Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Liza from Russia with Love...

video

Liza Stepping Out! 2 Years Strong! May 31st 2008

videoLiza Stepping Out video celebrating 2 years of fun & LIZA with this great group of people, by Samymiro.

LIZA MINNELLI DELIVERS...


"DO you notice anything different about me?" asked Liza Minnelli after her third number, sucking in her cheeks and pouting for comic effect. Having recently shed 44 pounds in weight (apparently thanks to a diet program that she had seen advertised on television), the 62-year old diva looked in amazing shape at the Royal Concert Hall last night: trim, toned, in radiant good health, and (as we were to discover during the second half) sporting a pair of legs that would have graced a woman half her age. But it wasn't only Liza's outward appearance which confounded expectations. Not quite knowing what to expect from someone with such a chequered history and such an erratic track record, many of us had come prepared to make allowances for whatever eccentricities might be in store. As it turned out, we had no need to worry at all. From the first number (a splendid rendition of Teach Me Tonight) to the final encore (a spellbinding I'll Be Seeing You, performed a cappella), Liza was in full control of her voice, her performance and her audience. Every note was hit; every mark was struck; every nuance was attended to. This was no booze-addled, pill-popping, delusional spent force, hamming it up and trading on past glories. Instead, what we witnessed was a bravura performance from a consummate artiste, miraculously restored to the height of her powers. As was explained during a recent interview, Liza's preferred interpretive technique is to inhabit a different character for each song: a "method acting breakdown", as she called it. During the first half in particular, we saw this technique in full effect. For George Gershwin's The Man I Love, Minnelli's lovelorn yearning was underpinned by a self-mocking wryness, as was only appropriate for a woman four times divorced. Taking an opposite stance, I'm Living Alone And I Like It was sung in the character of a feisty old lady dressed from head to toe in maroon, whom the singer had once met on a New York street corner. For My Own Best Friend (from the musical Chicago), Minnelli transformed into Roxie Hart: on trial for murder, and converting her fear into defiance. And for Cabaret, she once again assumed her Oscar-winning role as Sally Bowles in the film of the same name: laughing in the face of misfortune, with a survivor's resolve to continue living life to the full. The bulk of the show's second half was given over to an extended tribute to Liza's late godmother Kay Thompson: a key figure in the history of Hollywood, who had given vocal coaching to the likes of Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, and Liza's own mother Judy Garland. Given that Thompson is a considerably lesser known figure in this country, this was a section that could easily have flopped. Instead, the lively, full-throttle recreation of her celebrated nightclub act, accompanied by a quartet of song-and-dance boys (The Williams Brothers), swept us up with its sheer energy, successfully evoking the spirit of a lost golden age. As the two and a half hour show progressed, the standing ovations grew ever more frequent: starting with Maybe This Time in the first half, and climaxing with Minnelli's signature tune New York, New York in the second half. (By this stage, the cheers were erupting even as the song progressed.) Liza rode these waves of adulation in the manner of someone whose stardom is written in their very DNA. Let there be no doubt about it: this was a truly exceptional show, which will be remembered for years to come by all who witnessed it. MIKE ATKINSON
Reader comments

What a show and, more importantly, what a voice - that's real singing. Girls Aloud should go and watch Liza and then maybe they'd realise that they can't actually sing.
Victoria, Nottingham
Liza was absolutely terrific last night. Her voice was perfection, she looked fantastic, and Nottingham gave her the welcome she deserved. The London reviews were a little lukewarm about the Kay Thompson section, but as Mike wrote it was wonderfully evocative of that era and it created a great balance to the show. An incredible night with one very special lady.
Carl, Nottingham
My mum,sister and I saw Liza last night and I am so pleased to read that the review captured the true fabulousness (if there is such a word!)of her performance. She was so warm and funny, it felt liked she was greeting the audience as friends. It really was one of those once in a lifetime experiences and as the article rightly says - one I will never forget.
Laura M, nottingham

Liza Minnelli - Cabaret trouper


Published Date: 31 May 2008
By LEE RANDALL

DUST OFF YOUR BOWLER HAT. Spit-shine those sequins. Lubricate your larynx. Liza's back in town!


Yes, next week Glasgow welcomes one of the last true stars, a woman whose very name evokes the spirit of Hollywood's Golden Age (even though she's lived in Manhattan for yonks). To prepare for her arrival, we thought it would be a good time to brush up on our trivia. Did you know:


-She's the only spawn of Academy Award winners (her father was Vincente Minnelli, her mum was Judy Garland) to also win the award herself, for her portrayal of Sally Bowles in Cabaret.


-She auditioned for the role of Mary Rachel in the Twilight Zone episode entitled "Come Wander with Me" (series five) but didn't get it. Producer William Froug remembered her as extremely young and extremely nervous and predicted: "I'll probably kick myself. She'll probably be a big star." Here's hoping that he wore soft shoes.


-She starred alongside British national treasure Julie Walters in 1991 dance flick Stepping Out.

-Judy Garland died while Minnelli was filming Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon. At the end of the picture, the young actress made a public vow never to work with "tyrannical" director Otto Preminger again – a not uncommon reaction, from what we've read about him.

-In TMTYLMJM Liza plays a grotesquely scarred woman. Her make-up was done by Charles Schramm, who also made up mom Judy for The Wizard of Oz ... and prepped Garland for viewing in the funeral home.

-It was a proper diva face-off in 1973 when Liza beat Diana Ross – also playing a singing marvel, Billie Holiday – to the best actress Academy Award.


-Minnelli is one of only three actresses to win both an Oscar and a Razzie Award for Worst Actress. The other lucky gals are Halle Berry and Faye Dunaway, while the Minnelli films are those screen classics, Arthur 2: On the Rocks and Rent-a-Cop.


-There have to be points awarded for knowing she was, briefly, the daughter-in-law of her mum's former Tin Man, Jack Haley, courtesy of her five-year marriage to Jack Haley Jr.


-In the 1980s she was managed by Gene Simmons of Kiss. But not for long.


-She became the seventh person to win America's triple crown in 1973: Tony for Flora, The Red Menace (1965); Oscar, best actress for Cabaret (1972); and Emmy for Liza with a Z! (1973).

-She won a second Tony for The Act in 1977.


-Her godparents were Kay Thompson and Ira Gershwin. Part of the current act includes a loving tribute to Thompson, who is said to have based the character of Eloise, the mischievous little girl who lives at the Plaza in Thompson's tales, on young Liza.


-On her dad's side she's French and Italian, but courtesy of her mum – birth name Gumm – Liza's part Irish and Scottish.


-In addition to her four husbands (Peter Allen, Jack Haley Jr, Mark Gero and the infamous David Gest), former conquests are rumoured to include Martin Scorsese, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Sellers, Scott Baio (Chachi?!) and Desi Arnaz Jr.


-You'll find her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.

-She's had both hips replaced and one knee completely rebuilt, but recently said: "I'm fine, and my hips are fine. My false knee is fine. My false hips are fine. Everything's cooking."

-Which is really saying something, because in 2000 Liza contracted encephalitis from a mosquito bite and nearly died. Doctors said she'd never walk again, much less dance, but our girl's a trouper who knows the show must go on. "I had to learn to walk again, had to learn to talk again. People don't usually recover like I recovered but I would not give up. I just couldn't – I don't know how you'd do anything else. My father always told me, 'The way you do something is you think about it.'


"So on the wall when they turned my head there was a pattern of leaves and I started to count them and I was going 'ah, ah, ah' until I could say them. And then I did the same thing with walking. I really worked to get back. Most people don't come through it."
We're glad she did!

SECC, Glasgow, 6 June, tel: 0870 040 4000.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Thoughts on "Minnelli Magic" by Shannon


Hi Everyone,
I know I'm the one who posts the fewest words most of the time...But I'd like to let you in on my thoughts for a moment,if I may.
As I have read many of the reviews of this year and years past the line "Minnelli Magic" appears most it seems to me. So last night I was trying to put into words what I thought some of that magic could be. First off,I believe the average concert goer,goes to a Liza Minnelli concert to be entertained for an evening. Now,when they take they're seats in the theater,they should not dwell on rumors,stories and weight.Because therefore they're seeing the seams and not the satin. Let this so called magic she weaves take over and see just how maybe you'll come out of it thinking or feeling differently.
Ms. Minnelli has often said "I consider myself an actress who sings,not a singer who acts."
Liza has many songs that she has performed over the years many times,but,she'll bring a song like "The World Goes Round" a new life. Breathing new air into it. Liza has an uncanny ability to do multilayered lyrical interpretations and her inflection she imposes on just ONE word means everything. This magic Liza does...It is NOT a trick with steel cages,boxes,keys,locks,chains and rabbits. Its not a trick at ALL...she makes you feel! Liza maybe made you think differently about a situation you had that day,your relationship,motivated you,gave you hope,energized you. Liza made you feel.
So many of her songs someone can relate to.Some aspect of they're life they are seeing performed live,right in front of them.
Also,usually at some point during the show a cultivating friendship happens between Liza and her audience. Her audience is absolutely without reservation...HERS.She never allows there focus to stray. It is her job to entertain. She leaves a mark in song on your soul. In my mind and heart her presence on the stage is everlasting.
If thats not magic,I don't know what is.
"Listen to the Song of Life"
Shannon

Liza's final night at the London Coliseum...by Steve


I have just got back from Liza's final night at the London Coliseum. She is on top form at the moment. I saw her in FL in Feb 07 and thought she was great, but last night was even better.She was even more agile and included some new routines to her "Kay" show. At one stage was lying across the laps of the "Williams Brothers". Her "New York New York",wow waht can I say *** SHE DID THE HIGHER KEY CHANGE AT THE END ** That proves she back on top form. The audience was on it's feet for ten minutes at the end and would not let her leave. She left the stage, arm in arm with dear Billy Stritch. She came back on stage four times. She was overcome with emotion, she shook her head in disbelief and I could see the tears rolling down her face. That made me,a middle aged(but youthful)man cry Even after the final curtain came down and the auditorium lights had come on,she came back out twice.I took so many photographs, I hope to upload them shortly. by Lizafan Steve.

videoLiza Minnelli, London Coliseum, 27 March 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Life's still a cabaret for Liza Minnelli


By Pete Clark, Evening Standard 27.05.08

As soon as I got through the doors, it was obvious that this was going to be an evening to die for.
There is a sense of excitement at certain gigs, and then there is the faintly hysterical cloud of mingled hormones that signifies the arrival of Liza Minnelli.
Although no one says as much, there seems to be a general consensus that it is a miracle that this woman is still with us.
Most of the lower part of her body has been rebuilt, and her brain and heart have been put through the mincer by a series of catastrophic episodes, not all of which have been beyond her control.
When she takes the stage, the audience are swept to their feet and narrowly avoid being involved in a stage-diving swoon.
She wears items of clothing that sparkle like they did in the old days. “You look terrific,” she tells the adoring throng, knowing, in the nicest possible way, that they are just a reflection of herself. Whatever costume she is wearing, a shoulder will sooner or later be revealed and thereupon will be displayed a glittering bra strap. This, I think, is her signature.
There are some songs, of course, but they are mostly fitted in between anecdotes, the kind of anecdotes that you might find yourself spilling out to a therapist. There was a story about a powder puff soaked in tears that made me wish I had a therapist to call my own.
She says of her pianist: “When he plays, I can hear my heart beat.” It would take a stony heart not to recognise that the person on stage is a very needy individual.
She has been brought up on the sound of applause and can count the sincerity of every single handclap. That is why she is such a great performer: when you turn up at a concert such as this, you had better wear your heart on your sleeve.
Her voice is still terrific, although the breathlessness has gone beyond stage effect and become a worry. A couple of tunes from Cabaret get a run out, but her heart is obviously in the material from the second half of the show, which is a tribute to mentor Kay Thompson and is performed with four song-and-dance men impersonating the Williams Brothers of the 1940s.
By this time, Liza is wearing very little, revealing legs that may owe something to medical science but have been fiercely reclaimed.
“Remember when I used to get down on one knee?” she teases, “Well forget it.”
The lady can still self-deprecate and we should all get down on one knee and thank heaven for it. What a glorious show-off.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Liza Minnelli, Coliseum, London: Queen of cabaret wows adoring fans

By Pierre PerroneMonday, 26 May 2008

It might all be in the genes, but second-generation stars often struggle to live up to expectations and match their parents' success. Not so Liza Minnelli. A celebrity for all of her 62 years, the daughter of The Wizard Of Oz star Judy Garland and the director Vincente Minnelli has done a better job than most, even if she owes more of her current notoriety to the antics of fourth husband David Gest than the fact that, in 1989, she made the best Hi-NRG record of all time.
The infuriatingly catchy "Losing My Mind", a Stephen Sondheim composition written for the musical Follies and whipped up to frenetic tempo by the Pet Shop Boys, ticked so many camp boxes that it could have made its way from the gay nightclub Heaven to the Coliseum, the home of the English National Opera, where Liza "with a Zee" is appearing for three nights only at the start of a short British tour.
Her biggest UK hit does not feature in the programme, but she does little else wrong in a two-hour, two-part extravaganza which belies the fact that her obituary is on file at most newspapers. Minnelli's unique relationship with London – she joined her mother on stage at the Palladium in 1964 – means she is singing and dancing to the converted.
They love her and they let her know it as soon as the curtain lifts and she strikes that pose straight out of a Broadway poster at the back of the stage. Wearing black trousers, a shimmery black top and silver headband, she nearly looks like her 1970s self, about to step out to Studio 54 but her 12-piece orchestra is a touch too loud as if trying to keep up with her larger-than-life persona.
By "The Man I Love", the sound balance has improved and she has settled into her "life as an open songbook" persona. Part monologue, part confession, her asides and ad-libs are witty and tick all the expected reference points – ex-husbands, weight loss, drink and drugs. She might appear as though she is letting us into her confidence but she is revealing only as much as she wants, mostly in the service of the song and performance.
She namechecks her mentors – the songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb, and the director and choreographer Bob Fosse – recalling how she joined the cast of Chicago as a last-minute replacement. Her transformation into Roxie Hart half-way through the anecdote and plot exposition is mesmerising. She delivers "My Own Best Friend" with feeling and gusto, her voice filling the Coliseum to the rafters. Big finishes are her trademark but "Maybe This Time" is all the better for being performed more sedately, as she sits on a high chair after catching her breath. "(Life Is A) Cabaret" closes the first half and brings the audience to its feet.
The second half of the show, entitled "The Godmother And The Goddaughter", is a tribute to Kay Thompson, a vocal arranger who coached Garland, Lena Horne and Frank Sinatra but left the employ of MGM studios in the late 1940s and developed a flamboyant nightclub act with Andy Williams and his brothers. When Minnelli, sitting on her mother's lap as a toddler, saw her real-life godmother on stage, she was transfixed. Thompson and her god-daughter remained close and Minnelli is now paying tribute to her on the tenth anniversary of her death.
Her recreation of Thompson's club act has real zing and the breathtaking choreography and harmonies make up for the paucity of hits. You could be back at the Copacabana 50 years ago, but Minnelli has always given her devoted fans what they want and encores with her signature song, "New York, New York". "I am home," she quipped earlier. She wasn't kidding.

Liza Minnelli at London Coliseum: Night of song and dance with stardust to spare

videoLiza performing her firsr UK Tour in over 20 years!

By Helen Brown
Last Updated: 12:20AM BST 26/05/2008
An hour before Liza Minnelli gave her first London show in over 20 years, I heard that the American star had been held up at UK customs with a visa problem.
One look at the startlingly slim and vibrant singer, and you'd guess the hitch must have been with passport control: the 62-year-old Minnelli looked nothing like the bloated and jaded woman we've become accustomed to seeing in press photographs of the past decade.
In fact, the visa trouble was just dull old paperwork trouble, but Minnelli flagged up her recent revamp to an adoring London audience.
"Notice anything different about me?" she said, sucking in her cheeks as a cheeky hint. "I lost 44 pounds!"

This was only the first of many personal confidences in a triumphant night of great, old school song, dance and golden era Hollywood gossip that included tales of her "momma" Judy Garland and father, director Vincente Minnelli.
Minnelli gave fans (who had paid up to £98 for tickets) the big hits from Cabaret and Chicago that made her famous in the early Seventies. Each song came with a gag or an anecdote. Describing the moment in Chicago when she was playing a husband-killer, there was a wink of recognition.
She made wry reference to her own long-term problems with drugs and alcohol in the theme song from Cabaret, glancing about in theatrical guilt on a line about "pills and liquor".
The confidences are delivered in such a breathless rush it consistently comes as a shock when she belts out the next song from the depths of her lungs. The gutsy yowl isn't quite as strong as it once was. But it's still mighty moving, all the more so for the occasional glimpses of fragility.
The second half of the show was a tribute to Minnelli's godmother Kay Thompson and, of course, to her own "momma". Thompson was the strong and eccentric lady who swabbed Garland's tears with a powder puff when she first saw her daughter perform.
Having spent a lifetime bouncing between showbiz glitter and tabloid tragedy, Minnelli goes out on a high, belting out a massive New York, New York, the signature song that was written for her in 1977. It was up to nobody but Liza to make this show a success and she came through with stardust to spare.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Liza Minnelli, Jean-Pierre Aumont

Liza Minnelli lives for the stage...



Moscow

Concert
Within the limits of a series of concerts at the class lux in club " B1 Maximum ", converted for one evening as restaurant, the 62-year old star of Hollywood and Broadway, the performer of a leading role in "Cabaret" of the Bob Fosse Liza Minnelli has acted.I cannot describe the feeling, that the singer and her audience felt at this concert.

This time queen of the Broadway acted not before usual spectator armchairs, and before little tables, and nevertheless figures speak about much.
Liza Minnelli accompanied by a trio of musicians (a grand piano, a bass, and drums) she presented an hour of show per the best and most conservative broadway traditions, for every minute which owners of the most prestigious places have paid.

Liza Minnelli the began with standard " I Can See Clearly Now ". The voice was Strong , and the singer actively moved, that already pleased the crowd.

As well as it is necessary to a great broadway actress, Liza Minnelli weaved the ostensibly retorts with texts of heroines of musicals and singing so masterly, that seems it was not appreciable almost. Madam Minnelli told about how in 1975 the Bob Fosse had found a way softly to enter her into the musical "Chicago" instead of Gwen Verdon whom had become ill, and there and then passed to retorts of the main heroine "Chicago" Roxie Heart, and then - to her number " My Own Best Friend ". The prompt declaration of love to "Cabaret" was replaced by theme " Maybe This Time ", Gershwin followed brothers words of gratitude the jazz standard " The Man I Love ", representation of the accompanying pianist alternated with other evergreen composition - " Come Rain Or Shine”

The positive spirit and skill to communicate of the singer showed. When Liza Minnelli ðerforms, her "gold" numbers and sketches-rapid speeches experiences of many decades of work on the most different audience began to be felt precisely whom she was. When Liza reached hits like "Cabaret" and " New York, New York " her "openness" and "sincerity" looked absolutely a role behind which so up to the end, that it was not possible to make out emotion. It is important to her before whom she sings in the given evening. Looking in a hall from high in her director's chair established on a stage, whether she sees real faces or only shadows? We feel her emotion,she reaches through the dark.

Acted the first in a new series of "dear" concerts in " B1 Maximum " Liza even went between little tables, was photographed with admirers and fulfilled their money for ticket prices. Madam Minnelli spoke with them - and with anybody.

Liza From Russia...looking great!











Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

THE FIRST LADY OF THE BROADWAY WITH THE UNIQUE CONCERT IN MOSCOW


By:Galkin Galya
May 19,2008

Great broadway divine Liza Minnelli will give a unique concert in Moscow on May, 22nd at concert hall " B1 Maximum ". In her first part hits will sound, and the second is devoted to memory of her godmother and mentor Kay Thompson from the date of which birth has passed 100 years and 10 years from the date of her death. Before concert Liza has chosen time that by phone to answer questions of "Work".
I welcome you, Ms. Minnelli, how do you feel?

Please, call me Liza. How are you?

Thanks big, for having agreed to give us some minutes, despite of the work schedule. From what I have heard of you, its not a secret?

I'm rehearsing a new show devoted to my godmother Kay Thompson, I shall show it in Moscow. She, possibly, has rendered the biggest influence on musical Hollywood. You can see her in the musical " Funny Face ". She not only wrote music and sang, but also was removed. When studio MGM had invited her to a post of director on vocals, and she was only 20 with åÒÞáâØÚÞÜ. She is incredible! Then she has made the present revolution in a genre of a musical. ºay was the best friend to my parents, therefore they have asked her to become my godmother. She was the best gift to my birthday.
I heard, that your show is based on history?

Yes! Each one of my show is a history, and each history has a background. And this all about hope, dreams and disappointments. It is very important to understand, what happens with this woman who sings. Where she is - in the kitchen or in a court yard of the house, from what country she from... I prepare in a the book where songs are accompanied by illustrations on which my heroine in this or that vital situation is represented For each show.

Wondering whether you are going to sing Russian songs in Moscow?

I very much would wish to learn to sing Russian songs. (Laughs.) and to include them in show is a good idea. But I do not know, whether I shall have time to make it. I rehearse every day and when I shall arrive to Moscow I shall try to make the best, on what I am capable.

I know , that you have included in the new show a little all of favourite songs from "Cabaret".

I shall accustom to singing them how did not sing never earlier. As if I execute them for the first time.

You and earlier acted in Moscow, last time was two years ago. What do you remembered most of all?

I've had fine memories. But what I most of all remember, as we went across Moscow in the car, me with my dog in my lap. When we had stopped at a traffic light one woman with bags, know, such a grandmother (with an accent on the second syllable), had seen me through a window and has waved to me with a hand. (Laughs.) I could not believe, that she knew me! This case became for me a greater surprise.

I am not surprised, because in Russia everyone knows you, that by you a living legend of Hollywood, that you were born in star family of actress ´ÖãÔØ ³ÐàÛÐÝÔ(Judy Garland) and director Vincente Minnelli. What people were your parents like?

My parents were very rational and reasonable people. (Laughs.) our life was as is organized, as well as in other families. In this city all worked. In Hollywood not so it is a lot of ÓÛÐÜãàÐ as it seems to much. It is working city. At our place there was a strict discipline: we early rose, had breakfast, parents left for work in MGM, and I in school. In the evening they came back home, we had supper and went to bed. It was very healthy discipline so you do not think, that someone beat me. My parents were very soft and loving people. But so it turned out, that when to me there were 15 years, I have departed to New York and since then any more did not obey the parents. (Laughs.)

And whom you obeyed?

Myself. I have learned to be oneself very early on.

Recently someone presented me a card at date of a birth with an inscription: " the Life is a travel and friends whom you meet on the way ". You agree?

Is still adventures which do a life very interesting. I have grown in Hollywood, Lana Turner was my neigbor. But I wanted to act on the Broadway which was something that was for me new. And after I have looked film " Bye, Bye Birdie ", I madly wanted to dance on the Broadway.
- And your dream was executed - you danced, sang and including on the Broadway. Whats your biggest talent?

It seems to me, that my biggest talent is a understanding of the one who I touch. (Laughs.) So who you touch?
- I'm the proof of tell-tale. I have gone through virus encelphalitus which had chained me to an invalid armchair. I had 2 metal artificial hips and a wired up knee joint. Doctors told me, that I shall never speak and walk, and I sing and I dance.
- Recently you have declared: " Now I can speak all that I want ". What would you wish to tell from about what were silent earlier?

- I am very happy! I have a family and friends whom I love. At last I have learned to take pleasure in myself and from everything, that is created around!

Liza ART from Angie!


Friday, May 9, 2008

Web extra: A conversation with Liza Minnelli




By PETE TATTERSALL






Liza Minnelli, who performs live in concert 8 tonight at the Beau Rivage Theatre in Biloxi, spoke last week with the Sun Herald by telephone about her new show; the pros and cons of being an icon; about growing up next door to Lana Turner; why she decided to set a different path from her parents and embark on the Great White Way; and how to stay grounded in the tempestuous whirlwind that is mega fame. She also, not for nothing, on more than one occasion threatened to slap me. And now I call her friend. (For more background info on Ms. Minnelli, see this week's Marquee cover story, also available at sunherald.com.)
Q: Hey Ms. Minnelli, how are you?
A"Oh please, call me Liza. How are you man?"
Q: Thank you so much for taking a few minutes. We really appreciate it.
A"Oh, it's my pleasure. Are you kidding?"
Q: Well, right off the bat, what would you like to talk about first?


A"I don't know. What do you want to talk about? Anything you want to talk about is fine with me."
Q: Well, what have you been up to lately?
A"Well, I'm doing this new show about my godmother, Kay Thompson. And I'm bringing part of it to you."
Q: Well, tell us about the show. What can audiences expect?
A"Well, my godmother was an extraordinary woman. Her name was Kay Thompson, and she was probably single-handedly the biggest musical influence in Hollywood history, as far as harmonies and vocals go. And she was a huge, you know where you would have seen her? Did you see 'Funny Face'?"
Q: Yes ma'am.
A"Do you remember...If you call me ma'am again, I'll slap you (laughs). Do you remember the woman who played the head of the magazine?"
Q: I do.
A"That's Kay. So that maaarvelous woman was my godmother. And she wrote all these incredible, incredible arrangements. First for herself on radio, she was an enormous radio star. And then MGM hired her to come out and be the vocal director - A woman! In her late 20s! - for all of MGM. That's unheard of."
Q: That's quite impressive.
A"And she probably revolutionized movie musicals because of the way she used voices. And she became great friends with my parents, and they made her my godmother and it was the greatest gift they ever gave me."
Q: And the show, is it kind of a re-creation of that? Or you kind of tell the story?
A"Well she did a nightclub act, which I saw when I was 2. And I can only remember these beautiful feet and long arms and legs flying around. But over the years she was such a wonderful godmother. She stayed close to me, you know? So I'm re-creating part of her nightclub act. Not re-creating but, how do you say it, paying tribute to."


Q: How did this idea come to you? It was just overdue, or the time was right?
A"I don't know. It just came to me. I thought, This music is hipper than anything I'm hearing now, these harmonies. And everybody who's seen it, I'm talking about all of the rock 'n' roll people, said 'holy Christ, those harmonies are just incredible.' And that was Kay. She was always so exciting when she sang. And she built it properly, and she did it properly, and she was just, I was so, so lucky to have her."




Q: Well, that sounds really neat. I'm sure there's a lot, lot of people who will appreciate that material.
A"Well, it's entertaining, and it's downfront in one entertainment, meaning it's for the audience."
Q: Well that's great. And is this the beginning of the tour, the middle or...?
A"No, I'm going to do part of it. It will eventually end up being a show called 'Bazzaz,' which is a song that she wrote, that will be a television show...and part of it I'm going to bring to you."
Q: Great. Now have you done it before, or is this just the beginning of the tour of this particular presentation, or...
A"It's part of a new thing, so it's exciting for me. And hopefully for the audience. So far, the few people that have seen it have really liked it, so I'm thrilled."
Q: Well, that's great. Is it OK if I hit you with a few general questions, ma'am?
A"Of course. If you call me ma'am one more
..."
Q: I'm sorry. I was warned. You gave me fair warning. I do apologize.
A"You can call me Liza May. I'm Liza May."
Q: Liza May. There you go.
A"That's my name."
Q: I feel honored. Honestly, I do.
A"Honey, I feel honored too, but I'm not going to call you sir."
Q: What's it like, being Liza May, Ms. Minnelli?
A"You know what? That's just who I am, is Liza May. I learned very early on to just relax, and be yourself, and each day you get up, you do the best you can. All I can say is I got up this morning, and put my own clothes on. You know what I mean?"
Q: Well God bless you ma'am. I'm sorry. God bless you.
A"That's really simple, and that's what I'm talking about."
Q: What do you think, I was going to ask you about both the best thing and the worst thing about being, really, an icon I guess would be the best word?
A"I guess the best thing is that people appreciate you. And the worst thing is that you believe it. So the point is, you always strive. You never get there. And that's the point. Everything I've done, I want to do better. I want to do it again. (Laughs) I'm sure I can do it better."
Q: I guess it's all a journey, so to speak?
A"It is. And it's an adventure. And that's what makes it interesting."
Q: What about you would surprise folks?
A"I guess I'm more normal than people think I am."
Q: Is that right?
A"Yeah. I mean I was raised in a household, believe it or not, like every other household in California with a working family. It's like, it's a weird thing to compare it to, but think of a mining town. OK? And every morning, the miners get up, they have breakfast, they go to work. Right? They come home, you have dinner together and you all go to bed. Right?"
Q: Yeah.
A"My parents got up, I went to school, they went to MGM. They came home, we had dinner, and that was it. You know, it was more organized, I think, than people thought. And much, there was no glamour whatsoever, because it was a working town. It's a town where everybody worked. And all the publicity stuff made it sound glamorous, but the point was to stay normal."
Q: Sure. Normal, I guess, for y'all that was just...I guess just life inside the bubble, and looking out versus looking in, it seems all glamorous and over the top, but really...
A"You know what it's like? It's like if you live in a town where you're this enormous mathematician, and you live next to Einstein. He's your next-door neighbor. You're not Einstein, right?"
Q: Yeah, exactly.
A"So Lana Turner was my next-door neighbor! I'm not Lana Turner. Everybody did the same thing. And that's why I wanted to do Broadway. Because it was different."
Q: And, did that kind of open up a whole new world for you?
A"Oh, indeed. I always wanted to, I wanted to be an ice skater, first. I really did. And then I saw 'Bye Bye Birdie' on Broadway, and I thought, 'maybe that's what I want to do.' I want to dance in a Broadway show."
Q: Well you know, I think you anticipated my next question, which is, if you weren't an entertainer what path do you think you would have followed?
A"I have no idea. I have no idea. But I'm a passionate person, so whatever I would have been introduced to, hopefully I would have taken to and followed through with."
Q: How would you describe yourself?
A"Me?"
Q: Yes.
A"First of all I'm fairly normal. Like I said, I got up this morning and put my own clothes on, that's the best..."
Q: I guess no one word seems to do it justice, but I was trying to think of a word that encapsulates everything that you've done and do. Entertainer? Entertainer extraordinaire? Is that an accurate statement?


A"I guess so. I think that would be up to you, more than me. Do you know what I mean?"
Q: I do. In the eye of the beholder type thing.
A"Oh great."
Q: Would you have any advice for young people, stars in the spotlight today who are, obviously for people at the level you are there's the scrutiny, and the pressures. How do you deal with all that?
A"Well, I think that the thing is to remember where you came from, who you are, have your feet on the ground and your head in the sky. And you'll be all right. But it's when you start believing what other people say that you give your power to them."
Q: So really, be true to yourself and don't forget who you are?
A"Yeah, and always do the best you can. And stay curious. That's the thing I would say. Never, ever lose your curiosity. Or you're finished."
Q: What do you do, I don't know if you have downtime, but what do you do to relax?
A"Me? Oh I go to the movies, I do everything you do. I go to the movies, I have dinner with friends, I hang out. I don't go to clubs and stuff like that. I used to, but I don't anymore (laughs)."
Q: Just too hectic, I guess?
A"Well, it's not only that. I just don't have the energy."
Q: Just evolved past that, I guess?
A"No honey I've been there."
Q: Been there, done that. You can't top those days, I guess?
A"No, I'd rather sit and talk with great friends and have a good Sinatra album playing in the background."
Q: Just out of curiosity, is there any movie/show that you've seen recently that you really enjoyed, or struck you as neat"
A"I'm a great audience, and I'm a fan of everybody else. You know what I mean? I love going to see other people's work. I mean, I love Michael Buble, what he's doing is incredible. And I love the Pet Shop Boys, I always have. And My Chemical Romance, I've worked with. So, I think it's interesting to see every aspect of, not only the music I sing, but of rock 'n' roll, of rap, of what's happening dance-wise...I just love watching other people perform."
Q: Two last questions, then anything you want or you're free to go, because you've been more than gracious. Now forgive my ignorance in asking this question, and I won't be offended if you tell me to mind my own business, but I genuinely don't know you're current status. Are you seeing anybody, are you single, are you married, are you just kind of..."
A"I'm THRILLED you don't know. I am single and I intend to stay that way!"
Q: There you go. Learned your lessons, huh?
A"Honey (laughs)... I guess what we do is kind of look at it, learn and go on."
Q: Finally, this is just a Journalism 101 question, so forgive it. But, what would you like your tombstone...
A"Oh my God! 101?"
Q...50 years from now to read?
A"You mean IN DEATH?"
Q: Well, theoretically.
A"Huh. I don't know if I like that question."
Q: Well, if you'll notice I said 50 or 60 years from now, so.
A"I don't know. What would you want yours to say?"
Q: Huh. He did his best?
A"You know, I was going to say that."
Q: Were you?
A"I was. I was going to say, 'She always tried her best.'
Q: I think that's all people can ask. Or more importantly, all you can ask of yourself.
A"I think so, too... Your life is in your own hands."
Q: I can't tell you what a pleasure it has been, honestly, to speak with you. Ms. Minnelli, thank you so...
A"If you call me Ms. Minn... I'm Liza May to you."
Q: Liza May. OK. I'm speechless.
A"You don't have to be. I'm your friend now. It's just me, honey."
If you goWhat: Liza Minnelli in concert.
Where: Beau Rivage Theatre, Biloxi.
When: 8 p.m. today.
Cost: $74.95 and $94.95 (plus tax and service charge). To reserve tickets call 1-888-566-7469.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Minnelli The Magnificent in Ft. Worth, Texas

review by Liza fan Emilio Valdes






I'll call her Minnelli the Magnificent from now onsince the only word to describe Saturday night'sperformance is "Magical"!!! The ONLY place to go to last Saturday night in Ft.Worth was Bass Hall to see Liza Minnelli. The placewas packed. The lobby looked like a Neiman Marcusfashion show. My Ft. Worth neighbors (I live inDallas) cleaned up REALLY well.As I went to my seat, second row aisle, thank you verymuch, I noticed that the 2,500-seat hall wascompletely full. No wonder it took me 10 minutes toget a glass of wine!After a short Overture Liza appeared onstage with theblack and red outfit you saw in the newspaper article.She started with Teach Me Tonight. No "hoarsness", no"warming up for a couple of numbers", no "missing highnotes". She was flawless and at a 100% from the getgowith a voice so strong like I have not heard sinceRadio City. Not to mention she looks thin and herface looks gorgeous. She hesitated a little before starting My Ship/The ManI Love. But once she started, there was no way back. She approached The Man I love as if her life dependedon it. She gave it her all, held the last note forwhat seemed like forever and brought the house down. The first of one of many standing ovations.After the ovation, she started reciting the words:"Someday he'll come along, the man I love."At that time a guy in the audience yelled: "I loveyou, Liza!" She replied: "I love you too but I ain'tgonna marry you."Living alone and I like it - She started by sayingthat long ago she used to sing these songs about oldladies and that now she HAS become one of thoseladies. Hilarious! It must be said that she has really honed in hertalent to tell stories. Not since Fred Ebb's scriptshas she ever been so on target in her stories. My Own best Friend - She told the story about how shecame to be in Chicago (in a very humble manner, asusual). She said she played Roxie, a woman accused ofmurdering her husband and then said: "I can relate tothat.", to the laughter and applause of the audience. I REALLY hope David Gest doesn't turn out dead or ourLiza will be suspect #1. Anyway, she is telling the story of how she begged Fred and Bob (Fosse) to be in the show and all of asudden, in the middle of the sentence, BAM! she goesinto character and starts a Roxie monologue. My jawdropped to the floor. She inhabits these characters athe drop of a hat in such a way that you believeanything she sells you. She's the best. She beltedthe HELL out of My Own Best Friend.Maybe This Time - She grabbed a chair and said:"Remember how I used to get this chair in the secondact?", then went on to say how Cabaret needed a balladand that she had recorded this song a few years beforeCabaret and that Fred and John and she decided itshould be in the movie. She pronounced every wordwith such love and expertise that you could feel it inyour soul. Another ovation.He's Funny That Way - I cannot tell you much aboutthis song since it is one of my all time favouritesfor VERY personal reasons and I was a total wreck allthrough it. All I know is that I felt like she wassinging directly to me, or rather speaking to me andagain, totally immersed in the character. She putmore emotion and nuances in the simple phrase "Whyshould I leave him, where would I go?" than otherartists can't put in a whole show. The final noteagain lasted forever and ANOTHER ovation.Cabaret - She said she wanted to sing a new song andjumped into Cabaret to the roaring applause of theaudience. She used the long ending to the song andpulled through it. Keep in mind at this point she hadbeen singing and telling stories for 35 minutes.Here's to the Band - She introduced the orchestrawhile she changed into a see-through blouse withbrocade circles and a long black skirt.Kay's Act - It was fabulous. She did not sit stillfor a second. It was non-stop dancing and singing. She is full of energy!She started singing the "La, Da La", from thebeginning of Look for the Silver Lining and I mustadmit she channeled Garland for those few seconds. She said Kay told Garland to do that at the beginningof the song.The Kay act is great! Somewhere at the beginning ofthe act she goes offstage for a few seconds only toreturn in a leotard and knee-high suede boots. Herlegs rock! And she give her 4 male dancers a meanride for their money. She went offstage again to change into a blacktrousers and black sequined blouse. She looked reallythin and in shape.My Mammy - She said she hadn't done this song in along time. Towards the end of the song she stoppedand said that in the past, she used to go on one knee,but that she could no longer do it due to all hersurgeries. She continued the song to a soaring endingnote that lasted forever. How does she do it??? Some asshole asked fro what sounded like Over theRaibow and she said that "it's been done" and thewhole bit about Judy telling her to be a first rateversion of herself, etc.New York, New York - She said how the song had beenwritten for her. Just two bars into it and theaudience went wild!! By the end of the song pandemonium ensued. People were going crazy. Theovation was deafening. I'll Be Seeing You - She retuned to the stage afterthe ovation to sing this. She said that in her youthshe was very shy and that she found an outlet to whatshe wanted to say through songs, and that she wantedto tell us was: "I'll be seeing you..." You couldhear a pin drop, the audience standing mesmerized byMinnelli the Magnificent and a certain guy on thesecond row aile, who's been a fan since he was a teen,was wiping the tear off his face. It's the best 500.00 I've ever spent. I gave it tomyself as one of my advanced birthday presents (mybirthday is in November).She left the stage and the ovation went on for fivemore minutes. People just would not have her leavejust yet. She HAD to return to the stage toacknowledge the audience and left again, this time forgood."I'll be seeing you, Liza!" I said to myself.I left the theater and went directly to the stagedoor. It has a glass door that leads to a narrowvestibule facing a glass window where a stern femalesecurity guard kept telling people to wait outside theglass door. There was a line of people inside thevestibule all facing a second door that wentbackstage. I entered the first glass door expectingthe security guard to tell me to go outside, but shedid not. I must admit that I looked good in my blacksuit and white shirt and white silk tie. Either thator she mistook me for one of the musicians. I saw aguy opening the door and calling last names of peoplewho were not there. I figured he was Gary (Liza'sManager). I went all the way to the beginning of theline and when he reopened the door I politely gave himmy business card (I work for one of the biggestinternational companies in Texas) told him I was ahuge Liza fan and that I would love to meet her. Goodthing I did not have to pull out thefive-hundred-dollar-ticket card, because just likeLiza, I'm striving to be humble...He asked me to wait, and wait I did for 5 minutes. Hewent out again and asked me to go inside. I wanted todie!!! I was about to meet Liza for the seond time inmy life after so many years!!! The first time I mether it was for a brief moment outside the stage doorof The Rink. I talked to her a little and gave her alove letter. I remember I told her I thought she wasthe best in the world and she replied: "You just mademy whole week!." When I gave her the love letter, sheheld it tightly in her hand and said: "I promise youI'll read it." Fast-forward to last Saturday again...I barely saw herexiting her dressing room into another room. She wasin full Kevin Aucoin style makeup and another outfit. She was gone for about 10 minutes and I thought shehad left the building when all of a sudden I hear hersinging Happy Birthday! to someone. After that shereturned to where I was and Gary introduced her to me.She looked BEAUTIFUL up close. I told her thanks forall these years of good memories and wonderful music. I was probably making no sense at all. I had my phonein camera mode but everything happened so fast that Idid not want to spoil the moment. She thanked me,hugged me and I left. I could not tell her how I mether years ago at the stage door of The Rink. I couldnot even thank Gary or say goodbye. I was in cloudnine.So that's the story, folks! Hope you enjoyed it asmuch as I enjoyed living it.






Emilio the Mesmerized

Liza looking good in a mini!!!