Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Friday, August 8, 2008

Liza Minnelli hits Coney Island in free show

Thursday, August 7th 2008, 4:00 AM

Life is a cabaret. So is Asser Levy Park in Brighton Beach, where Liza Minnelli performs a free concert Thursday night at 7:30. It's the third year Liza with a Z has sung in the Seaside Concert Series. She shares the bill with opening act Christopher Cross.
The 62-year-old showbiz icon will be accompanied by 12 musicians on familiar tunes, including "Maybe This Time," "My Ship" and "The Man I Love."
"I choose songs as an actress chooses roles," says Minnelli. "Each song to me is a different character. I know what color hair and eyes the girl has, how many decals are on her refrigerator, what has led her to this exact moment."
Do you have a favorite song to sing in concert?
I love "So What" from "Cabaret." It wasn't in the movie, but Lotte Lenya sang it on stage. I do it every time I perform. "So What" is so profound. It says, "So you've got problems, so what." I just love that.
Do you relate?
I just love it.
You open the show with "I Can See Clearly Now" - an optimistic curtain-raiser. Is getting the right start important?
Well, you walk out on stage, you look at the audience, they look at you and the relationship starts. They make it all possible in that song. When I'm on stage, I'm like a tiger or some animal. I prowl around to see who's doing what and then act accordingly [laughs]. I find people's faces in the audience and I sing to them.
Guys or girls?
I don't flirt with the men, I just don't. I always want to get to his wife or his daughter as if to say, "You know what I'm talking about."
How do you keep a signature song like "New York, New York" fresh?
I think of a girl who's thinking, "I want to go to New York. I'm not already in New York. I want to go to New York, you know, and be on Broadway."
Speaking of Broadway, You've been working on a musical salute to your godmother, Kay Thompson, the actress and "Eloise" author. Are you doing any songs from that show tonight?
No. But I would love to bring the Kay show, with a little bit more work, to Broadway. I'm going to get Johnny [Kander, the "Cabaret" composer] to help me because he's great. I'm going to call it "Bazzaz," after a song Kay wrote, I think. I'm not sure. You know lawyers - you can't say anything until everything is signed. We're just in the middle of finding out the what and where and when. When we get everything settled and can step back, we'll know what to call it.
What do you feel on stage?
It's the place where one feels the most immediate. You can't think of the future and you can't think of the past. You've got to sing the lyric.
Getting there: The park is a short walk from the Stillwell Ave./Coney Island Station on the D Train and the W. Eighth St./N.Y. Aquarium Station on the Q or F.

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