I can’t imagine two divas better suited to performing two divas. After Gabi Epstein and Jennifer Walls take the stage as Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli, musical theatre will never be the same!
In this fundraising performance for Angelwalk Theatre, a company dedicated to producing “off-Broadway” musical theatre for emerging Canadian talents, Walls and Epstein will take on the personnas of two musical stars, sharing stories, showstoppers and laughs. The best thing about these two women is that they are amazing, hardworking musical artists in their own right. (Liza & Barbra will also feature handsome Dora Award–winner Jeff Madden as Frankie Valli.)
When I first saw Epstein perform at Ryan G Hinds’s Cabaret, Comedy and Coffee-Talk, her introduction/resumé was replete with globe-trotting musical-theatre roles. And I first saw Walls onstage as a firecracker Liza Minnelli in her Next Stage Theatre Festival performance of Liza Live! I later had the pleasure of seeing a heartwarming and heartbreaking extended version of the show in a limited run at the Drake Hotel.
A good impersonation (I hesitate to even use the word in this case) should not be an outright aping of a performer or a caricature. Instead, the performer should bring her own love and understanding of her idol into the mix, presenting a full, complicated, dazzling character. That certainly shone through with Walls’s Liza, and I have a feeling the same will be true of Liza & Barbra . . . Together at Last! My only question is . . . however will they decide whose name goes first on the marquee?
Liza & Barbra . . . Together at Last!
Sat, Oct 19
7pm reception and silent auction; 8pm performance
Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge St