Page: 1

The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY

Kristie-K2 Profile PhotoKristie-K2 Profile Photo
Kristie-K2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/6/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/6/04
The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#0
Posted: 9/3/04 at 10:49pm
I just bought a tape of The Act at Goodwill for 33 cents...I found it very outdated, but Liza was in very good voice and you can tell that the music was written for her style.....Since I was 10 years old at the time.....Did anyone see The Act and how was Miss Liza May?
Updated On: 9/3/04 at 10:49 PM
morosco Profile Photomorosco Profile Photo
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/10/04
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#1
Posted: 9/3/04 at 10:57pm
Didn't see it but two things pop to mind

1) There was lots of buzz about the fact that some of her singing at the theatre was pre-recorded

2) When the show opened the top ticket price was an then unheard of $45 - $50 dollars

Kristie-K2 Profile PhotoKristie-K2 Profile Photo
Kristie-K2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/6/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/6/04
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#2
Posted: 9/3/04 at 10:59pm
I wonder if the show was taped on video?
Glebb Profile PhotoGlebb Profile Photo
Glebb
Broadway Legend
joined:6/6/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/6/04
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#3
Posted: 9/4/04 at 1:57am
She had an HBO special that included a lot of material from THE ACT. It was Liza at her best.
" ...the happiness in the tune convinces me that I'm not afraid."
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/18/03
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#4
Posted: 9/8/04 at 4:20pm
The Act had several titles before the final one. The working title while being written was "In Person" (too confusing), and it opened out of town with the title "Shine It On" but no one could explain in a phrase what the latter meant. The top ticket price in 1977 was the unheard of $25! Scandalous.

Yes, some of her singing was prerecorded. It was actually only a few bars of "City Lights" when the choreography was so strenuous that to keep the vocal quality, they put her on tape. No one knew it until someone in the company blabbed. [It just goes to show you how good the lady can lip-synch.] Stories had it that the show was offered to any number of song and dance women like Shirley MacLaine and Ann-Margret before Liza came aboard.

There was a long and profitable pre-Broadway tour in Chicago, LA and SF where the show gained its new title, Gower came in to restage without billing and they rewrote like mad. Liza who was then married to gay husband #2 had a very public affair with the director, the odd-for-a-musical Martin Scorsese. Reviews all along including NY were mixed.

They all agreed Liza was fine. Indeed she was the raison d'etre and won a Tony Award as Best Actress. The score was good as was the musical staging. The book was dull and the leading man played by Barry Nelson had no songs. Indeed except for one song given to the gypsies, Liza sang them all. She gave a great show.

But, and this is a big but, it was during the run of this show that Liza's drug (read cocaine) problems really came to the fore. She would go out after the show, dance and party all night during the Studio 54 heyday, and then miss the following performance. Finally she cut the Wednesday matinee entirely, but still missed a fair amount of performances.

There were pages of bad press for her towards the end of the run, and the producers chose not to replace her and not to do a tour with someone else. The show has had a very limited afterlife because it is such a star vehicle.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
Borstalboy Profile PhotoBorstalboy Profile Photo
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/9/04
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#5
Posted: 9/8/04 at 4:47pm
I imagine finding an old recording of this is quite a score (no pun intended)
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. ~ Muhammad Ali
morosco Profile Photomorosco Profile Photo
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/10/04
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#6
Posted: 9/8/04 at 5:15pm
Oh wow WOSQ, I didn't realize it was $25 that was the "shocking" top ticket price back then. Prices have quadrupled in about 25 years. Any economics people here?
morosco Profile Photomorosco Profile Photo
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/10/04
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#7
Posted: 9/8/04 at 5:18pm
Hey WOSQ, when Liza was out was the show cancelled?
Broadway Legend
joined:12/31/69
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/31/69
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#8
Posted: 9/8/04 at 5:24pm
I can't believe you found it for 33 cents! Well done you!
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/18/03
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#9
Posted: 9/9/04 at 9:46am
Yes, the performances were cancelled. The box office and mail room went nuts. The advance sales for the Wednesday matinees had to be refunded as well. Bear in mind that this was before Tele-charge et al and all those credits had to be done manually.

Like I said, LOTS of bad press.

There was a cd released of the score but it is out of print. I also saw a knockoff in a crappy store in the West 30s for about $4.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
Rathnait62 Profile PhotoRathnait62 Profile Photo
Rathnait62
Broadway Legend
joined:6/3/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/3/04
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#10
Posted: 9/9/04 at 10:11am
I actually had the OBC on 8-track!! Gone now, though. Nothing to play it on anyway...
Have I ever shown you my Shattered Dreams box? It's in my Disappointment Closet. - Marge Simpson
Kristie-K2 Profile PhotoKristie-K2 Profile Photo
Kristie-K2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/6/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/6/04
re: The Act...starring MISS LIZA MAY#11
Posted: 9/9/04 at 11:40am
Yes, Honey...33 cents and Oregon has no sales tax....Thanks for the infomation.......Too bad about Liza's drug use.....Such a talent...what a waste!!!!