Saturday, 27 June 2009

Gay icon overload!

What can I say about a show that features not one but two international gay icons sharing a stage? We went to see Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli appearing together last night - of course, not the ladies themselves but the masterful and award-winning Steven Brinberg (Barbra) and Rick Skye (Liza).

It was a fantastic show! After opening with a typical Broadway duet between the two divas, Mr Brinberg took centre stage, and with an uncanny eye for detail (with all the careful hair flicking, stuttering and pomposity for which Miss Streisand is famous) led us through a beautifully sung, hilarious and OTT session of the grand dame's hits and repartee.

At one stage he morphed from Babs into Cher, Eartha, Bette Davis, Lena Horne and even Susan Boyle(!) and back again, and concluded the glittering set with the duet You Don't Bring Me Flowers, singing both the Streisand and Neil Diamond parts simultaneously. Superb.

After the break, it was the turn of the magnificent Mr Skye as Liza - appearing from the wings into the glittering spotlight (much to the joy of our friend David, when he/she ruffled his hair!).

Attacking the role with amazing energy, Rick takes uproarious twists on a whole raft of Liza's classic songs, some of which we had seen in his previous show A Slice o'Minnelli - including My Roller Chair and his very funny version of Aznavour's mawkish Quiet Love, complete with cod sign language - and some we had not, including a tribute to Betty Ford.

Not only a great singer, Mr Skye also take the micky out of Liza's endless anecdotes about her "Mama" and "Papa" and her "best friends", and can't resist several sideswipes at Lorna Luft (and her show "Songs My Mother Taught My More Talented Sister While I Was Sat In The Kitchen").

Ending all too soon (apparently there are two shows on at the Leicester Square Theatre in one night) with another duet - in which Rick/Liza managed to drown out Steven/Barbra alarmingly - this was nevertheless a superb night, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

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