After a sold-out season at the Hayes in September, Trevor Ashley takes Liza for another spin – at the Studio at Sydney Opera House
Trevor Ashley’s having a good couple of years, with an almost scene-stealing turn as Monsieur Thenadier in Cameron Mackintosh’s Les Miserables revival, his own hit production of Heathers The Musical (which transferred to Sydney Opera House after a sell-out season at the Hayes), and a forthcoming production of Jerry Herman’s Tony Award-winning 1974 musical Mack and Mabel.
But here the original Fat Swan is in cabaret mode, donning drag again and toting a seven-piece band, to perform his second tribute to Liza Minnelli – following his immensely popular Liza (on an E).
Liza’s Back! (is broken) sees Ashley-as-Liza talking about and performing the songs and roles she coulda shoulda woulda sung if she’d been given the chance. In between trash-talking Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand and Delta Goodrem, Liza takes on characters from Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard and Cassie from A Chorus Line, to Mamma Rose and Mame – and sings cuts from Wicked to A Little Night Music to The Sound of Music. There’s even a nod to hits from her career and mum Judy Garland’s.
Ashley raises plenty of laughs with his en pointe impression of Minnelli (from the voice to the movement, mannerisms and OTT costumes) but it’s his genuine fondness that shines through. This is a love letter that will delight fans and convert neophytes.