Thursday, December 31, 2009
Written by Garrett Bithell
Thursday, 31 December 2009 13:46
When it was announced that the embodiment of Broadway, Liza Minnelli, would be touring the country, ticketing websites crashed amid the onslaught of punters desperate to secure their seat in front of perhaps the closest thing America has to royalty.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
5.0 out of 5 stars Minnelli magical tour-de-force...LIZA'S back to stay!!!, December 30, 2009
Bradly Briggs (TOLUCA LAKE, CALIFORNIA) - See all my reviews(TOP 1000 REVIEWER) (REAL NAME) Liza Minnelli has had a wild roller coaster ride in the past decade career wise and in her personal life yet has come out on top with this magnificent performance from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas...make no mistake about it, the legendary lady is in top form once again and this brilliantly filmed concert is a sublime showcase of her superb singing and performing skill & Minnelli struts her stuff in high style in a passionate performance that will take your breath away! Taped before an adoring crowd in the fall of 2009 after a wildly successful & incredibly great two-night stint at The Hollywood Bowl, it is clear Minnelli was ready for her big close-up as this awesome DVD captures the essence of this legend for old fans and a whole new generation to savor and enjoy over and over again! Bravo Liza...you really made it this time and we are lucky for it!!!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
May 23, 2009
Minnelli, who tours here in October, also reveals she didn't know Allen was gay when they married in 1962.
They divorced 10 years later when he "came out".
Revealing also that she had no input on the musical, she told Queensland Pride magazine: "No, of course I didn't know. I don't think he knew either . . . and when he did (come to terms with it) of course he told me and of course I said, 'I understand'. But it was hard."
Many of us recall the scandal. Vincente Minnelli, who had such high hopes that A Matter of Time would be his masterpiece, repudiated the result after the studio re-edited his material, making nonsense of the plot, which became a string of loose beads revolving around an ornate hand mirror, which more or less became the film’s protagonist. Martin Scorsese, the year of Taxi Driver, took out a huge ad in Variety supporting Minnelli and condemning American-Internatio nal. Of course, we would all prefer to have Minnelli’s cut; but A Matter of Time is a lovely thing even in its mutilated state. It is intermittently affecting and even moving (and gorgeously photographed by 2001’s and Cabaret’s Geoffrey Unsworth); and, as everyone agreed at the time, Ingrid Bergman gives a vivid performance as mad Countess Sanziani, whose memories of her fabulous life may or may not comport with reality. “The Contessa” lives in Rome, in what was once an elegant hotel, by pawning jewelry, and she is down to her last piece. Fortunately, Nina, the chambermaid who befriends her, discovers that some of The Contessa’s paper money is worth something; but it hardly matters when the old woman is hit by a car in traffic Minnelli’s last film, set in 1949, is based on Marcel Druon’s 1955 novel La volupté d’être (The Voluptuousness of Being), which was published in the U.S. as Film of Memory. The Contessa shares her “memories” with Nina by replaying her mental film of them, the object being to infuse the scattered 19-year-old girl with her passion for life; Nina takes to this “film,” sometimes appearing in it (to our eyes) as a substitute for The Contessa, and to real films thereafter, becoming a popular movie star. Regrettably, The Contessa’s philosophy of life is cornball-Auntie Mame-ish, and one wonders whether Vivien Leigh transcended this element of the role in a 1960s stage adaptation. Bergman doesn’t quite. Minnelli mines the same theme here as he does in Gigi (1958): old age’s generosity in yielding to youth. In Gigi, the baton is passed from uncle to nephew; here, spirit is passed between the two women, a figurative aunt and niece. Liza Minnelli, the director’s daughter, is the star of the film; her Nina—a role that twenty years earlier Bergman herself had wanted to play—is delicious and delightful; she is very nearly as good here as Bergman is, if a bit theatrical at times. (Or is it mock-theatrical? ) Charles Boyer, in his one long scene as Count Sanziani, who has been estranged from his wife for forty years, is effortless. Isabella Rossellini, beauteous Bergman’s beauteous daughter, plays Sister Pia, who tends to The Contessa in her last hour. Scorsese would have an affair with Liza and would marry Isabella. Hm.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Washington, Fri, 11 Dec 2009 ANI
Washington, Dec 11 (ANI): Pop star Sir Elton John and late actress Judy Garland are the top gay icons of all time, says a new list.
In a survey of over 5,000 gay men and women, which was commissioned by www.OnePoll.com, homosexuals have declared John the most respected male, while Garland was named the most iconic female.
The male list was predominantly made up of gay men - including late Queen singer Freddie Mercury, British TV star Stephen Fry and 'Faith' hitmaker George Michael - apart from soccer hunk David Beckham.
The female list included singers Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Cher, reports Contactmusic.
A spokesperson from www.OnePoll.com said: "Interestingly only one of the men in the top 10 list of male celebrity gay icons isn't gay - David Beckham. And yet most of the women put on a pedestal by the gay community are straight.
"It just shows that to advocate a certain way of living, you don't have to live the lifestyle but simply be more accepting of those around you."
British TV star Paul O'Grady made both lists - as himself and cross-dressing alter ego Lily Savage.
Top Ten Male Celebrity Gay Icons of All Time:
1. Elton John
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Stephen Frey
4. George Michael
5. Oscar Wilde
6. Will Young
7. Alan Carr
8. Paul O'Grady
9. Boy George
10. David Beckham
Top Ten Female Celebrity Gay Icons:
1. Judy Garland
2. Kylie Minogue
5. Liza Minnelli
6. Marilyn Monroe
7. Shirley Bassey
8. Lily Savage
9. Dusty Springfield
10. Barbra Streisand. (ANI)
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Minnelli says it's tough to watch because of the fictional horrors her mother, Judy Garland, endures.
She said: "I just loved her so and for some reason 'The Wizard of Oz' bothers me when I see it. They do terrible things to her. ... That's 'cause it's my mom."
Minnelli reflected on "The Wizard of Oz" while reflecting on her special, "Liza's At The Palace." It captures her 2008 Tony-winning play and airs on public television stations this month.
The show ran more than two hours. When asked how she managed such a pace, the 63-year-old said: "You leave your pain shoes at the side of the stage."
On the Net:
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
World AIDS Day
Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.
According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS.1 Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35.2
The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries. But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Posted: 12/05/2009 12:03:00 AM PST
NOW IN HER fifth decade as a singing, dancing dynamo, Liza Minnelli continues to make one thing emphatically clear: You can't keep her down.
Late last year, Minnelli, 63, returned to Broadway for a sold-out run at the famed Palace Theatre. The concert extravaganza — "Liza's at The Palace ...!" had critics raving about her boundless energy, emotional investment and still-powerful vocals. For her efforts, Minnelli collected a fourth Tony Award — to go along with her Oscar, Emmy and Grammy.
Now "Liza's at The Palace ...!" comes to our living rooms in the form of a new public-television special. Filmed over two days at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the program reprises material performed during the Broadway engagement, including favorites like "Cabaret," "New York, New York" and her mother Judy Garland's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
Minnelli has called the concert the "most personal" she has ever done. She offers amusing riffs on her bouts with pill addiction and failed marriages. She also delivers a stirring tribute to her late godmother, Kay Thompson, a groundbreaking singer-dancer, songwriter and vocal arranger.
We recently caught up with Minnelli via phone to talk about the show, which will make its way to DVD in February.
Q: So how do you manage to make 63 look so good?
A: I just keep moving, honey. ... I truly believe that nothing can keep you down if you don't want to be kept down.
A: It comes from fear (laughing)! I don't want to fail. And I'm a perfectionist just like my father (film director Vincente Minnelli) was. I always go out on stage thinking that someone in the audience is seeing this for the first and only time. So it's got to be right.
Q: Your show re-creates Kay Thompson's nightclub act. What do you want the viewers to know about her?
A: She was Hollywood's biggest secret. Not many people know a lot about her, but anyone in the music business does. She was huge at MGM during the '30s (as a vocal coach to the stars and arranger on some of the studio's biggest musicals). And she wrote the "Eloise" children's books. She was a life force. She was amazing.
Q: And she was a big influence on you?
A: Absolutely. I knew her my whole life. I can remember going to her nightclub act in 1948. I was only 2, and the stage came up to my nose. I was sitting there in my mother's lap, and suddenly, out came this human whirlwind. She just never stopped moving. I was mesmerized.
Q: So what was the genesis of this show?
A: Oddly enough, it started off as an idea for an album. That's how I originally pitched it. During the meeting (with collaborators), I was going over the song titles and, in between, I was explaining who Kay was and highlighting different points in her life. And then it suddenly hit me: "Nope, this has got to be a show." ... But then it took four years to get Ron Lewis (her longtime director-choreographer) on board. He's an inspiration — and a great motivator.
Q: In the show, you don't shy away from poking a little fun at yourself. Does that come naturally?
A: Humor is essential. That's part of who I am. I just have to be myself on stage.
Q: And speaking of humor, you made quite an impression as a guest star on the sitcom "Arrested Development." Would you be open to doing more TV work?
A: Oh, sure. I had a blast doing that. The writing was so good, and the cast was great. We spent the whole time laughing.
Read Chuck Barney's TV blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/tv and follow him at twitter.com/chuckbarney
WHAT: "Liza's at The Palace ...!"
WHEN: 9 tonight
WHERE: Channel 9 (KQED)
note: This program will receive multiple airings on public television stations throughout the month. Check local listings for times and dates.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (For albums containing 51% or more playing time of VOCAL tracks.)
A Swingin' ChristmasTony Bennett[Columbia]
Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square GardenMichael Bublé[143/Reprise]
Your SongsHarry Connick, Jr.[Columbia]
Liza's At The PalaceLiza Minnelli[Hybrid Recordings]
American ClassicWillie Nelson[Blue Note]
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
When Liza Minnelli is in good form, her energy shoots like an electric charge even through the phone wire. "Hi, honey!!" she boomed in a voice as clear as Fiji Water.
Ever since "Liza's at the Palace" wowed the Broadway critics and audiences last year, the star has given much credit to the show's director Ron Lewis, of whom she says, "He finally allowed me to be myself onstage. The real me." She adds, delightedly, "He even let me light some of the numbers. He listened to my ideas!"
I was a little surprised to hear Liza say she is "finally herself." The hallmark of her work, her appeal, has been the truth and emotion she offers. "Oh, I've always been true and sincere, but . you know Fred Ebb (who died in 2004) and John Kander -- they wrote so many of my songs; they wrote almost every word I spoke onstage. When I'd say, 'They created me,' I wasn't kidding. And that was great. But, in this show, I feel I am on my own, more grown-up, the humor is more me. I just feel -- like Liza."
We talk of Liza's recent gig in Australia, home of her loved and admired first husband, Peter Allen. I'd heard Liza closed there with a song for Peter, which brought the entire house to tears. "It was a song Peter wrote, called 'The Lives of Me.' I've always wanted to sing it, and I figured Australia was a good place to start. The lyrics are so beautiful."
And then, without so much as a "let me clear my throat," Liza Minnelli begins to croon over the phone. Liza sang the entire song to me a cappella. She sounded great. I said, "Liza! Damn! I'm not recording this interview. I could sell that." The star laughed huskily, "Royalties, Liz. Remember the royalties."
Kate is famous for standing up for herself and for other women. She won a big libel settlement recently when she sued a newspaper for writing of her non-exercise regime that "she had to be hiding the truth to look so good." Kate stood up for women, saying: "I strongly believe that women should be encouraged to accept themselves as they are, so to suggest that I was lying was an unacceptable accusation of hypocrisy."
Paley gig is all her own words, she says
By LIZ SMITH
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The screening was followed a discussion by Minnelli and Michael Feinstein. Other celebrities at the event included Billy Stritch and Arlene Dahl.
Minnelli opened her show at the Palace Theatre on December 3, 2008. In addition to songs that have long been associated with the performer, such as Kander and Ebb's "New York, New York," the show featured a tribute to her godmother, singer, actress and vocal arranger Kay Thompson. A DVD version of the full two-hour production will be available on February 2, and a 60 minute version will be distributed by American Public Television to public television stations starting November 27.
Minnelli received a 2009 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event for Liza's at the Palace, as well as a Drama Desk Award for career achievement. She won additional Tony Awards for Flora the Red Menace and The Act, as well as a special Tony Award in 1974. She was also Tony-nominated for The Rink and has starred on Broadway in Victor/Victoria and Chicago. She won the Academy Award for Cabaret and the Emmy Award for Liza With a "Z".
NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Does a pure entertainer like Liza Minnelli, now 63 years old with 60 years of performing behind her, ever really retire?
"I'm a Minnelli, so there's always something to do," she said in an interview, adding that her career's greatest moment is yet to come. "I'll think of something. I always do."
Minnelli first took to the stage at age three. Her latest hit was the Broadway show "Liza's at the Palace...!", which won a Tony Award for best special theatrical event this year, and was filmed for television.
"To receive Tony Awards throughout your life and then at this stage to get one? Come on!" she said with her signature belly burst of laughter, hours before a recent screening of her show. "I really was surprised."
The daughter of generations of performers, Minnelli's singing and acting career has spanned film, television, theater and nightclubs. The award for "Liza's at the Palace...!" was more personal, she said, because it was a tribute in part to her god mother, the late actress Kay Thompson.
"It's hard when you have a whole lifetime of memories, to think of what stories to tell, and how to describe them," Minnelli said of Thompson, whose nightclub show inspired the second act of "Liza's at the Palace...!"
"I saw it when I was two. I remember the stage came up to here," she said of Thompson's nightclub act, peering out over her hand. "I remember the whole thing, I remember seeing these legs flying around, and her energy."
Having won Tonys in 1965 and 1984, and a special award in 1974, Minnelli is no stranger to Broadway. But ending up nearly a year ago at the Palace Theater, Broadway's vaudeville pillar, was a surprise, she said.
"Nobody thought we'd end up at the Palace, including me. But I was so passionate about this show, and my god mother, doing this," she said.
The entertainer who always has something to do can't talk about her next act -- a cameo on next year's Sex and the City film sequel -- offering only that the stars are "wonderful ladies, they really are talented, and generous."
(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer; editing by Patricia Reaney))
Joel Grey and Liza Minnelli
Pat Mitchell (President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media), Liza Minnelli and Michael Feinstein
Liza Minnelli, and Billy Stritch
Liza Minnelli and Arlene Dahl
Wednesday, November 25, 2009; Posted: 11:11 AM - by Linda Lenzi
Liza Minnelli's Tony Award-winning performance "LIZA'S AT THE PALACE...." has been recorded American Public Television (APT) will distribute the long awaited Special in December, 2009. Minnelli's unanimously acclaimed Broadway performances were sold out for five weeks in December last year and fans around the world have been eagerly anticipating news of the broadcast.
On Tuesday, November 24th The Paley Center for Media was thrilled to welcome the legendary Liza Minnelli to their stage for the New York premiere screening of her new special before it airs on public television. Liza also participated in a conversation moderated by entertainer Michael Feinstein after the screening.
The television event was directed by Matthew Diamond and Executive Produced by JoAnn Young, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. In addition to the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event, Minnelli received a 2009 Drama Desk Award for her performances at the Palace.
Now in her fifth decade as an internationally celebrated entertainer, she has won every major show business honor including an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and four Tony Awards, making her part of a select group of performers who have won the entertainment industry's top four achievement awards.
LIZA'S AT THE PALACE.... was filmed in the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Wednesday, September 30 and Thursday, October 1, 2009 and will be released on DVD in early 2010 by MPI Home Video. All of the material performed during the New York engagement will be included. The program captures many of her greatest hits and includes an affectionate tribute to her godmother, the late Kay Thompson, who was a groundbreaking singer-dancer, songwriter, vocal arranger and musical director/vocal coach at MGM Studios.
She was joined on the program by her Broadway co-star and musical director, the legendary pianist, singer and composer Billy Stritch. Her quartet of dynamic singer/dancers, Cortes Alexander, Jim Caruso, Johnny Rodgers and Tiger Martina will recreate their roles as the Williams Brothers, which included the brilliant young Andy Williams and his talented siblings. The show will again be directed by Ron Lewis, the award-winning choreographer and director. Musical Conductor/Drummer is Michael Berkowitz, a well-known conductor of pop orchestras all over the world.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Date/Time:Mon., November 30, 8:30pm
BY DAVID FINKLE
A jack-of-all-musical-trades, this engaging lad sings, plays, writes songs that stick to the ribs, and dances. He even served through much of last year as one of Liza Minnelli's back-up men on her world tour. Now Rodgers, who's also an in-demand accompanist, leads his own band, and ought to rock the swanky venue with his limitless talent. It's a good bet that he'll live up to the show's title, "POP...with PizAZZ," whatever it means.
Monday, November 23, 2009
NEWS ARTS WRITER
Updated: November 23, 2009, 7:41 AM
Over at HSBC Arena, Buffalo hosted perhaps the final concert from Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band.
But out in University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts in Amherst, we had no less than Liza Minnelli, who has been regaling audiences with a litany of heart-wrenching stories — her own and others — for going on 60 years.
The concert, which raised $30,000 for Buffalo’s Ronald McDonald House, was a master class in storytelling through song.
Minnelli — her smoke-cured voice still bursting with verve, her body still vibrating with energy — took audiences on a spirited tour through a scintillating career. From musical theater obscurities to trademark numbers from “Cabaret,” “Liza With a Z” and “Maybe This Time,” Minnelli, backed by a 12-piece orchestra, held nothing back.
In an evening strung with anecdotes and well-worn but endearing staged bits, Minnelli packed the first half of the show with songs of solitude, revenge and longing. The requisite yell of “I love you, Liza!” uttered without exception from some overwhelmed member of the audience at every Minnelli show, came early in the show from a man in the middle of the orchestra.
Minnelli responded with ebullient thanks and then, tellingly, launched into Charles Aznavour’s heartbreaking “What Makes a Man a Man,” which she clearly intended as a tribute to her legions of gay fans. She followed that up with a breathless medley from her recent show “Liza’s at the Palace” and finished the first half off with a rousing rendition of the title song from “Cabaret.”
That flutter of vulnerability that endeared so many to Minnelli’s voice in her early performances is still there, as is the performer’s inimitable spirit and commanding stage presence. Arranger and pianist Billy Stritch has expertly surrounded some of Minnelli’s higher-register vocals with blazing brass in a way that renders them powerful without overpowering them. This is what they did in the days before auto-tuning, and it’s much more graceful and effective.
Things picked up considerably in the second act, with “Liza with a Z” and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” and a razzle-dazzle version of “New York, New York,” for which Minnelli pulled out every stop she had left.
And she has a heck of a lot left.
Sunday night in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Theater News ~ Liza Minnelli, Michael Feinstein Set for Post-Screening Discussion of Liza's at the Palace at Paley Center
Minnelli opened her show at the Palace Theatre on December 3, 2008. In addition to songs that have long been associated with the performer, such as Kander and Ebb's "New York, New York," the show featured a tribute to her godmother, singer, actress and vocal arranger Kay Thompson. Minnelli and Feinstein will discuss Minnelli's career, the production, the special, and Thompson.For further information, visit http://www.paleycenter.org/.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
News Arts Writer
Updated: November 14, 2009, 12:04 PM /
It is no secret that Liza Minnelli began her life in the spotlight. On March 12, 1946, the star was born to Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, then a happily married Hollywood couple at the height of their celebrity. Liza's screen debut came at the age of 3, when she starred alongside her mother in the movie musical "In the Good Old Summertime." By the time she was 17, Minnelli was beguiling audiences in New York and London, prompting jealousy from her mother and adulation from a small but growing legion of fans.
PreviewLiza Minnelli performs a holiday concert in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts (UB North Campus, Amherst) at 8 p.m. next Sunday. Tickets are $85 to $125, with proceeds to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo. For more information, call 645-2787 or visit www.ubcfa.org.
But the Liza Minnelli we know today — the energetic 63-year-old performer who divides her time between the tabloids and the stage — wasn't really born until 1965. That's when she starred in the Broadway musical "Flora the Red Menace," by Broadway songwriting team John Kander and Fred Ebb. "I feel like they invented me," Minnelli said of Kander and Ebb in a phone interview with The News, given between rehearsals in New York for her new show. Minnelli will perform a concert in the University at Buffalo's Center for the Arts next Sunday, with part of the proceeds to benefit Ronald McDonald House.
By 1972, when Minnelli appeared in the famed televised concert "Liza With a Z" and the film version of "Cabaret," both conceived and largely written by Kander and Ebb, her name became synonymous with stardom.
If Minnelli's life belongs to the concert hall stage — and few would argue that it doesn't — her famous parents seem to matter less at this point than those two mild-mannered songwriters who penned "Liza With a Z" and the prophetic lyrics in the title song to "Cabaret." With the song, which extols a life that rotates on the axis of entertainment and shrugs off the perceived evils of pills, liquor and promiscuity, the duo essentially wrote into existance the modern Liza, with all her flair, flaws and mystique.
Asked what she owes to the songwriting team, Minnelli said, simply, "Everything. Literally everything."
She continued: "Fred was so brilliant, and John's music is inspiring. Everything they've ever written I'm crazy about."
Next Sunday's concert, the first act of which mirrors her recent Broadway show, "Liza's at the Palace," is sure to contain its share of Kander and Ebb tunes. The second half, Minnelli said, will be comprised of a brand-new assortment of songs. "I kind of talked to all my friends and said, 'What do you like to hear?,'" she said.
The concert will mark Minnelli's second visit to the region in the last three years. A 2007 concert at the Niagara Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ont., preceded her successful Broadway run, which ended in January. Her career has been on a steady rebound since 2003, after she emerged from a bout with life-threatening viral encephalitis, a lifelong struggle with addiction and the unfortunate tabloid spectacle that was her brief marriage to producer David Gest.
Minnelli's story of alternating sordidness and glamour has led many to view her as one of the last, grand, old-fashioned celebrities. Her most devoted fans view her as someone whose lineage is so strong, her struggles so public, her name so threaded through the annals of American culture that she has become a force far greater than the sum of its parts.
Locally, Minnelli certainly has plenty of acolytes.
Marc Sacco, a familiar face and voice on Buffalo's theater scene, recently performed a cabaret act titled "Marc With a C" at Buffalo United Artists, a show that took its inspiration and title song from Minnelli's seminal concert. Sacco rewrote the rapid-fire lyrics of Kander and Ebb's tune to fit his own name and disposition: "I'm Marc with a C / Not Marc with a K..." The reaction from the crowd — many a Minnelli follower among them — was overwhelming.
At 31, Sacco is too young to have lived through Minnelli's legendary performances. He allowed that he is not as devoted to the singer as many from prior generations, but called her performances in "Cabaret" and "Liza with a Z" inspiring.
"I really liked the format of it," Sacco said of the 1972 concert, which was released on DVD in 2006. "I liked that it was sort of this large-scale experience. Just to watch her energy was incredible."
Minnelli said she has no immediate plans to return to the Broadway stage in a musical. Her last appearance in a straight-ahead Broadway show was in 1997, when she played the title role in "Victor/Victoria." It's clear that Minnelli is far more comfortable in the concert setting, and not just because she gets that comfortable spot-lit glow all to herself.
"The wonderful thing about [being] in concert is you get to play so many different characters. That's what I look forward to," Minnelli said. "It's literally becoming the person who is singing, so you have to do back story, or I do. I treat it like a scene, and I try and make every song different."
Asked about favorite characters, Minnelli immediately brought up the song "If," by Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, in which a woman at the end of her rope murders her no-good rascal of a lover.
"At this time in my life, I find I am particularly drawn to songs about falling out of love," Minnelli told a concert audience earlier this year before launching into the piece. "The choice made by the woman in this next song, I find to be careful, reasonable, emotionally honest and profoundly admirable."
Away from the concert stage, Minnelli has had a habit of popping up in unexpected places that have introduced her to new generations of fans — stints on "The Muppet Show" in the '70s and '80s, a guest appearance on the cult cable comedy "Arrested Development," and an upcoming appearance in "Sex and the City II," in which she dances to Beyonce's hit "All the Single Ladies."
"They were wonderful," Minnelli said of the "Sex and the City" cast. "We became quite close."
Minnelli, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a favorite subject of YouTube-dwellers, one of whom has memorialized her legendary laugh with a video compilation cut together from her 2006 interview with CNN's Larry King.
Does Minnelli have even the slightest idea of the infectious appeal of her laugh?
"No, I don't. Except I find a lot of things funny," the singer said, seeming genuinely surprised at the question and then issuing that unmistakable chuckle.
Minnelli, like many celebrities, speaks of her fans as family. But you get the sense that, whereas the likes of Usher or Taylor Swift make the comment hyperbolically, she genuinely means it.
In her 2007 concert in Niagara Falls, Ont., Minnelli told the audience, "The only people I'm ever married to are you." The crowd, already caught up in the throes of ecstasy, practically swooned itself unconscious. Such is Minnelli's appeal, her innate ability to move masses of people — who knows how? — to unbridled paroxysms of fandom.
Asked about the audience's reaction to that statement, Minnelli laughed her trademark laugh, a throaty projection that seemed to require the energy of her entire body, and said, "You know, we're really a family. I mean, when they come into that theater, we have two hours to really get to know each other, and that's so important to me."
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I have a great story that happened about a week ago...I got mail from Liza! You see 7 months ago I went to see Liza in Virginia and I had sent a note backstage along with a present and a pic of me with all my Liza stuff ( I have a pretty good sized collection for a 14 year old!) so anyway my goal was to meet her..still is my goal...gonna keep on trying! So I was out the past two weeks with the flu and bronchitis...so my dad brought the mail in and then showed me something...it was an envelope from NYC!!! So I opened it and inside was the picture of me I had sent her in VA and it had hearts drawn on it and was autographed and said "To Emma, Love and Thanks! Liza Minnelli" and then there was another envelope from her stationary with my name on it and inside was a notecard that said "To Emma, Thank you for your love and support! Liza" Isn't that so awesome and amazing?!?!? Everytime I look at it, it's like opening the mail all over again!
Yes I will attach the pictures of what I got in the mail! And I am soo looking forward to March! 122 days!!! It's going to be a trip for me and my friend and my dad. My seats are left side second row and seats 15 16 and 17 so I will be looking for ya with my "L" :) LOL That would be SOOO cool to stick together and try to get backstage that sounds like so much fun! It would be a dream come true! So it sounds like an awesome plan! What do ya think? LOL
Who can forget Liza Minnelli's encore at the Hollywood Bowl this year when she came out and sang "Every Time We Say Good Bye" a cappella (or, as my mom called it, "al dente")? How much do we revere our Hollywood Bowl? This year's season was so fantastic that the L.A. Phil is commemorating highlights with the first-ever Hollywood Bowl Poster Art Show . Commissioned posters by Stanley Mouse, Camille Rose Garcia, Shag, Gary Taxali, Niagara and Chris Reccardi for shows by Aretha Franklin, Death Cab for Cutie, Adele and Ray LaMontagne will be on display through January at the ArcLight, and the opening reception is, intriguingly, sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon and features a performance by Moonrats.
"Hollywood Bowl Poster Art": posters created for the Bowl's 2009 summer season by Camille Rose Garcia, Shag, Gary Taxali and others, in addition to vintage posters and programs
Date/Time:Every week Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday from Tue., November 17 until Tue., January 5
Price: free, resv. required: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Jessica Bennett, Staff Writer
Legendary entertainment icon Liza Minnelli is coming back to Buffalo.
Minnelli is set to perform a holiday concert on Nov. 22 at 8 p.m. in the Mainstage Theater in the Center for Arts.
Liza Minnelli is the daughter of actress/singer Judy Garland and film director Vincent Minnelli. She started her career at an early age when she co-starred in the movie “In the Good Old Summertime” with her mother in 1949. An icon to screen and stage, she has won virtually every major award from an Emmy to an Oscar. Currently on tour, she is no stranger to the city of Buffalo, but this will be her first performance at UB.
“I’ve never seen her in person,” Alana Jagodzinski, assistant concert manager in Slee Hall, said. “It’s pretty good that she is still performing.”
The Derico Corporation and its employees are sponsoring the concert. The corporation owns 12 McDonalds restaurants and the proceeds for the concert will benefit the families of the Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo, which provides affordable and comfortable lodging to families of seriously ill or injured children.
Tickets for the fundraising concert range in price from $86.50 to $126.50.
“It’s a higher ticket price for an event like this, but we found people are willing to pay because of what the whole event is and what it means,” said David Wedekindt, director of marketing for the Center for Arts.
“[Fans] know they’re supporting a worthy cause by purchasing tickets and you’re getting to see a legendry performer in our Mainstage Theater,” Wedekindt said. “Last year was the 25th anniversary of the Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo, so [we] want to do something really good. [The owner] got the idea that he wanted to start an annual concert to benefit the House, so he started it two years ago with the country singer BJ Thomas.”
This concert is not the first UB has held to help raise money and benefit the families of the Ronald McDonald House. According to Wedekindt, Tony Bennett performed to a sold out crowd last year. Proceeds from that concert also went to the Ronald McDonald House.
The CFA has been working side by side with the Derico Corporation to help give the event a home.
“We’ve been really working with them; we are helping them promote [the concert],” Wedekindt said. “We treat them more as a partnership than just a group renting the theater.”
This is a big night for UB with big entertainment. According to Wedekindt, there aren’t too many people still around today from Minnelli’s generation with this type of legendary star power.
Minelli will dish out more than enough entertainment for the night. Besides being a movie star, she also is a talented singer and has performed on Broadway.
“When she’s on the stage, she owns the stage and she is an entertainer. I think what people love about her is that she gives her all,” Wedekindt said. “She’s a show business survivor.”
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
November 05, 2009 12:00AM
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Kerri-Anne Kennerley so captured Ms Minnelli's heart during her tour that the star acknowledged Kennerley from the stage during her sold-out final concert on Monday night.
"I want to thank Kerri-Anne Kennerley for the great friendship she's given while I've been here," is the roughly captured transcript of her cheerio.
Then, as though in a Kennerley dream sequence, a spotlight found the TV presenter in the crowd and illuminated an exuberant Kennerley, who stood up, waved her arms hysterically, and then sat down.
More Vegas than Vegas.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
We had heard various reports on how her vocal chords were scratchy and that she couldn't cut it any longer.
Rubbish! She gave the concert of a lifetime.
Opening with the old standard Teach Me Tonight, Minnelli appeared nervous and perhaps all the critics were right, but after a couple of numbers and hearing our deafening applause she relaxed, became warm and engaging and sang her heart out.
This woman with the most impeccable bloodlines in show business may have lost a little of the spring in her step, but baby does she know how to put on a show.
Liza, with a Z, is still a dead-set legend.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Forgive me, but I have seen no appeal in garish musical numbers performed by vainglorious stage tragics. Of the godmother of "diva", Liza Minnelli, I was at the very least, skeptical.
I am now converted, if only for the performance of a songstress whose mastery of music and lyrics made a crowded Brisbane Entertainment Centre intimate, touching every soul, while unexpectedly baring her own.
Minnelli burst onto the stage on Friday night in a razzle-dazzle glory of sequins, to the rature of over-60s women and hyperventilating gay men.
There were her signature gestures: an arm flinging upwards and a flutter of fingers inviting her audience to "come to the cabaret".
And we obliged as Ms Minnelli, albiet a "little older, but not crazy" as she said, stood in memory of a more glamorous theatrical past.
In a modern world of omnivorous video music clips, Ms Minnelli stood front and centre on a minimal stage, with her 12-piece orchestra, led by long-time collaborator William "Billy" Streich, just visible in the background.
From the moment the sweet tones of Teach Me Tonight percolated through the theatre, Minnelli became the puppeteer, tugging on the heartstrings of the crowd which sat spellbound.
Now I understand everything a diva is, and should be.
Ms Minnelli showed signs of her 62 years, as phrases were at times lost in her shortness of breath, particularly when she launched with unexpected gusto into If You Hadn't But You Did.
However, those flaws were few and far between.
She sang what seemed to be an ode to her former lovers - many they be - What Makes A Man A Man, and the show began to soar as Minnelli's force became a triumph of spirit over age as she transformed into Chicago's Roxie Hart for Own Best Friend.
There was a dithering aspect to Ms Minnelli's stage presence as she spoke to the audience between numbers, but that disappeared once she emersed herself in the familiar cocoon of song.
"All my family has joined the choir," she said.
"So you're my family now."
There is nothing overbearing about Minnelli's persona. As the New York Times observed, "In fact, she wore her aching vulnerability on her sequined sleeve".
She exacted every drop of emotion from He's Funny That Way, before the crowd stood in rapturous applause. In all, Ms Minnelli received six standing ovations.
It was her bearing of her fragile journey through stardom and love, interspersed with humorous jabs at her former husbands, that had all eyes glued to the stage and not the big screens.
Then came New York New York the way it was always meant to be.
She re-emerged for the encore wearing a black t-shirt and pants. She brushed her hair, damp from sweat, aside and sang to her long lost best friend.
"This is for you Peter."
The tears welled in her eyes as she took her final bow, while I felt a stray tear fall down my own face.