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Legends’ Liza is drop-dead tribute

Jul 17, 2001 1:40 AM

The long road from tap dance lessons, at age four, to the stage of the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino, has been an electrifying one for Suzanne Goulet, whose uncanny resemblance and sound alike performance captures the essence of Liza Minnelli in “Legends In Concert.”

Growing up in her native city of Montreal, Canada, Goulet developed a passion for dance, studying ballet and jazz at the prestigious Les Grands Ballets Canadians. As a teenager, she appeared on numerous television shows and began to learn a second love - travel. After joining a dance revue touring company, she quickly found herself enjoying resorts in Spain, Switzerland, Japan and several Middle Eastern countries.

Returning to the United States, Goulet began to sing, taking lessons for five years from top instructors while dancing as one of the world famous Rockettes. Her role in the show led to a national tour with “Sophisticated Ladies” and an appearance on ABC’s broadcast of the “100th Anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.”

While exploring choreography and directing shows, Goulet discovered her ability to impersonate the voices of famous singers. Her natural resemblance to Liza Minelli provoked her to participate in a look-alike competition sponsored by Smirnoff in New York. She easily won, “wowing” the judges, media and fans.

Now, she brings her incredible performance to the Imperial Palace stage, after fine-tuning the act at the “Legends” show in Atlantic City since 1994. One of Goulet’s crowing moments came in a review by Chuck Darrow from the Courier-Post. He wrote, “The problem with Goulet’s impersonation is she is a better singer than Minelli.”

Goulet strolls through some of Minelli’s biggest hits, including “Cabaret,” “Steppin’ Out,” and “New York New York.” Her summertime cast partners include Herbert Rawlings, Jr., as James Brown, Johnny Fortuno as Rickey Martin, Melissa Totten as Madonna, the Temptations by Tribute, and Graham Patrick as Elvis Presley. All the singers perform live with an on-stage orchestra. “Legends In Concert” goes of twice a night at 7:30 and 10:30, the shows dark Sundays.