Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

"New York, New York" (Live) - Liza Minnelli - San Francisco, Davies Symp...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

LIZA MINNELLI – I'd Like To Get To Know You film sequence with a lot of songs from early years, black-and-white.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

LIZA ~ Flashback 2008: Liza Must Go On!

Liza Must Go On

For showbiz’s ultimate survivor, life has been one hell of a cabaret. But it’s marvelous all the same.

“She was this funny, serene force,” Liza tells me of Thompson and her influence on Liza’s childhood. “I remember once we were walking around in New York, I was about 4, and she had a big wolf coat, gray, just heavenly looking—she was so tall and thin. She stopped by the Stork Club. This very nice black gentleman opened the door, and she asked for Mr. So-and-So, and the man wasn’t in. And she said, ‘Yeah, well, just tell him that Miss Thompson and Miss Minnelli stopped by.’ And my world changed! I was Miss Minnelli.”
When she was 22, Minnelli spent a month studying Russian ballet, poring over Nijinsky with Thompson at her apartment at the Plaza. “We also went through a whole period when we studied haiku.” After Thompson was kicked out of the Plaza (she’d stayed rent-free for many years), she moved to Rome, then spent her last ten years in Minnelli’s apartment, wheeling about in elaborate turbans, riffing scat verses at her visitors, until she died in 1998, somewhere in her nineties. (She’d made up so many stories, no one knew her true age.)
As Liza describes the way she begged Ron Lewis to come be her director to reenact Kay’s act, he opens the hotel door.
“Hi baby! I’m braggin’ on ya.”
“You look great,” he says.
“I feel great,” she says.
We all continue happily chatting about that whole lost glamorous world—Liza’s stories are studded with visits to Noël Coward’s house in Switzerland, memories of the time that Charles Aznavour and Liliane Montevecchi snuck her into a Las Vegas show. Only when I mention Kay Thompson’s early rejections does the mood chill slightly. Thompson had a peculiar, acerbic charisma, I suggest—to some tastes insufficiently va-va-voom? Liza shakes her head: No, no, no.
“Oh, no, she conquered everything, then moved on,” Liza tells me. “She was the greatest person ever at MGM, then she got tired of that. She did a nightclub act that was the greatest nightclub act that had ever been seen, then she got tired of that. Then she wrote the best children’s book in the world. She lived her life! Anybody who knew her was lucky— ”
Worshipped her,” adds Lewis.

“They worshipped her. Because she was unique.”
I explain that I was just referring to the musical Hooray for What!, where Thompson met Liza’s father, Vincente Minnelli. She was fired before the show hit Broadway—an event so humiliating she vowed never to do Broadway again and never spoke of it.
“It was a musical that neither of them liked,” Liza says with a shrug. “And if Kay didn’t like somethin’, she said it’s silly for her to do it. And I understand.”
I move on myself, asking about another member of Liza’s self-created family: her drummer Bill Lavorgna, a beloved band member for many years. She called him Pappy, and he died last year.
“He was wonderful,” Liza says. “I knew him from the time I was 13. In fact, he caught me driving when I wasn’t supposed to be!”
This was in Las Vegas, says Liza. “Momma was there divorcing somebody, right? So I took the car. And I was just driving because, you know, because I could drive. And I’m driving along. And I’m also smoking. A fast 13, right? So I stop at a light and I look and there’s Pappy and his wife, Joan. And I think, I’m screwed. I am screwed, that’s it, I’m gonna be in trouble forever!” She grins, a big mischievous grin. “And they never told. And from that second on, we were best friends.”
This is Liza’s central definition of friendship: Friends keep your secrets, they stay on your side, even when contradictions arise. Her stories of how she met her friends are full of rescues—she called someone and he came unquestioning to her aid. And can you blame her? Judy Garland’s legend was built on a frighteningly intense vulnerability, the unhappiness of a child star fed amphetamines and forced to wear tiny disks to reshape her nose. The sob in Garland’s voice (which was shaped by Kay Thompson) made listeners desperate to soothe her sadness. She died at 47 of an overdose. In the show, Liza tells a story about giving Kay the news and Kay’s reassuring her, saying, “Your mother lived a marvelous life. She did everything she ever wanted to do.”
Liza has transformed Judy’s fragility into the theater of the eternal comeback: Her fondest fans share an understanding that things can only go very, very badly or magically well. Right now, she seems vibrant. She gets up and dances, she wriggles and literally wrestles with her choreographer, demonstrating for me the way she worked out the slapstick for her role on the sitcom Arrested Development—she refused to get a stuntwoman, she says. She was willing to do anything, as long as it was funny.
That night, I walk into Woonsocket’s Stadium Theater. Who knew this place even existed? It’s gorgeous, beautifully restored. The audience is filled with people who love Liza, who are thrilled that her voice is so strong, that she looks so good lounging in her white glittery pajamas. They go crazy for “Cabaret,” they are moved by her performance of Judy’s Palace medley, with a verse written specially for Liza. And they eat up the winking references: the way she describes three closets that Kay made for her, then says, “What’s in them, my last three husbands?”

But for my taste, the best number is Kander and Ebb’s “And the World Goes ’Round.” Liza wears a black velvet jacket with bright red cuffs; she stands still while she sings it, hands in pockets. Like many of her songs, it’s an anthem of hope and survival, but it’s hard to miss the colder, stranger theme: that no matter how bad your pain, the universe simply doesn’t care when you suffer. “And sometimes a friend starts treating you bad / But the world goes ’round! / And sometimes your heart breaks with a deafening sound.”
Two days before, I’d watched a beautiful performance of this song on an early interview with Geraldo Rivera, a raw young Liza singing it with her black hair wet against her face. “I desperately want a family,” she told Geraldo. “I really want a family. It’s important to me.” She was talking about having children, something she, like Kay, she tells me, wasn’t able to do—though like Kay, she has an extended family, of 22 godchildren. But it does seem that Liza’s somehow gotten what she wants. It’s a different definition of happiness; a marvelous life. And the world goes ’round.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Liza Minnelli Will Have a Great Day This Fall
Liza Minnelli Will Have a Great Day This Fall
By Andrew Gans
06 Aug 2015

Tony, Emmy, Oscar and Grammy-winning entertainer Liza Minnelli will debut a new concert act this fall.
According to the singing actress' official Facebook page, she will offer an evening titled Great Day Nov. 12 at The Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center in Broken Arrow, OK, and Nov. 14 at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK.
Great Day will be conducted by Billy Stritch and will feature Cortés Alexander and Jim Caruso.
As previously reported, An Intimate Evening with Liza Minnelli will be presented Sept. 20 at the London Palladium and Sept. 22 at the Sheffield City Hall. Minnelli will also perform in concert Nov. 28 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio, TX.
- See more at:

Liza Minnelli sings Aznavour: You've Let Yourself Go (Tu t'laisses aller)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Liza ~ Happy Ending!

Liza Minnelli to open CFCC arts center season
Published: Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 6:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 6:20 p.m.

WILMINGTON -- Singer and actress Liza Minnelli will kick off the inaugural performance season of Cape Fear Community College's Humanities and Fine Arts Center, director Shane Fernando announced Thursday.
The season announcement was made during the CFCC Board of Trustees meeting. The opening week will begin Oct. 3 with a black-tie gala featuring Minnelli with the North Carolina Symphony.
The center, along with a Star Series, also will include a contemporary dance series and a Broadway series.
On Oct. 5 and 6, the center will present Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," the first of three touring Broadway shows.
Other Broadway shows in the series include "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" on Feb. 25 and "Mamma Mia" on May 3 and 4.
Some of the Star Series guests will include singers Boz Scaggs and Jackson Browne, as well as actor and comedian Lily Tomlin.
Fernando said he and the center's staff have worked to provide a variety of performances.
“We have pulled out all the stops for the center's opening week,” he said. “From classical music, to avant garde, to Disney on Broadway, we have something for everyone at a variety of price points.”
CFCC President Amanda Lee said the new center is going to change Wilmington and will complement what the city already has.
As the announcements were listed, board members were outwardly enthusiastic when such names as Minnelli and Scaggs were listed. Lee, who is most excited about "Beauty and the Beast," said she thinks the community will have a similar reaction to the announcement.
"It was wonderful to sit here with people smiling and taking notes and laughing because everybody got so excited about it, and I think the entire community is going to respond that way," she said. "This is going to be a destination that we are all going to be able to enjoy."
Following the opening gala, the North Carolina Symphony will open its official season Oct. 4 at the center with a "Russian Spectacular" classical music performance.
The center's opening week wraps up Oct. 10 with Artsplosion!, a free festival celebrating the official main stage curtain being raised for the first time, the release said.
Tickets for Cape Fear Stage productions will go on sale beginning Aug. 10 at or in person at the temporary box office at CFCC's storefront, 254 N. Front St.
Contact Hannah DelaCourt at 910-343-2075

Liza Minnelli Set to Make Concert Appearance in Cape Fear This Fall

As previously reportedLiza Minnelli appeared in her first concert in more than a year this summer, on Friday, July 24 at 8 p.m. at the IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi, Mississippi. Now according to Star News, the living legend is set to perform with the North Carolina Symphony at Cape Fear Community College's Humanities and Fine Arts Center. The special event will take place on October 3.
Click here to read the full article.
"Well, I try and do the things that people like. Like 'New York, New York' and 'Cabaret,'" the star said in a recentinterview with AOL. "I also try to put in things that I know people there haven't heard. So it's a big surprise, kids. I'm excited about coming."
She added: "I'm trying to add a little more hopeful side. I mean the songs I choose. I try and go from what I've learned, and also what I'd like to hear, what I enjoy. New things and old things. ... I like to sing something that makes you feel slightly different when you walk out. Happier, and satisfied."
The star followed her parents into the entertainment arena at the tender age of 2, co-starring with her mother in the 1949 film IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME. In 1965, she won a Tony Award for her performance in FLORA, THE RED MENACE, becoming the youngest-ever actress to win a Tony for a musical role; it was the first of four Tonys she would earn.
She is the only singer in history to sell out Carnegie Hall for three consecutive weeks. Her hit songs include "Liza (With a "Z")," "Theme from New York, New York," "Cabaret," "Walking Papers," "Quiet Thing," "Old Friends," "Maybe This Time," "Little Do They Know," "I (Who Have Nothing)," "God Bless the Child."
Her movie credits include 1972's CABARET, for which she won an Academy Award; NEW YORK, NEW YORK, co-starring Robert De Niro; and the ARTHUR films with Dudley Moore. She has appeared as herself on TV in SMASH, THE VOICE UK, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, THE APPRENTICE, and more, and is well known for her portrayal of 'Lucille Austero' in the Netflix comedy ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.
byJuly 31 2015

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

BWW Exclusive: Back in Concert with Liza Minnelli- Billy Stritch, Cortés Alexander & Jim Caruso Send Updates from Biloxi!
Six years after closing Liza's at The Palace, one of the most heralded Special Events in recent Broadway memory, Liza Minnelli gathered up her best friends, that famous songbook, and some beaded couture to try out a new concert in Biloxi, Mississippi. ("The glamour...the glitter...the Gulf," Liza giggled.) As a try-out for her 2016 "Great Day" tour, Minnelli, musical director/pianist/singer Billy Stritch and singers Cortés Alexander and Jim Caruso warbled their way into the hearts of the Gulf Coast fans, garnering a half-dozen standing ovations and some love-letters from the press. Armed with a few Palace re-creations, some fresh new harmonies and the obligatory Liza standards, it seems that the sky's the limit for this happy band of players.
BroadwayWorld spoke to Stritch, Alexander and Caruso about the musical goings-on and what it was like to be on the road again.
The day we spent in Biloxi was much fun. It was terrific to be reunited with our great band and the stage crew and staff at the IP couldn't have been nicer or more professional. And what can I say about that audience? Truly incredible - you could tell instantly that they were there to show their love and support to Liza (as if the six standing ovations left any doubt). With the addition of Jim and Cortés, this new show has a more intimate and casual feel - sort of like a party with Liza and her best friends. It was good to get this first show under our belts and we're all looking forward to more shows this fall and winter.
Cortés Alexander:
It all felt new and exciting, yet oddly familiar to step onstage with Liza six years after our unforgettable Palace run.Jim Caruso and I made our entrance from the house, which is beyond anxiety-inducing. Seeing Liza's first steps back on stage after a year-and-a-half was exhilarating, nervous-making and thrilling beyond. But ever the consummate pro, she picked up where she left off as if no time had passed. When she called Jim and I onstage to sing with her and Billy, it was as if I was home with my brothers and of course, our fearless leader in sequins. I love her, and I love Billy and Jim, and cannot wait to share more laughs and songs and travels with all of you.

Jim Caruso and I made our entrance from the house, which is beyond anxiety-inducing. Seeing Liza's first steps back on stage after a year-and-a-half was exhilarating, nervous-making and thrilling beyond. But ever the consummate pro, she picked up where she left off as if no time had passed. When she called Jim and I onstage to sing with her and Billy, it was as if I was home with my brothers and of course, our fearless leader in sequins. I love her, and I love Billy and Jim, and cannot wait to share more laughs and songs and travels with all of you.
It's been my secret, unspoken fantasy that someday, our Liza's at The Palace family would pack the trunks we were born in and take to the road again. After all, the three-year tour and subsequent Broadway run was a high point in my life and career. A few months ago, my phone rang, and I heard that famous voice scream, "Baby! Let's go back out!" I didn't have to think or check a schedule. My answer was a resoundingyes. Last week, after a slew of rehearsals, Liza, Billy, Cortés and I made the schlep to the IP Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi to try out the musical fun we've been scheming. The plan is to make "Great Day" like one of Liza's famous parties, where friends gather to sing, cavort and entertain each other at the baby grand. That's precisely what we did, and the audience proceeded to join in on the fun and take it to another level. To stand in front of one of the best bands on the planet, singing with my showbiz brother Cortés Alexander and my musical bff Billy Stritch at the piano, holding hands and harmonizing with the one-and-only Liza Minnelli is "a wondrous thrill." As we all know, 90% of a life in this business is the hang, and these people are all superb hangs. We pour our hearts out to each other. We tell foul jokes. We roar with laugher. We eat in some of the vilest coffee shops known to man. We are, in every sense of the word, family. I am champing at the bit to continue making music and merry with these people I adore. As Liza is fond of saying, "Here we go!"
Photo Credit: Steven T. Lawrence
July 29 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Liza Minnelli, 69, Back On Stage Following Back Surgery, Rehab

Liza Minnelli, 69, Back On Stage Following Back Surgery, Rehab

Liza Minnelli was back on stage on July 24 for the first time in a year. According to People MagazineLiza Minnelli performed at the IP Casino Resort & Spa in Biloxi, Mississippi, after undergoing back surgery in 2014 and rehab earlier this year. This show was the first of many that Liza will do this year.
“The next concert will be Sept. 20 at the Palladium in London, followed by one Sept. 22 in Sheffield, England, and then Sept. 24 in Glasgow, Scotland. Upon her return to the U.S., she’ll begin doing a new show she’s calling ‘Great Day’ and has concerts planned in Oklahoma and Texas.”
Friends say Liza Minnelli is really happy to be getting back on stage, and that she is thrilled to be seeing her fans again. According to the Sun Herald, Minnelli recently spoke about going on tour, and what she is planning. She says that she wants to sing some fan-favorites, but she is also bringing some new tunes to the show, and hopes that her fans will enjoy those just as much.
“What I’m trying to do is include the things that I know people really like, that they’re familiar with, like ‘New York, New York’ and ‘Cabaret.’ And ‘Maybe This Time.’ But hopefully, I try to do what I would like to see, whether it’s sad or silly. I had great teachers, Fred Ebb and John Kander. In fact, I’m singing one of their songs I haven’t done in such a long time. It’s called ‘I’m One of the Smart Ones.’ It’s kinda snappy. It’s from a show written for me, actually. It never got put on.”
Liza Minnell’s show in Biloxi felt very intimate. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, fans yelled requests to Liza, but she had some witty comebacks, and was able to stick to her planned set list. The audience was completely captivated by Liza, and she said that she felt like she was “home.”
Liza is really excited to perform at more venues, and while she doesn’t move quite the way she used to, she still loves to dance, and takes a class almost every day.
“I get up as early as I can. First thing I do is take a dance class. It gets me going for the day, and it’s good exercise. Then I usually have lunch with friends or I work on whatever I’m working on and rehearse in the afternoon,” Minnelli said of her daily schedule. Her back has caused her to slow down some, but she insists that she’s getting “better all the time.”