Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Gotcha!

Liza & Shirley Bassey

Liza Minnelli & Peter Allen


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Minnelli's Disco Revival 1-30-08

Liza Minnelli will be wearing one of her favorite designers from her disco days when she hits the catwalk on Friday for the Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection fashion show in New York City.
Ms. Minnelli, I’m told, will be wearing a Halston number—possibly one from her very own closet—for the fashion extravaganza put on by the Heart Truth, the federal government’s national awareness campaign for women about heart disease.
Other celebs expected on the runway include Heidi Klum in Marc Jacobs, Allison Janney in Donna Karan, Ana Ortiz in Badgley Mischka, Molly Sims in Daniel Swarovski and Sara Ramirez in Angel Sanchez.
First Lady Laura Bush is expected to be watching from a seat in the front row.

by Marc Malkin.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Music played a defining role in Liza Minnelli's life from the day she was born.

Music played a defining role in Liza Minnelli's life from the day she was born. She was named after the George Gershwin song "Liza."

Growing up in Los Angeles, the child of film director Vincente Minnelli and actress Judy Garland, Minnelli was a shy child who had a hard time expressing herself — until she listened to the music her parents played around the house.

"There was always music," she said. "My mother loved funny songs; my father loved romantic songs. I listened to everything. And that's why now, still, I can find a song for how I feel when I don't quite know how I'm feeling. The music will tell me."

Listening to music not only helped her express her feelings, it also gave her the inspiration to perform.

"You know, I always put on music right before I go onstage," said Minnelli. "I listen to other people. It's wonderful to have other people's music push you onto a stage."

"I grew up hearing everything, you know? And … music, it was and is probably my dearest and most faithful friend. It's just — it's always there," Minnelli said. "When your world shakes a little; you think, holy Toledo what's going on — you can find a song that'll make you feel better. And those are the types of songs I like."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Liza's moves...

Look Of Liza (1991)

Liza at Table Top Casino Jan. 17, 2008

JANUARY 17, 2008
Minnelli's passion ignites show
There are a lot of things that can be forgiven at a concert. Late starts are a given. Crowds pushing to reach the the stage is just part of the spectacle. Even the guy singing out of tune next to you has become a part of the concert experiences.
The one thing that can’t be forgiven is when an artists has no passion for the performance. It is easy to tell from the first note that this is just another stop on a long tour for the performer.
That was not the case Wednesday night at the Table Mountain Casino. Pop icon and favorite Liza Minnelli performed before a full house. Say what you want about her marriages and abuse problems but Minnelli turned in a performance that came straight from her heart.
Mixed in with the expected performances of “Cabaret” and “New York, New York” was a tribute to Kay Thompson. Despite Thompson’s many accomplishments as a musician and writer, she is not one of the better known names in show business. But Thompson was Minnelli’s godmother. And that’s why the 61-year-old performer now devotes about 40 minutes of her show to Thompson.
Backed by four male singers/dancers, Minnelli bounced across the stage like a 20-year-old. Minnelli belted out the cabaret tunes with a force that had to have rattled some of the facility’s slot machine.
If is usually not necessary to discuss how a performer looks. A singer can be the size of Jabba the Hutt and as long as the show has passion it doesn’t matter. But, as Minnelli pointed out herself, she looks like half the person she used to be.
“That Jenny Craig is a wonderful person,” Minnelli said as the reason for her weight loss.
The heartfelt performance combined with the new look got at least one member of the audience excited. A man, who let’s just say has been cashing social security checks for a long time, rushed the stage. It took him three songs to get there but once he did, he was moving to the performance by Minnelli.
He had good reason. It is as if the addition of the tribute to Thompson has ignited a fire under Minnelli. Wednesday’s show was a treat because of the passion Minnelli brought to the stage.
In the middle of the show, Minnelli tells a story of how her mother, Judy Garland, and Kay Thompson sat in the back of a small theater and watched her debut performance when she was 13. The women filled a powder puff with tears of joy. Minnelli still has that keepsake. You have to think somewhere Wednesday night Minnelli’s mom and godmother filled another powder puff with tears of joy.

Posted by
Rick Bentley

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Judy for Liza "For Once In My Lifetime"...



Liza Minnelli's bond with godmother inspires upcoming show...

Zoe Rose
Best Bets

She thinks of herself as being “deeply shy,” but during a cell-phone interview in a car in the middle of New York City traffic, Liza Minnelli wasn’t a bit reserved as she talked about her latest project — a multimedia tribute to her godmother, Kay Thompson — and some of her favorite movie and TV roles

“Oh, I’m not shy when it comes to interviews, but if I’m in a new situation or at a party I’m horrible — I’m horrible; I’m just not good,” she said in her New York accent.

Something else she hasn’t been good at is talking about her family onstage, but that will change in her salute to Thompson, “The Godmother and the Goddaughter: Liza Minnelli Salutes Kay Thompson.”

“It’s the first time I talk about my life, my family, Kay,” Minnelli said

“I never mentioned anybody onstage because I always wanted to make it myself.”

There was one time when Minnelli welcomed having someone help her make it: the day her mother, entertainment icon Judy Garland, died of an accidental drug overdose in 1969. Minnelli was 23

“I hadn’t seen Kay in about seven years because she had been living in Rome, but a few hours after I found out about my mother, Kay called,” Minnelli said.

“She had just gotten in town and had called for us to get together, and I said, ‘Something’s happened ...’ and she said, ‘I’ll be right over,’ and from that time on, she did not leave my side.”

Thompson was living with Minnelli on the Upper East Side of Manhattan when she died in 1998 at the age of 90.

“She was what a godmother was supposed to be ... and a wonderful gift my parents gave to me,” said Minnelli, whose father was film director Vincent Minnelli.

“And, what a teacher and what a performer Kay was — never did an unoriginal thing come out of her mouth.”

In 1943, Thompson was the main vocal arranger for many of the MGM musicals and vocal coach to stars such as Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, June Allyson and Garland. Later, she wrote the “Eloise” series of children’s books

Minnelli remembers her parents taking her to watch Thompson perform in cabarets.

“I don’t think people today realize how influential she was in vocal arrangements, and she was innovative in her nightclub act, too. Singers normally were stuck singing into microphones on stands, but she hung mikes from the ceiling.”

Las Vegas and Reno producer-choreographer Ron Lewis is choreographing Minnelli’s new show.

“Ron remembers seeing her act when he was about 12, and just going crazy,” Minnelli said.

“It took me four years to get him to work on this project, and he’s got all the singers in the show dancing like they’ve been doing it all their lives.”

Minnelli has been dancing, singing and acting most of her life. When she was 2, she appeared with her mother in the movie “In the Good Old Summertime” in 1949.

At 10, she hosted the first TV broadcast of “The Wizard of Oz,” reaching a viewing audience of about 45 million people. By the time she was 19, she was on Broadway in the lead role in “Flora, the Red Menace,” a performance that won her a Tony for Best Actress in a Musical.

In 1967, she starred in several films, including “Charlie Bubbles,” “Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon” and “The Sterile Cuckoo,” a part she said she waited four years to do.

“I was up against every actor in the world, I think,” said Minnelli with a laugh as she remembered how she ended up winning the part of Pookie, an eccentric college student.

“All I did was wear a navy blue pleated skirt — clothes like my father would have bought me — with one sock a little bit down, my collar out of a pullover sweater, just little things like that. She was just a great character to play,” she said.

A character that didn’t come easy to her was Sally Bowles, the character Minnelli portrayed in “Cabaret” and for which she won a Golden Globe, a British Film Academy Award and a Best Actress Oscar.

“I just didn’t have a handle on her,” she said. “I didn’t think of myself as glamorous, and I wasn’t used to having to be glamorous in any roles I had done, but (Bob) Fosse was a brilliant director and I learned it from him.”

Something she didn’t have to learn from anyone else was comedy.

In 2004-05, Minnelli appeared as a recurring character on the critically acclaimed TV sitcom, “Arrested Development,” as Lucille Austero.

“I do have pretty good comic timing,” she said. “But I had never done a slapstick kind of comedy like that role called for, but it really was a dream come true when Ron Howard called me to do it.”

Howard was the executive producer and uncredited narrator of the show, which received six Emmy awards, one Golden Globe and a spot on Time magazine’s “100 Greatest Shows of All Time.” Since the show’s last broadcast in February 2006, it has gained cult status.

“He called and said, ‘Listen, I’m doing a new TV show. Would you like to work on it?’ and I said, ‘Of course.’”

She reminded Howard it had been a while since they had last seen each other.

“I said, ‘I haven’t been around you since you were about 6 years old, and you were in the “Courtship of Eddie’s Father” that my dad directed,’” she said.

Throughout her long career, Minnelli has continued to gain new audiences by doing projects like “Arrested Development.”

In 1989, she recorded a pop album with the Pet Shop Boys. In 2006, she made a guest appearance on “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and that same year, she was a guest vocalist on My Chemical Romance’s album “The Black Parade.”

“The funny thing is, I have so many young fans now,” Minnelli told Holly O’Dell of Palm Springs Life. “It’s interesting, because their grandmother brings their mother who knows me, who brings their daughter who was a great big fan of ‘Arrested Development.’”

At 61, Minnelli isn’t trying to be something she’s not, she said.

“I wish I was clever enough to reinvent myself, but I think people call me for those kinds of things because they believe in my talent,” she said. “I’m glad they did because it’s all been great fun.”

Zoe Rose is a freelance writer.

Minnelli Minutiae

— It was the antics of her goddaughter Liza Minnelli that inspired Kay Thompson, who lived at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, to write the “Eloise” series of books about a precocious 6-year-old girl who lives at the Plaza

— Minnelli recently told an interviewer the two people who were her ideal duet partners would be Bonnie Raitt and Michael Bublé.

— Minnelli has performed at almost every major Manhattan venue, including: Carnegie Hall, where she had an unprecedented three-week run in 1987; the Palace, where she shattered the record for first-day ticket sales ahead of “Minnelli on Minnelli,” a 1999 tribute to her father; and the Winter Garden, where she earned her second Tony for a one-woman show, in 1973.

— Many of her movies and TV roles were filmed in and around New York City, including: “The Muppets Take Manhattan” (Sardi’s), “That’s Dancing!” (Times Square), “West Side Waltz” (Manhattan), “The Sterile Cuckoo” (upstate Hamilton College) and, last year, “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” (Manhattan). Minnelli’s character in “Arthur,” an actress-waitress, lived in Queens.

— She’s won three Tonys, an Oscar, an Emmy and a special Grammy, as well as a pair of Golden Globes.

— She is the only Oscar winner (“Cabaret”) who is the child of two Oscar winners: Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli.

— Her first movie role was at age 2, alongside her mother and Van Johnson in “In the Good Old Summertime.” Garland was pregnant with Minnelli during the filming of “Till the Clouds Roll By,” which is why Garland’s body is mostly hidden in the 1946 film.

— According to the Web site, movies that Liza turned down or that ultimately weren’t made with her include “A Star Is Born” (then called “Rainbow Road”), “The Great Gatsby,” “Chicago” and “Evita.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Liza on her current tour...2008.

The famed icon gets up close and personal on her current tour.
By Rick Bentley / The Fresno Bee
01/14/08 19:11:41
Liza Warehouse

Mention the name Kay Thompson, and you might start thinking about a 6-year-old girl. It's not because Thompson is known for being that age. She's the author of the four "Eloise" books about the precocious 6-year-old girl who lives at the posh Plaza Hotel in New York.
There just might be some who know Thompson as an actress and singer, songwriter and vocal coach in movies starting in the 1930s.
But the name Kay Thompson means more -- a whole lot more -- to Liza Minnelli.
"She was a great godmother. Only hours after my mother died, she was by my side. And she never left my side. She stayed with me until she passed away," Minnelli says about her godmother who died in 1998. "I have been slowly adding her songs to my show over the last year. About 40 minutes of my show now is a tribute to her."
Minnelli honors Thompson in her current tour that brings the Oscar-, Emmy- and Tony-winning dancer, actress and singer to the central San Joaquin Valley to perform Wednesday at Table Mountain Casino. The appearance here is an early stop in the tour that started Saturday in Providence, R.I.
Despite a health scare a month ago in Goteborg, Sweden, involving an on-stage collapse, Minnelli, 61, sounds chipper and full of energy. She talks about family, friends and film with the abundant energy that has made her the star of stage, screen and TV for 45 years.
In recent years, Minnelli's personal life -- marriages, divorces and bouts with addiction -- have been fodder for the tabloid press. But she has been performing despite all the negative attention.
Unless you have been living in a pop-culture cocoon, you know that Minnelli is the daughter of film director Vincente Minnelli and Hollywood icon Judy Garland.
Minnelli, who started acting in 1963, rose to stardom by playing a variety of offbeat, high-strung, manic, quirky and always interesting characters over the years. One of the notable characters was in the 1969 feature film "The Sterile Cuckoo" (1969), in which Minnelli played the eccentric Pookie Adams. The performance earned Minnelli her first Academy Award nomination.
A year later, she played an equally eccentric character in "Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon." Toss in quirky work in "Cabaret," "Arthur" and even the television series "Arrested Development," and Minnelli as made a career out of playing offbeat and memorable characters.
Her appearance on "Arrested Development" in 2004 and 2005 brought Minnelli to the attention of a younger generation. That's why the audiences for her stage shows are filled with younger and older fans.
Minnelli knew as soon as she started reading the script for "Arrested Development" that she wanted to be part of the Fox series. She spent weeks with her dance teacher learning how to fall in a scene without getting hurt. But she was disappointed when she showed up to shoot the role that a stunt person was called in to do the action sequences.
Despite that, she is offered other quirky roles from time to time. That hasn't always been the case. She says that Junie Moon was the one role that she was the most determined to play on screen. She camped out in the producer's office until he finally cast her. As for the rest of her film, TV and stage roles, Minnelli just doesn't want to be thought of as boring.
She laughs and says even the incident in Sweden plays into that. On Dec. 12, she was leaving the stage in Goteborg when she collapsed. That incident ignited tabloid fires about her physical and mental health."You faint someplace, and everyone talks about it. Working on the show is hard. It was just for a second," Minnelli says as she continues to chuckle at the reaction to the incident.
Her life is actually really boring, she says, so something like fainting has to be reported.
Minnelli plays down her career and talent when she talks about herself. Despite the musical skills she has shown in almost every medium possible -- stage, movies, TV, concert halls, recordings -- Minnelli says she has always considered herself a dancer first and then an actress. And singing is a distant third to her.
"Dancing is acting through your body. Singing is acting with your voice. Singing was never natural for me like it was for my mother or my sister [Lorna Luft]. It is just not natural to me," Minnelli says. "I am a storyteller."
Minnelli finds the rush that she gets from stepping on a stage to tell stories is greater now than at any point in her life. She credits that to the personal nature of this show.
This tour, she says, is where she reveals the most about herself. So Minnelli is taking the opportunity to tell the story of a person who holds a deep and special meaning to her: Kay Thompson.
She's honoring Thompson through song. As a cabaret-style singer, Thompson is best known for recordings made in 1935 that include "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," "You Hit the Spot," "Don't Mention Love to Me" and "You Let Me Down."
In one way, Minnelli's salute to Thompson is a bit of payback. It was Minnelli as a little girl in the 1950s who inspired the impish Eloise that became such a memorable literary character.
Minnelli's biggest hope as she starts into this new tour is that the audience will find her stories both funny and interesting. She'll know immediately if they do -- or don't.
"The energy I get from an audience has everything to do with my show. Have you ever played tennis? It is like playing tennis with someone who is a good partner. I completely depend on the audience to share the exper- ience with me," Minnelli says. The reporter can be reached at or at (559) 441-6355.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Liza filming Cabaret...

Liza Minnelli’s having too much fun...

Liza Minnelli’s having too much fun
01:00 AM EST on Sunday, January 6, 2008
By Rick Massimo

Journal Pop Music Writer
Liza Minnelli in the red-sequinned mini-dress she wore
during her 1972 performance of Liza with a “Z.”

You’d think that after nearly 50 years in show
business that includes three Tony Awards, an Oscar, an
Emmy and a special Grammy, as well as millions of
records sold and audience members wowed, Liza Minnelli
would be thinking about kicking back.

“I don’t know why!” she says. “Not as long as it’s
this much fun.”

Listen to Minnelli’s voice in conversation; watch a
recent clip of her performing on YouTube; heck, just
look at a picture of her getting out of a car. Either
she’s an even better actress than she gets credit for,
or after two hip replacements, knee surgery, reported
brushes with drugs and alcohol, tabloid-worthy
marriages and the waxing and waning of her brand of
brassy song-and-dance entertainment, she really is
enjoying all of this.

“Oh God yes, or I wouldn’t do it.”

Minnelli’s latest project involves a tribute to her
godmother, Kay Thompson, who was an arranger and vocal
coach at MGM — “That’s how she met my parents, and
that’s how she became my godmother.”

Thompson was also the author of the Eloise series of
children’s books, the title character of whom was a
thoroughly urban girl based on Minnelli. “She had the
most spectacular nightclub act ever,” Minnelli says,
and a section of her current live show, which she
brings to Providence Saturday, is a replication of her
godmother’s act. “It’s her music — her arrangements,”
she says, as well as a few bits from Minnelli about
what Thompson meant to her. “I never talk about my
life, and then here I am doing it!”

Minnelli is also working on a televised version of
Thompson’s show, which she describes as reminiscent of
the Liza With a Z TV special that helped Minnelli make
the transition from star to superstar, and will start
filming in April.

Liza With a Z was restored and re-released on DVD in
2006, so a whole new generation can check out the Bob
Fosse-directed live performance. Minnelli says that
she had always had the footage, “but I didn’t know
what to do with it.” For seven years, the restorer
worked on the footage “and he just did a brilliant
job. I said ‘I don’t have any money to pay you!,’ and
he said ‘That’s OK.’ ”

When Minnelli saw the restored footage, she says, “I
thought, ‘This is what Fosse wanted it to look like.’
Because you couldn’t see it well enough on the 16
[millimeter film]. The lights were blaring and you
just couldn’t see it. Now it’s on film the way he
wanted it on film and I’m just thrilled.”

The variety of Minnelli’s classic singing, dancing act
is becoming a rarity in an entertainment world that is
more specialized and more focused on the screen (large
and small) than the stage. Minnelli agrees, but cites
Michael Buble as an inheritor of her style. “He’s
right up there, and he moves around, and he dances and
sings and he’s wonderful!”

Not that she’s cranky about the modern state of
entertainment. “I like a lot of things, I guess
because I’m a dancer. I love rock ’n’ roll.” She
recently guested on a track on The Black Parade, by
the modern rock group My Chemical Romance.

How’d that come about? “They just called me! And I
love them! The guy (singer and songwriter Gerard Way)
is just great, and he’s so smart! That kid is really,
really knowledgeable. It was fun!”

The death last year of her longtime drummer and
musical director, Bill LaVorgna, left a void, even
though he’s been succeeded in both roles by the
“wonderful” Mike Berkowitz, who had subbed for
LaVorgna in the past. “He’s a good friend, and the
minute Pappy died, I called him.”

“There was nobody like Bill,” Minnelli remembers, not
only for his musicality but his history. “I worked
with him for 33 years, and he knew me since I was 11.
He caught me driving when I was 13! And he never told
my mom! I thought it was great.”

While friends from the old days are, well, getting
older, Minnelli says there are still a few around.
Three of the four dancers who portray Thompson’s
cohort, the Williams Brothers, in the Thompson tribute
knew Thompson herself. “It means a lot to all of us.”

While Minnelli has had plenty of success in the
electronic media, live performance, the most
work-intensive, high-energy way to build a career, is
still her primary focus. And she wouldn’t have it any
other way, even after all these years. “To me, walking
through a show, or taking it easy through a show, is
unheard of. Because all you have to do is take a look
into the audience and you’ll find somebody who hasn’t
seen you. You do the whole thing for them.”

And while she puts new songs in her act all the time —
“I’m always changing it up because it keeps it fresh
for me” — she says she never rolls her eyes when it’s
time to haul out “Cabaret” or “New York, New York”
again. “You find new ways to do them and you find new
thoughts behind them. It’s the work as an actress,
that part of it.” As an example, she cites “Come In
From the Rain,” written for her by Melissa Manchester,
which she recently reintroduced to her show. “You can
just visualize what these two people have been

Minnelli collapsed during a show in Sweden last month,
but says “I feel fine now. Just wonderful,” and is
looking forward to returning to Providence, where she
has performed twice before and where her mother
performed at the Loew’s Theatre, housed in what is now
the Providence Performing Arts Center. “It’s a good
audience. They appreciate what they see, and I always
have a good time there.”

Still, it has to take it out of a 61-year-old, no? “It
does, but I love it and I always have.”

Minnelli is the only Oscar winner (Cabaret in 1972)
who is the child of two Oscar winners (Judy Garland
for The Wizard of Oz in 1939 and Vicente Minnelli for
Gigi in 1968), so while it seems as though there may
not have been much of an alternative to the life she
chose, she says that her early exposure to Hollywood’s
workings left her wanting to be an ice skater.
“Watching movies being made is really boring. Broadway
and live performance is really exciting, but to hang
out in a studio and watch people sitting around is
dull. I thought, ‘I don’t want to do this!’ ”
Seeing Bye Bye Birdie at age 13 “changed everything.”

And even now, the mix of singing, dancing, cracking
wise and entertaining hasn’t lost its thrill.

“Oh yeah! With two false hips and a wired-up knee! And
I still go!”

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Beautiful Liza...

Walk of Stars in a Munich

12.02.2006: Hollywood legend and Oscar winner Liza Minnelli immortalised herself in the Walk of Stars in a Munich luxury hotel.

She is an absolute superstar and a very familiar face to the Munich public too. The virtuoso performer Liza Minnelli sold out the Olympic Hall several times during the 1970s and 1980s. The high point came in 1989 with a joint concert alongside Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis jr. - playing to a packed house on three evenings!

The Hollywood legend has now been honoured for her Munich successes. For this purpose, the MOWOS team drove to a luxury hotel in downtown Munich for the first time.
Logistical skills were called for. Several days in advance, the procedure for transporting the cement to the “Mandarin Oriental” had to be planned meticulously. Would the 90 x 90 cm cement panel fit through all the doors, would the hotel’s trolleys withstand the weight of 110 kg and what precautions would have to be taken to avoid disturbing the international guests from all over the world.

On the day when the superstar from America was to be honoured, the equipment was taken through the hotel kitchens into the VIP room. The MOWOS team, about 15 photographers and five camera teams were there on time, only Liza arrived with a 30 minute delay. This represented a major challenge for the team looking after the cement: all TV lights had to be switched off because of the great heat otherwise the cement might have set too soon.

But then the swing doors opened and the 1972 Oscar winner (for Cabaret) swept into the room. It was immediately obvious: This is one of the really great showbiz legends. Not many stars can retain so much charm and wit after such an unbelievable career:

1972 Oscar & Emmy
1985 Golden Globe
1991 Stern Magazine “Hollywood Walk of Stars”
2006 “Munich Olympic Walk of Stars”

Liza Minnelli needed to exert all her strength to overcome the resistance of the rapidly setting cement, but she rose magnificently to this challenge too.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Liza & all that Jazz!


Liza Minnelli & Jessica Walters
Lucille Austero, often referred to as "Lucille Two", is the friend, neighbor, and social rival of Lucille Bluth. She is portrayed by Liza Minnelli.