Friday, May 6, 2011

Review of The Neo-Futurists Present: Performing Tonight: Liza Minnelli's Daughter

I saw a play and it was called Performing Tonight: Liza Minnelli's Daughter. It was at the Neo-Futurists. And it was really awesome. It was about Mary Fons and how she thought she was Liza Minnelli's daughter and about not wanting to be in a play. It was about how hard it is to act while you are writing a play too.

In the first scene Mary wore a robe, and I didn't think it was an actual costume because she was telling stuff that actually happened to her and because it wasn't after a dance number. She might have been dreaming that she did this play or she was just talking to you as Mary Fons about stuff that happened to her in real life. I got that idea because she was wearing the robe. She is telling you how she made this play because she wanted people to know that she was actually Liza Minnelli's daughter and nobody believed her.

The costumes were really cool. Why didn't she wear the white one they were talking about? I don't think she was ever going to wear the white one in any play at all. At the end, her clothes were regular. When I am just wearing regular clothes, I feel lonely because it makes me feel like I am not Ada Grey. I am just a girl wandering around. I am not somebody; I'm nobody. She looked like a person that didn't do any plays at all. You feel sad for her because she is sad about the play and thinks nobody would like it. The clothes were really Liza-ish.

There are these two guys that are her assistants. They like worked for her all day--they were like double assistants. Their names were Donnell Williams and Joseph Schupbach. I've seen them in Barrel of Monkeys. I think she put these characters in her play because I think Liza Minnelli had assistants that were like them. There was this funny part that Donnell and Joseph did that was called "crazy dad." Her actual dad was the person that was the crazy dad. There was a marker on stage instead of the actual dad. But her dad was not a marker in real life. It was funny because he kept saying "I'm crazy dad!" Whenever crazy dad leaves he goes and says "Crazy!"

It was really funny when Joseph was like, "How about we can sing, 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow,' and then they turn it on and Joseph is lip-syching and it is really hilarious because he sounds exactly like her--because he is lip-synching.

There was a little letter in the roses that said: "Donnell, I think you will be a great Judy." And Mary comes out and looks at it. And Donnell looks like Judy Garland because he was all in a dress and he talked like a girl kind of. Judy Garland is very mean to Mary. Judy Garland was actually a very good actress but a very snotty girl in this play.

Mary tells a story about her medical problems. It was really sad. I felt sorry for her. She could not have a baby. Liza Minnelli could not have a baby either, so that is one of the reasons that Mary thought she was her daughter. It was so weird because she said Liza Minnelli can't have a baby either--then how could she be her mother? She is kind of turning on her own self.

My favorite dance scene was the one where they wore bowler hats. They danced really cool. They did like hip hip hip and at the end she fell back in the chair. Literally almost fell off the chair--but she just like fell back off the chair. Her feet were still on it, but her head was tipped back like all the way. There was this girl in American in Paris, and there was the part where these two men were looking in the mirror, and it was like, oh I know that girl, and it showed a picture of a girl dancing like Liza Minnelli's daughter in this play.

Donnell, Joseph, and Mary are watching a movie. There is this girl that Mary says to the audience, "At first I thought that girl was a blow-up doll." And I agreed because 1) she actually looked like a moving blow-up doll that was a robot and 2) she looked like the mermaid in the-pink-panther-in-love-with-the-mermaid sculpture by Jeff Koons. If you want to see that you can go to the MCA.

There was a funny scene and before she got drunk she said "We are going to party after the show." And then when she wanted to forget all her problems, then she said, when she wanted to get drunk: "It's party time!" And then everybody went up and danced. And I danced too. I was kind of nervous because neither of my parents came out. Mom didn't come out because she was holding the drink. It was a prop that Mom was holding that was a drink. Someone gave it to her because they needed the prop for when Mary got drunk later. Dad didn't come out because he was hot and he was wearing so much stuff. So Donnell helped me feel good about going up on stage by coming up with me.

The scene where she drank a lot--that was kind of a little creepy. I was actually a little scared because I thought she was actually going to get drunk in real life. She gets drunk and she climbs on so much stuff and is in the audience. Joseph and Donnell are telling her "We do believe you, and we can go to New York." You thought she was going to hurt somebody or shoot a gun because she was in the audience and she looked like she was going to shoot herself or something. She was so sad and angry and some people shoot themselves when they are sad and angry and drunk. She was so angry that the helpers didn't believe her that she was Liza Minnelli's daughter. If kids go to see that they will be very overwhelmed.

I GOT A DOLL! Liza Minnelli's daughter gave me the doll that looked like Liza Minnelli. She's like "Maybe I am actually not a superstar, so maybe I will give my favorite thing to you because I don't need it anymore because I am not doing the show." She was talking to me, and I am a kid, so that made it kind of moving. It was like she was talking to her very own daughter. I almost cried.

People that like Liza Minnelli, dancing, black shoes, singing, funny helpers, and playing very babyish pianos would like this play. It was fun because you get to dance and you can very much just sit back and enjoy because it is very funny. It was also moving, creepy, and overwhelming. People should go see it because it is awesome and delightful to see.

Photos: Johnny Knight


Brad @ IceCreamUScream said...

Thanks for sharing what Mary said when she gave the doll to you. I went a different night and wondered what she said at that part.

As for the especially reckless scene, kids aren't the only ones that might find it overwhelming. I found it overwhelming in a good way.

missg said...

wow!!! Ada, I love this review! And I didn't even know you were a critic!! Great work!!!

Timothy Caldwell said...


Thank you for your perceptive and thoughtful review. I agree with you: the show is remarkable! Mary Fons and her cast left a mark on me that will be with me for a long time. I'm looking forward to seeing the show again.