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Rick Skye gets into drag - as Liza Minnelli

    Does she look familiar? Liza Minnelli fan Rick Skye has spent the past ten years impersonating the American singer and actress.

    Mr Skye's show, A Slice O'Minnelli, was awarded the best impersonation award by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets in the USA. He is now bringing the cabaret act to the UK, with three London dates lined up next week.

    Why Liza Minnelli? "I think her energy and the strength of her emotions are in some ways reminiscent of mine," says Mr Skye, a trained actor. "She is a very positive, vibrant performer. And, she comes from a real showbiz family - show folk are very different from the average person. There aren't many of them anymore, as people don't necessarily come from performing families to pursue the stage as they once did. People are used to watching 'real' people on television, but theatrical personalities are very commanding presences and that excites me."

    Although he has met Ms Minnelli on "many occasions", he is does not know if she knows what he does. "I have met her as a fan, and our interactions have been appropriate. Her accompanist told me that he had seen some of my videos on YouTube and thought they were very clever."

    Does he get mistaken for her on the street? "I have walked the streets of London to get home from the theatre and people have thought it was her - I'm all made up, mind you, but if I play it down and wear jeans and a coat with make-up on, some people still think it is her.

    "In New York, people either yell, 'Hey, Liza! Lookin' good' or just go on about their business and don't notice the lady with too much make-up on." He adds: "The only person who ever told me I look like her was the make-up artist that designed my make-up, which takes three hours."

    Rick Skye

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