New York, New York


No string of New York City tributes would be complete without this classic theme from Martin Scorsese’s gritty and depressing 1977 musical of the same name. (Scorsese may be a poet of violent machismo, but he’s a fish out of water in the world of musical theatre.) Liza Minnelli, the quintessential Broadway baby, occupies a very different corner of NYC cultural life than Nina Hagen, or Suzanne Vega, which serves to illustrate the vast range of worlds that all coexist on one small plot of land. In this take, we see it as the city of dreams, the road to which (according to the movie) is paved with alcoholism and dysfunction. Which, ironically, only goes to make the dizzy heights seem more glamorous. Liza Minnelli, spawn of Hollywood, hardly embodies that narrative every step of the way, but she’s certainly a case study in the contrast of wild success and personal turmoil. She’s song-and-dance-ed her way through thick and thin, and remains a trouper of the old school. There’s nothing more New York that a show that must go on.

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