Friday, August 11, 2017

Today's moment of pure, ridiculous joy: Liza Minnelli sings "Ring Them Bells"

I don't know why I love this song so much. It's not technically from a show. I've never been a huuuuuuuuuge fan of Liza. In fact, most of her Liza with a Z concert makes me bleed from my nipples. Bob Fosse's choreography to the song -- and to the entire concert -- is clownish, poorly rehearsed and alarmingly sloppy. And oh, dear. That dress.

But "Ring Them Bells" is Kander and Ebb at their collaborative finest: simple melodic lines with enormous hook and impact, broad storytelling through seemingly offhand details, a seamless fusion of pathos and humor, an underscoring of inspired silliness, and a big belty chorus that throws me against the farthest wall in a puddle of goosebumps every time I hear it. I can't find a YouTube video of it with terribly amazing sound, but it doesn't even matter how watery the sound is when you see Liza finally marching downstage flopping her knees and hyperextended elbows between the rows of sloppy clown dancers as she belts to the rafters for the umpteenth time that ya gotta Ring! Them! Bells!

Even in that jailbait babydoll dress.

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