Vol. 21 No. 9 • March 5 - 11, 2015 In Our 20th Year Serving Greater Hamilton

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Liza Live!

by Katie Penrose
January 9 - 15, 2014
If you’re a Liza fan, Hamilton has an event this weekend for you. Arriving at the Staircase Theatre this Saturday, January 11th is Liza Live! — a one–woman show from Toronto described as “one part talk show, one part game show, and one part cabaret”. Singing and performing talent Jennifer Walls played to capacity audiences at both the Next Stage and the 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival, channeling iconic entertainer Liza Minnelli; a task that requires massive stage presence to pull off. Alongside her small crew of accompanying musicians, Jennifer (who created the show) received fabulous reviews. Her Liza impression is touted as “dead–on” and her sense of humour shines as well as her vocal ability.

    A little razzle dazzle never hurt anyone. Anticipate some audience participation to add to the fun, and a few delectable anecdotes about the superstar that may surprise you. Jennifer’s choice to feature Liza is a popular one — still celebrated as one of the greatest stage performers of all time, Liza will be remembered long past many stars of her era. Jennifer’s sold–out shows speak not only to the success of this particular production, but also to the desire of fans who wish to re–live the glory days of live shows. There simply will never be a more magnetic stage presence than Liza — and as one reviewer for the Torontoist (Steve Fisher) put it, “seeing Walls is unquestionably the next best thing to spending an hour in the company of the Cabaret star”.

    Hamilton theatre has been a thriving force for longer than your grandparents can remember. A huge passion exists here, and there are countless essential figures in our community who keep the curtains rolling. Our HamilTEN Festival artistic director Darren Stewart–Jones is one such player. Darren works between Toronto and Hamilton, and in addition to HamilTEN, he is responsible for managing Baby Gumm Productions. This company brings Liza Live! to you on Saturday.

    HamilTEN features a cluster of ten–minute plays written by Hamilton–area talent; it has been running for two years at The Pearl Company and will continue forth in its success. Keep an eye on that project and feel welcome to submit your work if you dabble in playwriting.

    You may remember Baby Gumm Productions for their entry in this past Hamilton Fringe Festival called The Judy Monologues, which was a melancholy anecdotal stroll through the life of Judy Garland. Garland, as you may likely be aware, was Liza Minelli’s mother. Although there is no tie–in between these shows that I am aware of, this seems beyond coincidence. I can only assume that the theme of theatre royalty strikes a chord with this particular production company; the glamour and the stellar voices — these elements are what dreams are made of. Certainly unforgettable, fabulous icons.

    This Saturday is a one–night–only performance — don’t miss the opportunity to shake off these cold weather blues and enter the warm, cozy atmosphere of the Staircase. This show promises to be a hot slice of satisfaction.  V

Saturday, January 11, 8pm
Staircase Theatre
27 Dundurn St N,
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