Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Liza Minnelli ~ The Complete A&M Recordings (Collector’s Choice)




Let’s face facts: In the four decades since the four LPs collected here were originally released, Liza Minnelli has done a fair amount of damage to her reputation as one of Broadway’s most formidable babies. Still, it’s a testament to her talent—not to mention her force of will—that despite tabloid headlines, Minnelli remains one of America’s most beloved entertainers.
With its many examples of her appealing sass and indomitable charm, The Complete A&M Recordings demonstrates why. As Scott Schechter writes in a thoughtful liner-notes essay, these records—1968’s Liza Minnelli, 1969’s Come Saturday Morning, 1970’s New Feelin’ and 1972’s Live at the Olympia in Paris, plus a handful of singles and outtakes—captured the singer in an in-between phase, after she’d made a splash on the Great White Way but before she’d conquered the rest of showbiz. The music is similarly transitional, with Beatles ballads and Randy Newman numbers rubbing up against show tunes and standards. In Minnelli’s hands, a song is a story no matter where it came from, and her bold performances milk the material for all it’s worth (and occasionally a bit more—see Gordon Lightfoot’s “Wherefore and Why”). Trouble was on the way, but here pure pizzazz held it at bay.
Liza Minnelli plays the Palace Theatre Wed 3–Dec 28.
Buy The Complete A&M Recordings now on BN.com
— Mikael Wood

Saturday, November 29, 2008

LIZA THINKS PINK


Ms. Minnelli talks about her gay fans, her famous mother and her return to broadway.
By David Hurst

Ms. Minnelli talks about her gay fans, her famous mother and her return to broadway.
In the pantheon of single-name female icons like Madonna, Barbra and Cher, Liza has always been one of the greats. At 62, Liza Minnelli—the daughter of another gay icon, Judy Garland, and queer film director Vincent Minnelli—has slimmed down and is ready to return to Broadway for the first time in almost a decade.
She adores her gay fans and can’t wait for them to pack the house for Liza’s…at the Palace, slated to run December 3–28 at the Palace Theater. Fittingly, the venue is the site of her mother’s triumphant show Judy Garland at the Palace “Two-a-Day” in 1951. Liza herself loves the serendipity of tradition and history.
“It’s so weird it’s available,” Minnelli says laughing. “I remember seeing my mom [at the Palace], and seeing Marlene Dietrich there. Gosh, so many people played there and I remember them.”
We caught up with Minnelli on the phone from Italy where she and “her boys” (think Roxie’s coterie in Chicago)—Cortes Alexander, Jim Caruso, Tiger Martina and Johnny Rodgers along with the inimitable Billy Stritch as pianist and musical director—played a busy cross-country tour in early and mid-November. “The boys are so wonderful and so great to work with,” she effuses. “We’ve worked so hard on this and I’m so glad that we’re going to bring it in. You know in the show they’re playing The Williams Brothers, right?”
The siblings Minnelli is referring to are Andy Williams and his brothers, who were the backup for Kay Thompson in her legendary nightclub act from 1947–’51. Thompson, one of the great vocal arrangers and coaches at MGM during its golden age, was also a dazzling performer and just happened to have been Liza’s godmother. In addition to Minnelli’s many signature songs, the cornerstone of Liza…at the Palace will be her recreation of Thompson’s act that will occupy the second act of the show.
“I only saw Kay perform once,” Liza remembers humorously. “It was her opening night at Ciro’s in 1948 and I was two!” she says breaking into her joyous trademark laugh, then remembering that she saw her godmother in Funny Face, the 1957 Paramount classic starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn in which Thompson tells us all to “Think Pink!” in one of the gayest production numbers in cinema history. Due to her tender age at the time, Minnelli obviously doesn’t remember Thompson’s stage show.
“I never got to see her do this show and there’s no record of the choreography. All of our choreography is new by Ron Lewis who’s our director and choreographer and he’s done such a brilliant job because he knew Kay, too,” she says.Liza is determinedly down to earth when chatting about her status as a gay icon.
“At first I didn’t understand what it meant,” she says introspectively. “I didn’t know what anyone’s being gay had to do with how much they liked me…Over the years, I’ve grown to understand and appreciate what it means.”
Like so many things, the answer came from her parents. “When I was young, I was caught up in a situation that wasn’t like anyone else,” she says wistfully. “I had parents who kind of set me apart. But I only realized this when I started to travel and we would be places where people would be impressed by my parentage. Therefore, you end up having a lot of people around you because of that, but it comes down to who really likes you and who sticks by you. I was scrutinized in a different way and I think that’s what happens to gay men. It continues to happen and that’s been the struggle. And, boy, that’s a struggle I really understand.”
Long a supporter of many AIDS charities, Minnelli has lost an entire generation of friends to the disease. She recorded “The Day After That” from longtime friends John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Kiss of the Spider Woman in 1993 to help raise money, but she continues to be frustrated by the lack of awareness or concern among younger gay men.
“At this point, I just don’t know what to say anymore,” she says, clearly distressed. “I look at the situation and think, ‘Oh god, I hope they don’t find out the wrong way how serious this still is. I hope they don’t find out how dangerous this really is.’ Because it’s devastating; to lose all those friends was just horrifying and it doesn’t have to be that way.”
There will be plenty of old friends and probably some new converts when Liza’s name finally takes its rightful place again at the top of the marquee on the Great White Way. N
Visit LizasAtThePalace.com for more info.
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Friday, November 28, 2008

BroadwayWorld ~ On The Road With LIZA! (TV Content)

BroadwayWorld reached out to Liza and her "boys" Cortes Alexander, Jim Caruso, Tiger Martina and Johnny Rodgers and gave them a Flip video camera to record all the fun as they wowed the crowds in Italy.
videoEdited by Craig Brockman

Looking healthy and happy, Liza returns to Broadway


By Charles Isherwood
THE NEW YORK TIMES
11/28/2008
NEW YORK -- Liza Minnelli is poised for a comeback. Again.As she prepares a return to Broadway for the first time in almost a decade, in a new show called "Liza's at the Palace ...," opening Wednesday, Minnelli is looking -- hallelujah! -- healthy and happy at 62, and sounding strong and grounded.


"I just feel like I've come through a whole bunch of stuff," she explained in the living room of her Upper East Side apartment, a sleek marble-and-mirrors aerie in which it is easy to imagine the ghost of Halston languidly stalking the halls, trailing a phantom stream of cigarette smoke. "But I have never felt better in my life. I feel free. I feel happy. I feel completely solid. Calmer and more focused. I understand how intelligent I am."

The words were spoken with Minnelli's customary earnest exuberance, instantly instilling belief. But as this veteran performer's recent highly publicized turnaround made spectacularly clear, a sparkling return to form can ultimately prove to be a fireball presaging another crash landing.It was just six years ago, after all, that Minnelli came roaring back from a brush with death, surgeries to replace two hips and a knee, and the garden-variety tussles with addiction that had plagued her for years. In the spring of 2002 she embarked on a tour of a new show that lived up to its title, "Liza's Back," and earned some of the most rapturous reviews of her career. Writing in The New York Times, Stephen Holden hailed the concert as nothing short of a "resurrection."Wreckage followed the resurrection, in breathtakingly short order. Minnelli had married David Gest, the "who he?" impresario whom she credited with engineering her comeback, in a highly publicized wedding (Minnelli's fourth) that took place just a couple of months before those New York concerts. Less than two years later divorce papers were filed. The tabloids boiled with unseemly accusations -- from Gest -- that made the couple's freakish nuptials, with Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor in attendance and a now-you-may-kiss-the-bride moment of unforgettable creepiness, look like a decorous tea party.Understandably, Minnelli does not relish the prospect of reliving this tumultuous period in her life. At times she honestly seemed to have forgotten in its entirety an episode she referred to at one point as a "hiccup." When asked if she was daunted by the prospect of living up to the ecstatic reception of her last New York show, she seemed to think the reference was to a 1999 Broadway appearance, also at the Palace: a less enthusiastically reviewed tribute to her father, the film director Vincente Minnelli. Could her powers of regeneration be so strong that she has forgotten her last comeback?"I don't remember those shows well," she admitted of the last New York appearances, produced by Gest. "Because it was complicated. I wasn't in charge of anything. I was being shoved around a lot. There were things I didn't agree with in it. I didn't have much say."In retrospect, how does she explain the strangest interlude yet in a life not without notorious episodes?"Encephalitis," she deadpanned, with a little extra pop of the doe eyes.Life-threatening diseaseThat would be the viral brain disease that almost killed her in 2000. Doctors told her she would never perform again, and Minnelli painstakingly had to relearn how to sing, to move, even to talk. It was hardly surprising that she clung to the first human life raft she came across.But the recovery from the man who commandeered her recovery and subsequent renaissance has not been entirely smooth either. An infamous Larry King interview in 2006 somewhat soured the effect of the good notices she'd won for her delicious, self-lampooning appearances on the cult television series "Arrested Development." Looking bloated and sounding bronchial -- overexuberant even by her own ebullient standards -- Minnelli chatted loopily, giving rise to new rumors about substance abuse.And just last December she was flown from Sweden back to the United States and briefly hospitalized after collapsing as she walked offstage during a concert. A severe tooth infection was the problem, Minnelli said, gamely pointing out a bridge to prove the point.Whatever the reason -- debate all you want the genetic factor or the toxic effects of living in a showbiz bubble since birth -- Minnelli's career and life had eerily come to embody the knock-'em-dead-while-you're-dying-inside ethos of some of the songs most closely associated with her (and the triumph-to-tragedy cycles in the life of her mother, Judy Garland). She points to the lyrics of "But the World Goes 'Round," an anthem to endurance written for her by her longtime collaborators John Kander and Fred Ebb. "One day it's kicks, then it's kicks in the shins," she quoted when asked to give a retrospective glance to her peculiar past.Minnelli has been getting her kicks more quietly since she parted ways with Gest, and despite a cough imported from Italy that left a burr in her throat, there was palpable relief in her voice as she related her pleasure at being single. "I don't have somebody telling me, `Be quiet' -- none of that in my life anymore," she said. "It's just so wonderful to not be tied down for the first time. I've never been not dating or not with someone or not in love. Like a lot of women my age, I thought for a long time that unless you were with somebody, you weren't accepted."But the emotional demands and psychic costs of a life onstage played their part too. "You sing to a whole bunch of people, and you come offstage, and you want to see one person," Minnelli said. "Now I sing to a whole bunch of people, I say, `Thank you,' and that's fine. Then I go out and have something to eat with friends."A new song written for her show, "I Would Never Leave You," constitutes a heartfelt reaffirmation of her unusually intense emotional pact with her fans, most of whom have never allowed the clouds of scandal to dim their affection for her. It's a love song directed not at a man, or a dream of a man, or a man that got away, but at the anonymous but adored people in the seats right in front of her, the only constant in a sometimes careering career, to borrow Stephen Sondheim's turn of phrase.I never left -- though I've been left aloneWith every breath -- I am stronger on my ownThe smoke has cleared -- and look who's hereThe same dame you've always known ...Minnelli played an unmixed recording of the song that she had made that afternoon. (It's written by Billy Stritch, Johnny Rodgers and Brian Lane Green.) The voice has darkened over the years, but the singing was confident and quietly impassioned. As her voice has changed, Minnelli has, at her best, scaled back the throbbing intensity in her singing to reveal a more shaded approach to lyrics, influenced by her admiration of Charles Aznavour.Her new show also includes Aznavour's "What Makes a Man a Man," as well as one of Minnelli's rare forays into her mother's repertory, a version of her Palace Theater medley. The show is produced by Minnelli's longtime concert presenter, John Scher, and his company, Metropolitan Talent Presents, along with Minnelli's own company, Jubilee Time Productions.If skeptics need proof of Minnelli's solid good health, consider the punishing schedule she maintained in the weeks before the New York opening. After performing and rehearsing in Italy for three weeks, she flew home on a Saturday and went into the studio on Sunday morning to record five songs for a new CD tied to the Palace show. At 9 that evening she sat down for a long interview. After a day in the city doing more publicity, she was off to Rhode Island to perform four final shows before coming in to New York.Hard work and healthy laughter seem to be the two tonics Minnelli finds most useful and most necessary these days. (She is not drinking, although she prefers to keep to herself the details of the length of her sobriety. "It's a discipline like anything else," she said. "You do the best you can every day to take better care of yourself.") Both work and humor, she noted, were the fundamental legacies from her parents and her Hollywood childhood."The thing I remember is how much laughter there was," she recalled. "All that other stuff was there, of course. But the other stuff was never as serious or as long-lasting as everybody wanted it to be. I remember people creating drama when there wasn't any."There was a lot of work too. Even as a kid I remember being on schedule all the time. Everybody in Hollywood was on a schedule. It was like a mining town, but we were making movies."Tribute to her godmotherHer new show climaxes in a tribute to her godmother, Kay Thompson, like Garland a woman of protean talents, intense drive and a wickedly sharp sense of humor. Thompson, who died in 1998 after living the last five years of her life in Minnelli's apartment, is best known today as the author of the "Eloise" books, about a precocious child loose in the Plaza Hotel and similarly swank locales. Her single significant film appearance, as a crisply chic fashion editor in the Fred Astaire-Audrey Hepburn musical "Funny Face," remains a touchstone for gay audiences. (Lithe, effortlessly imperious and glam as bangles, she makes Heidi Klum of "Project Runway" look like a hausfrau in heels.)But Thompson was also a first-rate musician who was playing Liszt on the piano with the St. Louis Symphony at the age of 16. She was considered by many experts to be the best vocal arranger and vocal coach in Hollywood in the 1940s, and she had a brief but dazzling career as a nightclub performer.The bubble machine in Minnelli's psychic makeup goes into overdrive when she discusses Thompson. "What I remember the most is that everything changed when she walked in a room," she said. "The energy changed, the atmosphere changed. She was it. She was Hollywood's secret weapon."She taught me how to sing more than anyone. She taught me how to move. She taught me about a certain level of performance I didn't know about until I started to work with her. And she was so funny. I remember her saying to me: `Look, Liza, there's a crescent moon. God is paring his toenails."'The new show actually began as a more modest plan to record Thompson's arrangements and some of her compositions. "I started talking about her to a record executive, who didn't know who she was," Minnelli recalled. "I played one of the arrangements, I told him a little more. And in the middle of the meeting I announced that whether it became a record or not, it was going to be a show. My lawyer fell off his chair."Minnelli recruited a longtime collaborator, Ron Lewis, who had all but retired to Las Vegas, to direct and choreograph. The second act of the new show is an attempt to recreate the fabled magic of Thompson's nightclub act, Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers. (One of those brothers was Andy.) Although the original choreography, noted for its jazzy rhythms and speed, no longer exists, Lewis has used photographs to fashion new routines in the same style. Minnelli will be joined onstage by four male singer-dancers and will perform several of Thompson's best-known compositions. (They aren't very well known, in truth: "I Love a Violin"?)In discussing the range of Thompson's talents, Lewis, who joined Minnelli for lunch at the "21" Club (where else?) the next day, was eager to make a comparison. "Everybody knows Liza is an actress and a singer, and in her heart and soul a dancer more than anything else," he said. "But her hands are in every aspect of this show. I'm not talking about somebody who takes a look at a rack of costumes and says, `I'll wear that one."'"She has written more than half of the dialogue," he continued. "She has overseen arrangements. And in the recording studio she's telling the trumpets to take it up a notch. When the orchestra is playing, she can hear that one person is off half a note. That's the kind of ear she has. She is totally involved with the show."Minnelli is taking full responsibility for many things she once relied on her friend and mentor, Ebb, who died in 2004, to help oversee. "I was always Freddy's girl," she said. "But in that sense I was trained by the best, and now I can use it. And this show is so personal, I feel that I am finally finding my own voice for the first time."Given how long, and with what intensity, she has been using that voice, that is a major statement, metaphorical though it may be. Minnelli's life has contained so many highs -- the Oscar, the two Tonys and the Emmy are on low-key display in the piano room -- and such public lows that news media attention will probably always focus on charting the relative distance from the last peak or the last valley.If Minnelli's shows at the Palace are successful, the turbulent past will be a little more distant in the rearview mirror. And this time it will be a comeback she can truly call her own.

liza "THe Today Show" interview

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Liza ~ The Early Show nterview & NY NY

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Liza Minnelli Returning To Broadway


November 25, 2008 10:52 AM ET
Gary Graff, Detroit
Liza Minnelli can see her upcoming "Liza's at the Palace...." show, which starts a three-and-a-half week run Dec. 3 at Broadway's Palace Theatre, as having a longer stay on the Great White Way and maybe even hitting the road. But she isn't making any of those plans yet."Y'know, I really go one step at a time here," Minnelli tells Billboard.com. "I just want to get to the opening night and then we'll see what happens after that."The Palace production, which brings Minnelli to the venue where her mother, Judy Garland, staged a Tony Award-winning 19-week run in 1951, is filled with personal touchstones. The second act features a tribute to Minnelli's godmother, Kay Thompson, which the entertainer has been performing in her shows for the past year-and-a-half. A new first act combines her greatest hits with other favorites, including a recreation of Garland's "Palace Medley" that Minnelli says will be particularly nostalgic. "It's memories -- I went to every matinee," recalls Minnelli, who had the "Liza's at the Palace...." writers craft a special introduction to the segment for her show, telling the audience that, "Where you're sitting, I was sitting there when I saw this (show). I just remember that everybody was all excited. Everywhere I looked there was this buzz. I was not too sure of what I'd see, but I could tell that everyone felt lucky just to be there. It's very cool."Minnelli and producer Phil Ramone recently recorded a studio version of the show, which will be available at the Palace during the run and then will be released Feb. 3 on Hybrid Recordings. There are currently no plans to film the production, but Minnelli notes, "you never know, that could change in 12 minutes."Mostly, Minnelli says she's looking forward to finally getting the long-gestating show on the boards and seeing how it plays in front of a paying crowd."I come at it from every angle," she explains. "It's not only the performer's angle but the writer's angle -- 'What should it look like?' And if I was sitting in the audience, what would I like to see? The creative process of the whole thing is the most fascinating (part) to me. Unless I can really throw myself into it completely, I don't think it's worth doing."

LIZA debuts new BillyStritch~Johnny Rogers song on The Early Show!

video

Monday, November 24, 2008

Liza Sings Swinging New Duet with Billboard Song-Winning Artist Johnny Rodgers


Celebrate with Liza and Johnny as they come together in Johnny's original duet Let's Make A Date. The release of the song and EP, inspired by Liza, coincides with Rodgers' Broadway debut in “Liza's At The Palace…!” in December. Rodgers has been featured and toured around the world with Minnelli and her orchestra.The EP also contains Johnny's sexy arrangement of the Randy Newman song You Can Leave Your Hat On. This is one that Liza likes to dance to!Let's Make A Date now available at http://www.johnnyrodgers.com/.

LIZA~The NEW YORKER Second Act...


Critic’s Notebook
Second Act
by Hilton Als December 1, 2008


When Liza Minnelli appeared on the cover of Time in 1972, she was the twenty-seven-year-old star of “Cabaret”; the magazine dubbed her “The New Miss Show Biz.” Has there ever been a more accurate headline? Before she was even in kindergarten, Minnelli was in front of the cameras; being on a movie set was like going home. Her parents were Mama Judy, of course, and the brilliant film director Vincente, each of whom imparted to their only child a great understanding of the audience: trust them to love you if you give them your all. Minnelli’s second home has always been Broadway, and she returns to the Palace on Dec. 3 for almost four weeks in her best role: herself. Inspired by the intimate yet flamboyant stage shows that her godmother and idol, Kay Thompson, put on in the forties, Minnelli will showcase her voice, which is as big as Mama’s but less sentimental. Meryl Streep has described Minnelli’s desire to communicate something deep and true to the audience, all the way up to the balcony, as astonishing. The neophyte took what she could from a master. ♦
ILLUSTRATION: HOPE GANGLOFF

Reviews Are In From Liza's Pre-Broadway Rhode Island Performance!



Liza Minnelli still tops in old-school song and dance
01:00 AM EST on Thursday, November 20, 2008
BY RICK MASSIMOJournal Pop Music Writer
WOONSOCKET — Singing like a grande dame and jumping around like someone half her age, Liza Minnelli began a four-night stand at the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center last night with a preview of the show that’s coming to New York next month, and she proved that the fundamentals — her gutsy, brassy, strong voice and her irrepressible enthusiasm — were still in place.
Starting with “Teach Me Tonight,” the first half of the show saw Minnelli straddling the line between concert performance and musical theater as she ran through an inspired collection of show tunes and standards as well as her hits, adopting a collection of characters to inhabit the songs at the same time. She not only acted the part of Roxie Hart while singing “I’m My Own Best Friend,” from Chicago, but also the way she convinced Bob Fosse to let her substitute for an injured Gwen Verdon. “I find the woman in the next song’s choice profoundly admirable,” she said before shooting an imaginary philanderer with a prop gun before “If.”
The first half included the new “At the Palace,” leading into the rest of the new show, but the highlight might have been Charles Aznavour’s “What Makes a Man a Man?,” a lonely, forlorn tango about forbidden, unrequited passion that was an exception to the usual boundless optimism of the songs she chooses. Minnelli introduced it by recalling a time when “You could be put in jail for a certain lifestyle. Some people call that time ‘now.’ ” Of course, “Cabaret” ended the set.
Throughout, Minnelli charmed the nearly sold-out house with her good nature and exuberance, unafraid to wipe her nose, muss her hair, breathe hard or recall the passage of time. “Remember how I used to sit down in the second act?,” she said while sitting down during the first, to do smoldering versions of the ballads “Maybe This Time” and “He’s Funny That Way”; “Remember how I used to go down on one knee for that part? Forget it!” she said during “Mammy.”
There were a few sound problems in the first half, as the sound system couldn’t reproduce the high end in Minnelli’s voice, leaving tongue-twisting songs such as “If” nearly incomprehensible. They were fixed later on.
The second half primarily consisted of Minnelli’s tribute to her godmother, Kay Thompson, who was a singer, vocal coach, arranger and nightclub performer. Minnelli hoofed it up with four men portraying The Williams Brothers, Thompson’s backing quartet, and they sang Thompson’s own complicated and jazzy vocal harmonies. The breakneck tempo of “Come Join the Jubilee” was particularly impressive as Minnelli, 62, and dancers fairly threw themselves around the stage, and the “brothers” got their own number — the Ira Gershwin song Minnelli was named after.
In between the songs, Minnelli recalled Thompson’s personal and professional influence on herself and others (“She taught me how to sing,” Lena Horne reportedly said), dating to Minnelli’s first show-biz appearance, leading through her difficult times (“I was divorcing — I don’t know, someone,” one story began) and through to Thompson’s last words to Minnelli (“Goodbye darling,” she said as Minnelli left for a concert; “have a happy everything!”)
If you saw the show Minnelli gave in January at the Providence Performing Arts Center, it wasn’t much different, but it was still one of the best examples of old-school song and dance you’re likely to find. And the affection Minnelli had for Thompson, who lived with Minnelli until she died in 1998, was obvious: “I don’t know how to explain it,” Minnelli said of Thompson’s musical mastery; “I just know how to do it.” She then finished up with “My Mammy” and her trademark “New York, New York” — a typically rousing version that let Minnelli’s pure optimism shine through.
Minnelli performs again tonight, Saturday and Sunday at the Stadium.
rmassimo@projo.com

For additional information please visit: http://lizasatthepalace.com/Liza Minnelli >>LIZA MINNELLI will bring her unmatchable magic back to the Palace Theatre on Broadway in December. “LIZA’S AT THE PALACE ...” opens Wednesday, December 3, for a limited engagement of only 19 shows. The show will feature the incomparable Minnelli backed by a twelve-piece orchestra to perform a host of her signature showstoppers and personal favorites, from “Cabaret” and “Maybe This Time” to “New York New York.” The evening will also include a dance-filled tribute to the groundbreaking late-1940’s nightclub act of Minnelli's godmother, Kay Thompson. Simply put, “LIZA’S AT THE PALACE … ” promises to be an unforgettable night on Broadway with one of entertainment's legendary icons.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Liza Minnelli ~special guest on WABC Radio's Saturday Night Oldies on Saturday, November 22, 2008.


Liza Minnelli will be a very special guest on WABC Radio's Saturday Night Oldies on Saturday, November 22, 2008.The radio show, hosted by Mark Simone (www.marksimone.com), airs on 77 WABC Radio, New York. The radio show begins at 6:07 PM ET.Listen live to the program at http://www.wabcradio.comand follow along on the Saturday Night Oldies Message Board throughout the showhttp://www.musicradio77.com/wabcboard/wwwboard/wabcboard1.htmlSaturday Night Oldies Yahoo Grouphttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/SaturdayNightOldiesShow

Enjoy the show!

DIVA TALK: Chatting with Liza Minnelli...

photo by Raoul



Liza Minnelli with (clockwise from left) Jim Caruso, Johnny Rodgers, Tiger Martina and Cortes Alexander
photo by Bill Westmoreland

By Andrew Gans21 Nov 2008


News, views and reviews about the multi-talented women of the musical theatre and the concert/cabaret stage.
LIZA MINNELLIHow many times in one's life does the day begin with a call from Liza Minnelli? Even if the interview was only ten minutes long, it would be hard to complain about speaking to the effervescent, good-natured Minnelli, who was calling during a rehearsal break in Milan. In fact, Minnelli seemed genuinely excited about her upcoming return to Broadway in Liza's at the Palace . . .!, which will begin an already-extended engagement at the famed Palace Theatre Dec. 3. The limited run, which is currently scheduled to play through Dec. 28, is an early holiday present for diva fans, who have been eagerly awaiting the Main Stem return of the Tony, Grammy, Oscar and Emmy Award-winning singer-actor-dancer. Minnelli, a three-time Tony winner (for Flora, The Red Menace; The Act; and a 1974 Special Award), was last on Broadway in 1999 in Minnelli on Minnelli, a tribute to her late father, film director Vincente Minnelli. This time around, the powerhouse performer will honor her late godmother, Kay Thompson, the vocal arranger who coached Minnelli's late mother, the legendary Judy Garland. Minnelli spoke with great enthusiasm about Thompson and her new show and her return to Broadway; that brief interview follows.
Liza Minnelli: Good morning, Andrew. How are you?
Question: I'm good. How are you doing?Minnelli: Fine, honey!
Question: Congratulations on your show being extended. Minnelli: I know. Isn't that something? I'm thrilled.
Question: How do you feel about coming back to Broadway for the holidays?Minnelli: I'm excited, as you can [imagine]. I just can't stand it — it's wonderful! Dream come true.
Question: Have you started rehearsals yet?Minnelli: Oh, yeah. I've been working on this show that I'm doing now, that we've been booked at the Palace, for almost two years.
Question: I know part of the show is about Kay Thompson. For people who don't know her, tell me about her and your relationship to her. Minnelli: Selfishly, she was my godmother, but as far as anything else goes, she was an underground force in show business. She was an enormous radio star. And then she was, in short, the entire music department — the vocals and all of the vocal arrangements and every song you ever heard sung — at M-G-M, in the '40s. That's how she met my parents. Then she did a nightclub act that . . . Walter Winchell called the greatest nightclub act he had ever seen. It was her and four guys, the Williams Brothers, one of which was Andy Williams, and that's what we're doing. We're doing parts of her nightclub act and, in between, I talk about the things that she taught me and gave me and how she influenced my life. Then, after that, she wrote "Eloise at the Plaza." [Laughs.]
Question: Not a bad career.Minnelli: And then she starred in "Funny Face." Did you see "Funny Face?"
Question: I haven't seen "Funny Face."Minnelli: Well, rent it! The woman who is the head of the magazine, Maggie, that's Kay Thompson.




Question: How did this show come about? How did you decide to honor her?Minnelli: It started out [because] I wanted to do some of her vocal arrangements, because they were so unusual and so influential to vocal singing. From the minute she hit M-G-M and started to do her stuff, vocals changed. Nelson Riddle and all of these wonderful arrangers always said that Kay Thompson influenced them more than anyone. . . . And then I thought, "Well, maybe we should record it, or maybe I should put it in my show...I don't know what to do." So I got the guys together, and then I thought, "I want to perform this." I called Ron Lewis, who has won me every Tony in the world and done all this stuff and is my favorite choreographer and director in life — he is extraordinary. I said, "Listen, I want to do this show about Kay Thompson," and he proceeded to tell me how she had influenced him, too. He had met her at my apartment later on in her life. She lived with me until she died. She invented the word "pizzazz."
Question: I thought you invented that word!Minnelli: No way! That was her! [Laughs.]
Question: You've played the Palace Theatre before. What does it mean to you to play that particular theatre? Minnelli: It's wonderful. In the old days, on the vaudeville circuit, when you played the Palace, you'd really made it! [Laughs.] And I guess it's still the same.
Question: You've been performing some of this material around the world already.Minnelli: Yes, we've been trying different things out. It's complicated, so it's taken us a long time to achieve what we set out to do. It's finally in the kind of shape that I think I can present it to the theatre world.
Question: Do you have any favorites so far in the songs you've been doing?Minnelli: I'd have to let you choose because I love them all! [Laughs.] They're so much fun to sing.
Question: What are some of the songs that Thompson had done in her show?Minnelli: "I Love a Violin" is one of them. From "Funny Face," we're doing "Clap Yo' Hands" — her arrangement of that she did with Fred Astaire. There's something that nobody's ever heard called "Hello, Hello." And another one nobody's heard called "Jubliee Time." When she did an act, they were all original songs, which is also unheard of.
Question: Billy Stritch is involved also.Minnelli: Billy has done all of the vocal charts for us. He broke down Kay's arrangements, taught them to us, and for anybody to be able to hear that is miraculous. Billy is just great. He is my arranger and my piano player and vocal arranger. [The orchestra is] being conducted by Mike Berkowitz, the drummer.
Question: You're going to have four men joining you onstage, right?Minnelli: Yeah, Jim Caruso, Johnny Rodgers, Cortés Alexander and Tiger Martina. They'll be the Williams Brothers, which was Andy Williams and his three brothers. I had to call Andy to get some information on how this all worked because there is no record of it anywhere. There was no way to copy choreography [because] nobody ever filmed it! But Ron has done the most extraordinary job. We never stop moving. Wait 'til you see this.
Question: You've performed all around the world, on the silver screen and on TV. Do you have a preference for being in front of a live audience?Minnelli: Are you kidding me? New York! Broadway! It's what I always wanted, it's what I always will want, and it thrills me to pieces to be there again.
Question: Looking back on your Broadway experiences, do you have a favorite production? A favorite memory? What stands out in your mind about your Broadway career? Minnelli: Well, I won three Tonys, but it's always been so different. It's been so interesting. The projects have been so completely different. I think that's what keeps me curious. How do you do it differently? What can you do this time? What interests you as your interests change, as you grow?
Question: How do you prepare for a show? What are some of your pre-show rituals before you go on stage? Minnelli: Put on my own makeup, do my own hair, put my clothes on, and go out there! [Laughs.]


Question: This is just a limited engagement, right?Minnelli: Well, it was two weeks. They've extended it to four. I don't know what they're gonna extend it to.
Question: Will you take it to other cities after this? Minnelli: We're in Italy right now. I'm calling you from Milan. Talk about out of town. . .
Question: Are you performing there now? Minnelli: Yes, I am.
Question: Is it the Broadway show that you're doing? Minnelli: Not exactly. It's not exactly the show. Parts of the show won't be ready until the night I open on Broadway. . . . Listen, I gotta get back to rehearsal or they're gonna kill me!
Question: Okay, one last question. When people hear the name "Liza Minnelli," what would you like them to think? Minnelli: Oh, I don't know, that's not my answer! That's gotta be yours! [Laughs.]
Question: Thanks for taking the time to talk.Minnelli: Thank you, honey.
[The Palace Theatre is located at Broadway and 47th Street. Tickets, priced $25-$125, are available by calling (212) 307-4100 or (800) 755-4000. For more information visit www.lizasatthepalace.com.]


LIza~It's time for a holiday


Liza Minnelli pumps her hand skyward to acknowledge the enthusiastic response of the Stadium Theatre crowd to Wednesday’s opening number, ‘Teach Me Tonight.’ Times Photo/Butch Adams
By KATHIE RALEIGHLifestyle Editor
WOONSOCKET — Liza Minnelli opened Wednesday night’s performance at the Stadium Theatre with the familiar song “Teach Me Tonight,” and it wasn’t an accidental choice.
The first stanza of Sammy Cahn’s lyrics note, “… this is a perfect spot to learn” — which seemed so appropriate considering her four performances here are a test run — a chance to learn — before she opens Dec. 3 on Broadway.The Stadium Theatre also proved to be a perfect spot for a lot of us to learn what has made Liza such a popular and enduring entertainer, and from this seat, it’s all about talent, personality — but most importantly — her way with a lyric.She was only four songs into the more than two-hour show when we were hooked. That’s when she sang Charles Aznavour’s “What Makes a Man a Man?” a song about an impersonator. Courage, resignation, vulnerability, the pain of unrequited love: Minnelli poured it all into the introspective lyrics, in just the right proportions. She switched gears with a story about having fun playing the murderous Roxy Hart in “Chicago” and sang a song entitled “I Am My Own Best Friend,” cut from the movie version but perfect for the Liza persona. Then she launched into another John Kander and Fred Ebb song that was a perfect fit: “Maybe This Time” (I’ll be lucky and maybe he’ll stay).So THIS is what the excitement is about: seeing Liza live, right here, up close and personal.And personal she was. Although a proscenium stage doesn’t invite interaction, Minnelli responded to the audience, acknowledging fans who shouted compliments and the four guys in the front row with one letter each emblazoned on the front of their sweaters to spell out her name.“How exciting to be here,” she breathed.“For us!” someone shouted back, speaking for everyone.The first half of the show featured signature Minnelli songs, closing with the one that forever will be hers, “Cabaret.” She may have performed it a million times, but this million-and-one performance was magical.In the second act, Minnelli paid tribute to her multi-talented godmother, Kay Thompson, a radio star, vocal arranger for MGM, actress (“Funny Face”) and vocalist whose 1940s nightclub act with the Williams brothers, including Andy, was considered groundbreaking. Minnelli told stories about her relationship with Thompson, then recreated some of Thompson’s nightclub act, joined by four male singers and dancers. The harmonies were great, and Minnelli’s vocals were just as emotional, but being less familiar with the music and the era, I liked the first half better.That’s just personal preference. Minnelli delivered just as much in the second half and, perhaps worked even harder because the latter half of the show involved lots of dancing. She’s backed by a flawless 12-piece orchestra that was more than accompaniment. The musicians helped create the excitement, and when they began the final song, the crowd erupted.It was “New York, New York,” and after seeing Liza live, she’s the one we’ll think of any time we hear the opening notes.Liza has two more shows at the Stadium Theatre, on Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $55 to $85 at the box office, by calling (401) 762-4545 or online at http://www.stadiumtheatre.com/.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Liza Minnelli still tops in old-school song and dance



01:00 AM EST on Thursday, November 20, 2008
BY RICK MASSIMOJournal Pop Music Writer
WOONSOCKET — Singing like a grande dame and jumping around like someone half her age, Liza Minnelli began a four-night stand at the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center last night with a preview of the show that’s coming to New York next month, and she proved that the fundamentals — her gutsy, brassy, strong voice and her irrepressible enthusiasm — were still in place.
Starting with “Teach Me Tonight,” the first half of the show saw Minnelli straddling the line between concert performance and musical theater as she ran through an inspired collection of show tunes and standards as well as her hits, adopting a collection of characters to inhabit the songs at the same time. She not only acted the part of Roxie Hart while singing “I’m My Own Best Friend,” from Chicago, but also the way she convinced Bob Fosse to let her substitute for an injured Gwen Verdon. “I find the woman in the next song’s choice profoundly admirable,” she said before shooting an imaginary philanderer with a prop gun before “If.”
The first half included the new “At the Palace,” leading into the rest of the new show, but the highlight might have been Charles Aznavour’s “What Makes a Man a Man?,” a lonely, forlorn tango about forbidden, unrequited passion that was an exception to the usual boundless optimism of the songs she chooses. Minnelli introduced it by recalling a time when “You could be put in jail for a certain lifestyle. Some people call that time ‘now.’ ” Of course, “Cabaret” ended the set.
Throughout, Minnelli charmed the nearly sold-out house with her good nature and exuberance, unafraid to wipe her nose, muss her hair, breathe hard or recall the passage of time. “Remember how I used to sit down in the second act?,” she said while sitting down during the first, to do smoldering versions of the ballads “Maybe This Time” and “He’s Funny That Way”; “Remember how I used to go down on one knee for that part? Forget it!” she said during “Mammy.”
There were a few sound problems in the first half, as the sound system couldn’t reproduce the high end in Minnelli’s voice, leaving tongue-twisting songs such as “If” nearly incomprehensible. They were fixed later on.
The second half primarily consisted of Minnelli’s tribute to her godmother, Kay Thompson, who was a singer, vocal coach, arranger and nightclub performer. Minnelli hoofed it up with four men portraying The Williams Brothers, Thompson’s backing quartet, and they sang Thompson’s own complicated and jazzy vocal harmonies. The breakneck tempo of “Come Join the Jubilee” was particularly impressive as Minnelli, 62, and dancers fairly threw themselves around the stage, and the “brothers” got their own number — the Ira Gershwin song Minnelli was named after.
In between the songs, Minnelli recalled Thompson’s personal and professional influence on herself and others (“She taught me how to sing,” Lena Horne reportedly said), dating to Minnelli’s first show-biz appearance, leading through her difficult times (“I was divorcing — I don’t know, someone,” one story began) and through to Thompson’s last words to Minnelli (“Goodbye darling,” she said as Minnelli left for a concert; “have a happy everything!”)
If you saw the show Minnelli gave in January at the Providence Performing Arts Center, it wasn’t much different, but it was still one of the best examples of old-school song and dance you’re likely to find. And the affection Minnelli had for Thompson, who lived with Minnelli until she died in 1998, was obvious: “I don’t know how to explain it,” Minnelli said of Thompson’s musical mastery; “I just know how to do it.” She then finished up with “My Mammy” and her trademark “New York, New York” — a typically rousing version that let Minnelli’s pure optimism shine through.
Minnelli performs again tonight, Saturday and Sunday at the Stadium.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Liza Minnelli 1967 by Alexis Waldeck


Singer-actress Liza Minnelli sat gamely for Alexi Waldeck in this portrait, which appeared in the November 1, 1967, Vogue. She wears a black sleeveless velvet dress with a lace-trimmed hem. Her cotton petticoat by Robert Leader and black lace stockings peek out underneath. Holding her hands in her lap, Minnelli looks innocent and fresh, a reminder of the incubation period of her celebrated career.

Artist: Alexis Waldeck

LIZA in Mexico by RAOUL



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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Liza's coming to Broardway!

photo by Shannon

LIZA~Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center Woonsocket, RI~Wednesday, Nov 19 8:00p


Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center


Although singer-actress Liza Minnelli can count Academy Award-winning film roles, Tony Award-winning musical theater performances, Emmy Award-winning television specials, and gold-selling records among her accomplishments, she is primarily a concert performer whose career has been defined by a series of stage acts dating back to her nightclub debut in 1965.
Although singer-actress Liza Minnelli can count Academy Award-winning film roles, Tony Award-winning musical theater performances, Emmy Award-winning television specials, and gold-selling records among her accomplishments, she is primarily a concert performer whose career has been defined by a series of stage acts dating back to her nightclub debut in 1965. Her best work in film, in the musical theater, and on television has taken advantage of and grown out of her reputation as a live performer, and many of the albums she has released under her own name are concert recordings. (She has also appeared on numerous soundtracks and cast albums.) Since she began performing in the early '60s, Minnelli has displayed an energetic style that combines technical precision with warmth and enthusiasm, allowing her to transcend the contrary trends in popular music over the course of her career and maintain her status as a major star. Minnelli is the daughter of film director Vincente Minnelli and actress-singer Judy Garland. As such, her show business career began early, when she was cast as a baby in the 1949 film In the Good Old Summertime starring her mother and directed by her father. When she was five, her parents divorced, agreeing on joint custody, and she shuttled between them for the rest of her childhood, living alternately in Hollywood, where her father continued to direct movies, and on the road with her mother, who toured the world as a concert performer. She first performed on-stage with her mother at the age of ten and also made occasional appearances on television as a child. Due to her mother's peripatetic career, she attended many different schools. By her teens, she had decided she wanted to pursue a career as an entertainer, and in 1961 she passed the audition for admittance to the New York High School for the Performing Arts, though, typically, she did not stay there long. In 1962, she recorded the voice of Dorothy, the part played by her mother in the film The Wizard of Oz, for an animated sequel called Journey Back to Oz that was shelved until 1974, when it resulted in a soundtrack album on RFO Records called The Return to Oz. Later in 1962, following a brief attendance at the Sorbonne in Paris, she abandoned formal education to try to become an actress in New York. She made her professional debut at 17 in an off-Broadway revival of the 1941 musical +Best Foot Forward, which opened April 2, 1963. It ran 244 performances, and Cadence Records released a cast album that marked her recording debut. Minnelli sang with her mother on two episodes of the television series The Judy Garland Show in November and December 1963, and the performances have turned up on several Garland albums. In 1964, Minnelli gained experience in touring companies of the musicals +Carnival! and +The Fantasticks, and she signed a recording contract with Capitol, which released her debut LP, Liza! Liza!, in September. The album reached the Billboard charts, but its successors, It Amazes Me (March 1965) and There Is a Time (December 1966), did not. In November 1964, she was co-billed with her mother at the London Palladium, and their appearance was recorded for a 1965 Capitol album, Live at the London Palladium, that reached the Top 100. Minnelli was given her first starring role in a Broadway musical at the age of 19 with +Flora, the Red Menace, featuring a score by composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb, that opened on May 11, 1965, but closed after only 87 performances. Despite its failure, she became the youngest woman ever to win a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical. The resulting cast album, released on RCA Victor Records, reached the charts. She formed a lasting association with Kander & Ebb, who frequently wrote for her from then on. On September 14, 1965, she made her nightclub debut at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., in an act written by Ebb. From there, she went on to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and other stops on her first tour. For the rest of her career, her work in clubs, theaters, concert halls, hotels, and casinos would be a constant, with other activities fitted in around it. On November 28, 1965, she starred in the television musical The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood, featuring songs by Jule Styne and Robert Merrill. A soundtrack album was released on ABC Records in January 1966. Minnelli performed in prestigious venues such as the Persian Room of the Plaza Hotel in New York and the Talk of the Town nightclub in London during 1966. On March 3, 1967, she married singer/songwriter Peter Allen. They divorced on July 24, 1974. She was also married to movie producer Jack Haley, Jr. (1974-1979), stage manager Mark Gero (1979-1992), and concert promoter David Gest (on March 16, 2002). She turned to screen acting with a featured role in the drama Charlie Bubbles, which was released in February 1968. Her first starring role in a movie came with the drama The Sterile Cuckoo, which was released in October 1969 and brought her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Meanwhile, as a recording artist she had switched from Capitol to A&M Records, which released her albums Liza Minnelli (May 1968), Come Saturday Morning (April 1970, named after the theme song from The Sterile Cuckoo), New Feelin' (November 1970), and Live at the Olympia in Paris (July 1972), of which only New Feelin' reached the charts. Minnelli continued to work steadily in the early '70s, headlining her first television special on June 29, 1970, and starring in the film Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon, released that July. But her career really took off in 1972. The year marked her starring role in the film adaptation of Kander & Ebb's musical +Cabaret, directed by Bob Fosse, which was released in February and became a major hit. The soundtrack album, released by ABC Records, went gold, and she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She again teamed with Kander, Ebb, and Fosse for her next television special, a taped version of her live show dubbed Liza With a "Z". Broadcast September 10, it won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety/Music Program, and Columbia Records' soundtrack LP reached the Top 20 and went gold. The album marked the beginning of her new record contract with Columbia, and she followed with an album of contemporary songs, Liza Minnelli, the Singer, which reached the Top 40 in 1973. Minnelli did not immediately follow up on her film success, but instead continued to tour with her live act. Her sold-out three-week appearance at the Winter Garden on Broadway in January 1974 was recorded for the Columbia album Live at the Winter Garden and earned her a special Tony Award. She finally returned to filmmaking in 1975, shooting Lucky Lady (December 1975) and A Matter of Time (October 1976), the latter directed by her father; neither was well received. In between the two, she filled in for an ailing Gwen Verdon in the recently opened Broadway musical +Chicago (directed by Fosse, with music by Kander & Ebb) for several weeks in the summer of 1975, and Columbia released a single of her recording of "All That Jazz" from the score. In June 1977, Minnelli co-starred with Robert DeNiro in Martin Scorsese's film musical New York, New York, about the star-crossed romance between a band-singer-turned-Hollywood-star and a jazz musician in the 1940s and '50s. Kander & Ebb wrote the period-style music, and the soundtrack album reached the Top 50. The lengthy, big-budget movie itself was not a financial success, but the title song went on to become a standard after it was recorded by Frank Sinatra, though it remained a signature song for Minnelli. She next made a disco-styled album, Tropical Nights, for Columbia, then teamed again with Scorsese, who directed her in the Broadway musical +The Act, featuring songs by Kander & Ebb. It opened on October 29, 1977, and ran 233 performances, winning her a third Tony Award. The cast album was released on DRG Records. In the late '70s, Minnelli returned to concert work primarily, as her recording contract had lapsed and her string of unsuccessful films had hurt her movie career. Such setbacks could not keep her from selling out 11 consecutive nights at Carnegie Hall in September 1979, a record for the venue. In July 1981, she appeared in the successful film comedy Arthur, but her focus remained on concertizing, as she toured around the world in the early '80s. She co-starred with Chita Rivera in the Broadway musical +The Rink, a Kander & Ebb effort that opened February 9, 1984, produced a cast album on Polydor Records, and ran 204 performances. She left the show in July 1984 to overcome substance abuse at the Betty Ford Clinic. By June 1985, she was back to touring. On October 28, 1985, she starred in the television movie A Time to Live, a drama. She won a Golden Globe Award for her performance. Minnelli continued to perform internationally in the mid-'80s. Her record-breaking three-week stand at Carnegie Hall in the spring of 1987, which launched a national tour, was taped for her first album in ten years, Liza Minnelli at Carnegie Hall, released by Telarc that September; it made the charts. In 1988, she appeared in two films, Rent-a-Cop and Arthur 2: On the Rocks. She also starred in another TV movie, Sam Found Out: A Triple Play, on June 7 and substituted for an ailing Dean Martin on a September concert tour with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr., that later moved on to Europe and Asia and culminated in a performance broadcast on cable television. She surprised fans by collaborating with the Pet Shop Boys on a dance music arrangement of Stephen Sondheim's "Losing My Mind," which became a Top Ten hit in the U.K. upon its release by Epic Records in the spring of 1989 and placed in the dance charts in the U.S. (as did its B-side, "Love Pains"). This prefaced a full-length album, Results, released in September, that made the Top Ten in England and charted in America. In September 1991, she appeared in the film musical Stepping Out and on the soundtrack album released by Milan Records. Still, concert performing remained her primary means of expression, and her next album, released by Columbia Records in connection with a video in late 1992, was Live from Radio City Music Hall. She appeared in the cable-television movie Parallel Lives on August 14, 1994. Hip replacement surgery in December 1994 only interrupted her road work briefly; she was back on tour in March 1995. Another TV movie, West Side Waltz, was broadcast on November 23, 1995. In March 1996, Angel Records released Gently, an album of traditional pop standards, and she toured to support it. It charted briefly and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance. In January 1997, she substituted for Julie Andrews in the Broadway musical Victor/Victoria. Her next stage act, launched with a month-long run at the Palace Theater in New York in December 1999, was called +Minnelli on Minnelli and focused on songs featured in movie musicals directed by her father. She recorded it for an album released on Angel in February 2000, but the subsequent national tour was cut short in April when she contracted double pneumonia. In October, she fell ill with a life-threatening attack of encephalitis. During 2001, she recovered from the illness and underwent a second hip replacement operation, and in the spring of 2002 she returned to live performing with multiple shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Beacon Theater in New York, produced and directed by her new husband, David Gest. J Records released an album drawn from the Beacon performances, Liza's Back, in October. A proposed reality TV series featuring her and Gest for the cable network VH1 was scuttled at the last moment in early 2003 amid mutual recriminations, and she embarked on a national tour. She and Gest filed for divorce in July. In November, she began a continuing role on the television series Arrested Development that ran through 2005. In 2006, she appeared in the film The OH in Ohio and was reported to be working on a tribute album to Kay Thompson, the nightclub singer, author of the children's book -Eloise, and MGM vocal coach. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide


Date
Time
Thursday, Nov 20
8:00p
Friday, Nov 21
8:00p

Saturday, Nov 22
8:00p
Sunday, Nov 23
8:00p

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Liza and Jim Bailey "Live", 1973




In 1973, Jim Bailey teamed with Liza Minnelli, daughter of his mentor Judy Garland, in Las Vegas. The two put together a concert recreating the performances by Minnelli and her late mother in London, with Bailey standing in as Garland. The "Judy and Liza Concert" met with great success. Later, Minnelli made a gift to Bailey of one of her late mother's treasured rings.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Liza Minnelli is paying tribute to the late Kay Thompson, her beloved godmother



By Richard Duckett TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFFrduckett@telegram.com

Liza Minnelli's ` Liza's at the Palace ...!' performance will get its first complete workout in Woonsocket before heading to Broadway.

When: 8 p.m. on Nov. 19, 20, 22 and 23.Where: The Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre, 28 Monument Square, Woonsocket, R.I.How much: $55-$85. Call (401) 762-4545 or go to http://www.stadiumtheatre.com/

It’s more than another opening of another show. Liza Minnelli is coming back to Broadway. The legendary singer and actress’ new show “Liza’s at the Palace …!” opens Dec. 3 at Broadway’s Palace Theatre (Broadway and 47th Street). As might be expected from her engagingly bubbly public persona, Minnelli sounded excited and enthused. In “Liza’s at the Palace…!” she will pay tribute to her beloved godmother, the late Kay Thompson, a singer, writer and Renaissance woman. Minnelli will talk about their relationship. “I’ve never talked about myself on stage, ever. It’s even a different kind of nervous. And I feel a little sigh the minute I think about Kay,” she said.

But before she also sings “New York! New York!” in New York again (as she surely will in the performance), there is another destination and show opening. She is coming near here for a sort of “out of town” tryout of “Liza’s at the Palace …!” for four performance beginning Nov. 19 at the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre in Woonsocket, R.I. Actually she was being interviewed 12 days ago by telephone from Italy, where she was performing her show on a short tour. She also took in some of the sights of Rome, Thompson’s home for seven years. “It’s beautiful here. It’s so beautiful here, I can’t tell you,” she said as the clock was starting to tick into the evening in Italy. Minnelli has been developing her new show and touring with it off and on for the past two years. But it is in Woonsocket where the scenery for the Broadway appearance will be brought in for the first time and final touches made to both the decor and the score. Audiences in Woonsocket are in for some excitement, Minnelli said. “We are out of town, which is the best part. ... We will finalize everything we’ve been working on for two years.” The first act consists of “songs that were written for me and associated with me,” she said. These will include “Cabaret” and “Maybe This Time” — written for her by the legendary Broadway songwriting partnership of John Kander and Fred Ebb. They will be performed with a 12-man orchestra. “The second act is really all my godmother.” Thompson (1908-98) was regarded as the consummate cabaret performer (“I saw her nightclub act when I was 2,” Minnelli said), wrote the “Eloise” series of children’s books, and was a vocal arranger, music director and vocal coach who worked with such stars as Judy Garland (Minnelli’s mother), Frank Sinatra and Lena Horne. With four singer/dancers, Minnelli will perform musical hits (with the original vocal arrangements) from Thompson’s act such as “I Love a Violin,” “Clap Yo’ Hands,” “Jubilee Time” and “Hello Hello” — set to new staging and choreography. The concert performance is scripted by Minnelli and Tony Award-winner David Zippel, and will be full of personal stories, anecdotes and reminiscences embraced in a theatrical setting. “She did everything. She taught everyone at MGM,” Minnelli said of Thompson. How close were they? “Very, very close. I consider her the greatest gift my parents ever gave me. She was zany, sophisticated, funny and all that good stuff.” And probably resilient as well, something she may well have imparted to Minnelli. The entertainer has had well-documented health and personal problems over the years, but then comes a show like “Liza’s Back” in 2002. In 2004 and ‘05 there were appearances on the TV sitcom “Arrested Development,” and guest vocals on My Chemical Romance’s 2006 concept album “The Black Parade.” Now there’s “Liza’s at the Palace…!” where she has had a hand in scripting and putting her 62-year-old body very much through its paces. Minnelli said she’s always been disciplined when it comes to performing, as well as perfectionistic. The daughter of Garland and movie director Vincente Minnelli, she made her movie debut as a baby in the 1949 film “In the Good Old Summertime.” Over the years there would be Tony Awards, an Academy Award (for her best-known film and role as Sally Bowles in the 1972 classic “Cabaret”) an Emmy for “Liza with a ‘Z’ ” and a Grammy Legend Award. Growing up on movie sets around her parents, however, “I wanted to be an ice skater. I would have been a good one,” Minnelli said. She would have been good because of the discipline she would have imparted, she said. “I didn’t want to do any of this until I saw ‘Bye-Bye Birdie.’ Then I thought, ‘Oh this is fun.’ ” Asked what her favorite role is, she replied, “My favorite role is what I’m doing at the time … “I love rehearsing and getting it right. I’m relentless in the way I work. I’ll work at anything till it’s right.” But she hasn’t lost her sense of fun, either. The next night in Rome after the interview, Minnelli said “we’re gonna kick up our heels” visiting where Thompson used to live. “She loved this city,” Minnelli said.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

LIZA~Mexico City at the Auditorio Nacional~April 28th 2008 VIDEO BY RAOUL Photography and Video

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Minnelli Extends Engagement at Broadway's Palace Theatre


By Andrew Gans04 Nov 2008

She's already a hit, and performances have yet to begin. That right: The limited engagement of Liza's at the Palace . . .! — starring Tony, Grammy, Oscar and Emmy Award winner Liza Minnelli — has been extended by two weeks.
As previously reported, Liza's at the Palace — produced by John Scher/Metropolitan Talent Presents & Jubilee Time Productions — will begin performances at Broadway's Palace Theatre Dec. 3. Originally scheduled to run through Dec. 14, the production will now play through Dec. 28, according to The New York Times. A holiday matinee on Dec. 24 has also been added to the playing schedule.
Ron Lewis directs and choreographs. Gary Labriola is executive producer. Minnelli will be joined onstage by Cortés Alexander, Jim Caruso, Tiger Martina and Johnny Rodgers.
Conductor/drummer Michael Berkowitz and pianist/musical supervisor Billy Stritch will lead a 12-person orchestra, and the concert will be scripted by Minnelli and Tony winner David Zippel. The production will also feature scenery by Ray Klausen, costumes by Halston, lighting by Matthew Berman and sound by Matt Krauss.
The evening, according to press notes, "will feature an incomparable Minnelli songfest including many of her personal favorites and signature hits, followed by a dance-filled tribute to the groundbreaking late-1940s nightclub act of Minnelli's godmother, Kay Thompson."
Concertgoers can expect to hear Minnelli's renditions of "Cabaret," "Maybe This Time" and "New York, New York." Minnelli will also "pay an affectionate salute to her godmother, the late Kay Thompson," who coached Minnelli's late mother, the legendary Judy Garland. The Thompson tribute will include musical hits (with the original vocal arrangements) from Thompson's act, including "I Love a Violin," "Clap Yo' Hands," "Jubilee Time" and “Hello Hello."
Liza Minnelli, an Oscar winner for her performance in Cabaret, was last on Broadway in a tribute to her late father entitled Minnelli on Minnelli; she also returned to New York City's Beacon Theatre with her acclaimed concert Liza's Back! In addition to her Tonys for Flora, the Red Menace and The Act, Minnelli was awarded a special Tony in 1974 for "adding lustre to the Broadway season." Her film credits include "The Sterile Cuckoo," "Arthur," "New York, New York" and "Stepping Out." The singer is also a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress. Her album "Liza's Back!" is available on the J Records label, and "The Best of Liza Minnelli" was released on the Columbia/Legacy label. Showtime aired "Liza with a 'Z'," and Minnelli also received the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 10th Annual Tony Awards Bash in Los Angeles.
Show times are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 PM with matinees on Sundays at 3 PM.
The Palace Theatre is located at Broadway and 47th Street. Tickets, priced $25-$125, will be available by calling (212) 307-4100 or (800) 755-4000. For more information visit www.lizasatthepalace.com.