Theatre

I didn’t know until I stumbled across this today that Liza Minnelli collaborated with the Pet Shop Boys in 1989 to produce her album Results.  And the song “Losing My Mind,” originally from Stephen Sondheim’s 1971 show Follies was a bit of a hit.  (Warning: If you don’t like watching ironically posted videos of pop culture train wrecks, skip to the last video right now…)

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Here’s Ms. Minnelli performing live with the Pet Shop Boys.  For some reason, the BBC director is fixated on their adding machines.

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A live Pet Shop Boys show from 1991 without Liza.  I don’t think the people on the leashes were in the original musical.

There are about 75 others clips on Youtube of various “live” performances of this song, as well as a horrid music video.

This is all evidence that, among other things, the 80’s were not kind to women’s fashion and hair styles.  Or men’s fashion and hair styles for that matter.  I’ll be burning my high school yearbook now.

I love Liza Minnelli and like the Pet Shop Boys, but for some reason, I have a tough time getting into this version of the song.

Directed by Harold Prince and Michael Bennett, Stephen Sondheim’s Follies opened on Broadway in 1971.  Though not a commercial success at the time, it’s regarded in retrospect as a groundbreaking work of musical theatre.  It’s a is a show about middle aged adults reliving their years of missed opportunities and bad decisions with bitterness and regret.  Dorothy Collins created the role of Sally and was nominated for a Tony.  Here she is singing “Losing My Mind” around what appears to be some time during the original run:

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Now THIS is how it’s done.  The dress.  The hair.  The earrings.  The posture.  Her incredible range.  The seemingly bottomless well of pain so subtly expressed.  Watching this, 1971 seems like 100 years before 1989.

(My ’89 high school yearbook proves otherwise.)

The Milestone Theatre Company is mounting a production of The Laramie Project to benefit the LGBT community in Pasadena.  Tickets are $25 with proceeds going to the AIDS Service Center and PFLAG of Pasadena.  The Laramie Project follows the true experiences of the actors in the Tectonic Theatre Project as they interview the residents of Laramie, Wyoming in the aftermath of gay college student Matthew Shepard’s brutal murder.  The show runs July 23rd to August 1st at the Church of Truth in Pasadena.  To buy tickets, visit the www.milestonetheatre.org or www.plays411.net.