Saturday, March 12, 2011

Goldie & Liza Together

To celebrate Liza's 65th birthday - Here's a classic post from 2009.

When I think of the great showbiz pairings over the years I think of such duos as Martin & Lewis, Burns & Allen, Hope & Crosby - even Crosby & Bowie. Somehow Hawn & Minnelli don't easily spring to mind. But in 1980, both of these leading ladies were campaigning for roles in the aborted film version of CHICAGO - and CBS thought it would be a good idea to team the two superstars up in a prime-time variety outing.
Both gals already had big film careers and a few TV specials behind them, so why not take America's favorite kookie blonde and the dazzling Studio 54 barfly and give them an hour to prove what good friends they are supposed to be in real life? And so we have GOLDIE & LIZA TOGETHER! By the way, I've had this show on VHS since it first aired, and has entertained me and countless guests ever since.

The hour starts with an hysterical duet as Goldie and Liza drive to the studio (in their own cars) declaring how nervous they are about working with each other. 

"I'm doing a special with my friend Liza..." Goldie's so freaked out she takes a bag of garbage with her in her jeep!

Liza's a mess too - almost causing a major traffic accident because she's totally obsessing on Goldie. 

Well, luckily they both make it to the studio alive in time for rehearsal.

After an implied dance runthrough, Liza insists on Goldie telling her about her big solo number - which turns out to be a cover of the iconic Village People song, "Y.M.C.A."

Goldie and a gaggle of scantily clad, but not very sexy, dancers bring the song to life inspiring countless wedding receptions since.

Liza's big solo number is also a disco tune from the same period–Donna Summer's "Bad Girls". 

This tribute to prostitution is a "toot-toot beep-beep" hoot, with Liza taking on the role of a high class call girl, surrounded by several more hooker-ish women. 

A Fosse-inspired solo dance number ensues and lots of slow-motion inserts attempt to make Liza look glamourous. 

I think she looks like a severely damaged drag queen. 

After this number, we visit the ladies in the recording studio where they are recording the vocal tracks for "The Other Woman." After goofy Goldie messes up a few times, they finally get down to business and provide us with a very pleasing performance.Next is an extremely silly and somewhat painful number involving the gals and a pile of leftover wardrobe from what looks like a high school production of ALICE IN WONDERLAND with pirates.

Then comes the big dramatic sequence. A  10-minute character study that borders on lesbianism but really has something to do with unfaithful roommates. I've seen it about 100 times and it kills me every time.

The best part of the show is the finale - the fabulous CHICAGO number in which Liza proves what a tremendous talent she is.For every dance move that Goldie makes, Liza tops her with at least two. 

It's a rousing rendition of "All That Jazz" that causes us to wonder what the film might have been like with them in it. Oh well...we'll always have GOLDIE & LIZA TOGETHER.
The closing number is an out-of-breath "Together Wherever We Go" from GYPSY. I could be wrong, but somehow you can tell that as soon as production wrapped, Goldie and Liza never spoke to each other again.
I really wish they still did shows like this today. Who wouldn't love to see QUEEN LATIFAH & NICOLE KIDMAN TOGETHER? CBS - are you listening?

4 comments:

Deep Dish said...

I'd love to see Queen Latifah and Nicole Kidman do a CBS Special Presentation variety show. In our dreams. Groovy post, Doug, love Goldie & Liza--together and apart!

Pax Romano said...

What a priceless piece of high camp...why isn't there a DVD of this thing available. I'd sell my left arm for it!

Writer said...

You've got to be shitting me. TV was so much more on the edge of everything back when I was 5! Most of TV today is some lame.

laura weiss said...

You know, I really needed a goal for my life, and now I know what it is: to see this show. Preferably with my bong nearby.

And I totally want a show poster to hang in our bedroom, over Ken's strenuous objections, I imagine.

I think that this reaches camp territory that only the masterpiece Can't Stop The Music has reached. Milkshake, anyone?