-timed South London rainbow, Sharon Sexton became Ms Minnelli for one magical hour. The look isn't difficult of course - the black bob, false eyelashes and lipstick would give even me a touch of Liza - but, close up, it's in the movements, the catching of your eye and that slightly irritating laugh that the spirit of the original is brought to life.
And in the singing of course. Ms Sexton belts out plenty of old favourites (Mein Herr and Maybe This Time are excellent) before finishing the show off with - well, I needn't really tell you, need I? The standout was a sensational Losing My Mind, from Sondheim's Follies, a real "hairs on the back of the neck" moment that you sometimes get in these small venues.
Writer/director Cillian O'Donnachadha uses video clips and plenty of anecdotes to tell Liza's backstory, particularly her fraught relationship with her mother, but most of the audience will know of Judy's somewhat esoteric approach to parenting and, like me, will be eager for a few more songs - it would have been nice to have half a dozen more. But, too soon, after a cascade of applause for Ms Sexton (and, I suspect, for Ms Minnelli) we're off home to sit alone in our rooms waiting for another chance to go hear the music play.