Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Friday, February 27, 2009

Liza Minnelli Tells All to Liz Smith PARADE magazine...

By Liz Smith

Editor’s Note: The following story is reprinted by permission of Parade Magazine, and appears in their March 1 issue. Here’s a peek at what’s to come — plus tidbits too big to make it into the magazine. Click here to see the fabulous Parade layout and photos of the legendary performer.
"If you’ve got one foot in yesterday, and one foot in tomorrow, you’re pissing all over today!"That’s Liza Minnelli, more or less summing up her amazing resilience, her ability to live in the now. The great star — the Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner — who describes herself simply as "a modern vaudevillian," is fresh off her triumphant five-week run at the legendary Palace Theater on Broadway. This is the very spot where her mother, Judy Garland, made history — not once, not twice, but three times. Liza herself played the Palace in 1999 in a show that paid homage to her father, film director Vincente Minnelli."Liza’s at the Palace" (now out on CD) was conceived in part as a tribute to her entertainer/author godmother Kay Thompson, whose performing style influenced many an MGM star, including Miss Garland — Judy appropriated a passel of Thompson gestures and cadences. Kay Thompson is best remembered today as the author of the "Eloise" books. (But check out the movie "Funny Face" with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn to see Kay in glorious action, singing "Think Pink.")I’ve known Liza many years. I’ve seen — and even helped see her through — some of her well-publicized travails. The marriages to Peter Allen, Jack Haley Jr., Mark Gero and — gulp! — David Gest that ended, inevitably, in divorce; the substance-abuse issues, which dogged her for years. What strikes me always is this girl’s ability to banish the blues, bury the bad and start out all over again. (Yes, she is still girlish and fresh at 62.)When Liza walks into a room or appears, a dazzling figure onstage, I seem to hear the lyrics of the song "Optimistic Voices" from "The Wizard of Oz." We are, all of us, Munchkins, singing: "You’re out of the woods, you’re out of the dark, you’re out of the night/Step into the sun, step into the light/Hold onto your heart/Hold onto your hope."Liza has, over and over again, stepped into the light and held onto her heart and hope. That is the empowerment she delivers to her audience. Yet, what most journalists still want from Liza is a temporary abandonment of hope, so that she can tell The Shocking Truth of her life. The tell-all interview. The myth-shattering memoir. So silly. Why? Because over the course of 40 years, Liza has told that tale — in increments, with humor, with a wry nod indicating, "Please be smart enough to read between the lines." She’s gone as far as she’ll go. It is not in her nature to look back in anger or sadness. And it’s not an act. When you meet her at her best you’ll find nothing irrational about her optimism. She has a naked need for approval, and she always receives it. How can you not help build her up, and give her what she must have to go on?

"They think, ‘Oh, she can’t see out here.’ But I can. I can see at least the first eight rows and a lot in the balcony." "So people better react?""Yes! Every once in a while there’ll be somebody up close I’m not getting to. I can see it. I can feel it. I go backstage and I’m like, ‘Who is that guy? Why isn’t he into it? I’m gonna get him!’""And do you?""Oh, yes."She smiles again. This time she allows a moment of self-satisfaction, of pride in her power to move. Liza Minnelli gives more credit to others than any star I’ve ever known, but in her heart, she knows she is alone with her talent, up there onstage.And then she is finally gone, out on Fifth Avenue, stopping passersby in their tracks — all in black, moving like a woman half her age, still vibrant and gamine, still Liza. And damn if I don’t hear that tune: "You’re out of the woods/You’re out of the dark/You’re out of the night …"

I tell her how moved — and astonished — I was that she sang her mother’s famous "Palace Medley.""Ah, yes. Something else that didn’t initially go over too well with some people. It was like, ‘Oh, singing your mother’s songs now?’ And it was not that at all. I’d always promised my mother I wouldn’t, but at the Palace this time, I wanted to convey what the theater meant to me, and how I got to this place. One of my most vivid early memories of my mother is onstage at the Palace. For the first time, I realized the power of her voice. The power to move an audience. I could see them, I could hear them. I didn’t know then what the Palace meant to performers, to my mother, but it made an incredible impression on me. So I wanted to pay tribute to the Palace, what it means. My mother’s song seems best suited, and yes — it’s a tribute to her, as well."
Since she seems comfortable with the subject, I ask, "You never worry about the inevitable comparisons?"Liza rolls her eyes expressively "No. Look, I’m the child of famous parents. This is how it goes if you’re that child: ‘Oh, so and so just wrote a book, did a show, whatever, and it was great.’ The response is, ‘Well, of course.’ If it goes, ‘So and so flopped,’ the response is, ‘Well, of course.’ There’s no winning, so you might as well just forget to be worried over that.""I remember reading once that you said, ‘I am my mother’s daughter. Who should I sound like, Peggy Lee?’"Liza’s enormous dark eyes become owlish with glee. "I said that? That’s very funny. I have to remember that.""Do you wait with dread for the ‘Judy questions?’""Not at all. I expect them. Why not? The thing is, they want the ‘Judy Garland Story.’ I don’t have that. You can read that in some biography written by somebody who never met her. I have the story of my mother. The lady who made me do my homework. The lady who asked if I wanted Italian or Chinese after she got off stage. I knew something of ‘Judy Garland’ later, after I became a woman working in show business myself. But the story of my funny mother … I suppose that can be a letdown to some." Liza places her hand flat on the tiny table we share. "She raised three children, and very well. That’s my Judy Garland story.""But people still see …" Liza interrupts, "I know, the tragic butterfly. But there was so much laughter and humor. The other side? Well, she always said, ‘Sympathy is my business.’""You differ in your own persona and choice of material …""It’s more upbeat, it has more hope. Even when Mama sang happy, it was like, ‘Don’t worry, folks, we’re getting to the sad stuff!’""So, you’re not nostalgic in a sad way?""No. I look back, but in appreciation. I don’t wish I was ‘back then’ or ‘back then with what I know now.’ Completely pointless.""Do you think that’s why you are able to come back, be strong, survive and thrive?""Listen, that is how I was taught. I was not taught self-pity. I was not taught to give up. I was taught to do what I think and follow a dream. Nobody in my life, not my father, my mother, Kay, Freb Ebb and John Kander — my wonderful composers who ‘invented’ what I do onstage — ever encouraged me to give in or compromise."

At this point we discuss her terrible bout with brain encephalitis, a period during which I saw a good deal of her. She’d already been in and out of rehab, endured hip replacements and struggled with an inherited curvature of the spine, which could cripple her, if she didn’t exercise daily."Darling, surely at that point you must have had some doubts about your own ability to rise again?""Liz, the doctors came in and said, ‘You’ll probably never walk again. You’ll never dance or sing. Accept this. Your performing career is over.’ Obviously, this was not good news, and at first I panicked. How would I go on? How would I make a living? The doctors had said, ‘You’re lucky to be alive,’ and I thought ‘Bullshit! This is not living.’ So I lay there, and I thought, ‘Liza what do you do best?’ And the answer came — rehearse! I love to rehearse. And so I literally rehearsed my way back. I walked, I talked, I sang, I danced. I looked on my recovery as a performance. The performance of my life, which it literally was."I have to admit, she is pretty damn inspiring. I say, "People don’t realize that it isn’t just luck that you are still here. You have incredible discipline.""I’m a dancer. I’m an athlete. Yes, I think when you have that basis, there’s an overall discipline."
Liza looks so, I don’t know, on fire. I blurt out, "You should write a book.""Ugh … never! I would never reveal …""No, no, not a memoir, an inspirational book — how to survive."The star laughs merrily. "Well, I never give people advice, and I’d never write a book giving advice. But, if I did, I’d encourage curiosity — about everything. I’m the daughter of a director. I ask questions. I’d encourage banishing fear and shame from your life. Fear and shame — out!! So many people make all their decisions based on those two things. Re-teach yourself, re-educate yourself." "You fear nothing?""Yes. Organizing a closet! I mean it. I’m hopeless in all that. If you judged me by those skills, you’d say, ‘She can’t possibly get it together to go onstage!"Liza’s ability to "get it together onstage" has, sometimes in the past, been compromised by her issues with drink[ing] and perhaps a pill or two. In that vein, I ask, "Do you fear falling off the wagon? I think now if you even look at a drink, you go get help, no fuss.""You are so right! And no, I don’t fear it. I deal with it. For me, and for a lot of people, once you really see it is a disease, you learn to treat it as a disease, not a moral failure."Given that I was a guest at her last wedding and attended the reception, which was one of the greatest parties ever — I’m not kidding! — I feel duty bound to travel a tricky road. "Liza, I don’t think we can avoid some probing into your personal life.""You mean this hasn’t been?!""Darling, brace yourself. Will you ever marry again?"Liza makes a mock-choking sound, and points at the tape recorder: "Turn that off and let me run outside and have a cigarette!" And although it is about 12 degrees outside, Liza indeed runs out, coatless, lights up, has a couple of puffs and comes back in.She looks vastly amused. "OK, put it back on. Are you kidding? Never! Never!""So, you regret your marriages …"

She shakes her head vehemently, "Wronnnnggg! Not at all. Not at all.""Ummm … Not even the last one, the circus event?" (Neither of us utter the name — David Gest.)Liza leans in and whispers huskily, "Darling, I was recovering from brain encephalitis! No. No. I don’t regret any of them. I mean Peter Allen. Liz — I was with him when he died, he was a great love. Jack Haley was a genius, a wonderful man. And Mark Gero … well, that was hard. That breakup was hard. We were together 12 years. I really regret we couldn’t make it. He wanted children, and I couldn’t have them — you know, he lives in Croatia now, and is married and has four wonderful children and a divine wife! But it wasn’t just children. I just don’t think it’s fair, it’s too hard on any man to be married to a woman like me." "A woman like you?!""Yes, a famous woman. With all that goes with it. No matter how successful the man is, it’s hard for him to take. And maybe it’s politically incorrect to say, but — I get it. I’m not going to refuse that autograph. I’m not going to deny that photographer. I certainly won’t stop touring. It’s too hard on any man."I am a bit flabbergasted. In all my years knowing Liza, I never heard this. "But Liza, it’s not like you were Sadie Smith. When you married, they all knew …""Oh, but see — I was Sadie Smith. That’s what I tried to be in the beginning, with all my men. What they wanted. But as unfair as it was to them, it was unfair to me. I’m not Sadie Smith. I’m Liza Minnelli. I want to be Liza Minnelli. And I must say, I’m sooooooo happy now." "Do you think your life would have been different, had you had a child?"Liza’s face, always so expressive, looks both pensive and bemused. "Yes, of course it would have been different. I would have had a child. But maybe that’s why it didn’t happen." "What do you mean?""Well, Kay Thompson was a wonderful godmother to me. Now I am a wonderful — I hope! — godmother and aunt to the children in my life. I work a lot with brain-damaged children. Would that work, would those relationships be what they are now, were I raising my own children? The fact is — I wanted children. I couldn’t have them. That’s how it turned out. I cannot look around and say I have nothing else in my life, just because I didn’t have a child.""And you have your audiences, they mean so much to you.""Yes. But, that’s part of my work, my job. You do something you love; you want who you’re working for to love it, too, right?"Will you ever stop doing it?"Liza looks at me like I am hanging upside down by my ankles. "What, working?!""Working at this level. Do you ever see a single baby spot, a beaded gown and a lot of ballads — sort of Dietrich?I’m still hanging from the ceiling. "Liz! Nope. I’m a dancer. I have to move. Also, I don’t think I’d look that good standing still in a beaded gown." "I think your audience would love you whatever you did." The star gives a little Cheshire Cat smile, "Hmmm … maybe. But that won’t be what I do!" Liza announces she must fly, because she has a doctor’s appointment. She stands, gathers her coat and purse, but after we embrace and say our good-byes, she adds — although the subject is minutes in the past — "Speaking of the audience, you know, people think I can’t see the audience, because of the lights and also, my eyelashes!

"They think, ‘Oh, she can’t see out here.’ But I can. I can see at least the first eight rows and a lot in the balcony." "So people better react?""Yes! Every once in a while there’ll be somebody up close I’m not getting to. I can see it. I can feel it. I go backstage and I’m like, ‘Who is that guy? Why isn’t he into it? I’m gonna get him!’""And do you?""Oh, yes."She smiles again. This time she allows a moment of self-satisfaction, of pride in her power to move. Liza Minnelli gives more credit to others than any star I’ve ever known, but in her heart, she knows she is alone with her talent, up there onstage.And then she is finally gone, out on Fifth Avenue, stopping passersby in their tracks — all in black, moving like a woman half her age, still vibrant and gamine, still Liza. And damn if I don’t hear that tune: "You’re out of the woods/You’re out of the dark/You’re out of the night …"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Phil Review: Liza Minnelli can still knock 'em dead

By CHRIS SILK (Contact)Originally published 12:12 p.m., Wednesday, February 25, 2009Updated 1:37 p.m., Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Liza Minnelli might be gasping for every breath and fighting for every single note on stage, but she still has it. Boy, does she still have it! The 62-year-old huffed, puffed and blew the roof off the Philharmonic Center for the Arts on Tuesday night with a blisteringly theatrical performance that saw the crowd rise to its feet a half-dozen times throughout the night.
Minnelli, looking especially trim in a pair of sequined outfits (a creamy brown for the first act, black for the second) is touring in support of her new album, “Liza’s at the Palace,” released Feb. 3. The Naples stop precedes a two-week, seven-show swing through South America and a month in Europe later this summer.
The two-hour show — with a 20-minute intermission — is a pared-down version of Minnelli’s triumphant winter comeback run at New York’s Palace Theater, which she references frequently during the evening. Her Big Apple production included a quartet of black-tied chorus boys — but Minnelli is glamorously frenetic enough for five, six, seven or eight on the Phil stage, even as she continually proclaims her love for Naples.
Much of the complicated choreography that defined her early career is gone, the victim of two hip replacements, yet the veteran still has full command of her ability to twinkle her fingers, swing her arms and traipse around the stage with the best of them. Even though Minnelli comes up breathless at times and tries too often to make light of the fact that she’s visibly winded, the diva in her refuses to leave the crowd unsatisfied.
She mops her face, drinks from a mug of water, leans on the piano or heads for a chair in the middle of the first act and launches back into numbers drawn from her huge repertoire. Even sitting demurely in a chair, belting out tunes, she’s more of a presence than most singers are standing up.
Minnelli, backed by a 12-piece band, opens with the slamming, funky “Blues in the Night,” dancing around the stage like a gazelle, bopping to the riffs, the bangs and the beat of the music. She sparkles, she shines, she glimmers, she trills (even if the vibrato is a bit shaky after all these years) and she has the audience eating out of the palm of her hand before the end of the first number.
The plaintive Charles Aznavour number “What Makes a Man a Man” is delivered with soulful power and enough honest emotion to make me wish for a tiny cabaret with a piano and a trumpet in one corner, a few crowded tables filled with lonely broken souls nursing drinks and Liza tucked up on a small stage pushing that voice out, inside and through the smoky velvet haze that wraps beautiful music around you like a glove and makes the gorgeously crafted notes tangible, touchable and something out of a dream.
Minnelli’s vaudeville-inspired days get a nod with “My Own Best Friend” from the stage version of “Chicago;” “Cabaret,” the energetic tune that helped win her an Oscar, closes Act One. Although she’s clearly working for every breath in every song, Minnelli — and her band — delivers. The quick second act airs out more John Kander and Fred Ebb tunes, including the breathless “Liza with Z” number and “And the World Goes ‘Round,” an anthem to survival.
The highlights come near the end, though, with a roaring rendition of the Al Jolson classic “Mammy” that brings the crowd to its feet even as it reduces Minnelli to a near puddle. Her signature song, the theme from “New York, New York,” leaves the crowd roaring even as the predictable Philharmonic “rush for the doors” begins. Minnelli encores alone on stage with longtime pianist Billy Stritch, singing the classic “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.”
What else is there to say? The woman can still sing. The band was perfect and the crowd left wonderfully satisfied. Here’s hoping we all make it to our sixth decade with that kind of will, spirit and talent!
I was hoping for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” but didn’t get it. What did you miss? E-mail me at

Sunday, February 22, 2009

REVIEW ~ Liza's at the Palace: Broadway Show Cast Recording

Liza Minnelli ~ Liza's at the Palace: Broadway Show Cast Recording(Hybrid/Sire ***1/2)

Critics swoon at Van Morrison doing his classic Astral Weeks live in a recent album. It reconnects him with his muse, they say. Perhaps. But few live sessions sparkle with an artist's brass and sass as does Liza's at the Palace, a brashly triumphant document of Liza Minnelli's autumn 2008 run at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. To quote her, "It's Liza with a Z Not Lisa with an S 'Cause Lisa with an S Goes 'sss' not 'zzz.' "
The two-CD set is split between signature smashes and her salute to 1940s Broadway/nightclub doyenne Kay Thompson (Liza's godmother). Minnelli goes for broke on belters such as "Maybe This Time" with delicious clarity. Sympathetic pianist Billy Stritch and a smallish orchestra allow her room to breathe. She saves the scenery-chewing for the soft, dramatic subtlety of "If You Hadn't, But You Did" and the steady sorrow of "But the World Goes 'Round."
Along with the recent The Complete A&M Recordings, which documents her late-'60s/pre-disco '70s, Palace represents a mountainous high peak in a career with more valleys than the Dolls.
- A.D. Amorosi

Philadelphia Inquirer ~

Thursday, February 19, 2009

AmFar honoree Liza Minnelli by Liz Smith

LIZ SMITH ~ Posted: Wed., Feb. 18, 2009

"BABY, WHEN you stop being nervous, you better start worrying!" That was AmFar honoree Liza Minnelli, calming the jitters of young Renee Olstead last week at the AIDS Foundation's annual gala at Cipriani in NYC. Miss Olstead, a veteran jazz chanteuse at 19, out with a new CD, "Skylark," felt she should have been calmer. But after a day at the Donna Karan salon selecting a gown -- a delicious pink parfait number -- and worrying over her rendition of "Thanks for the Boogie Ride," Renee was a wee bit tense. (Fretting over her fashion choice, she glanced over at one of the evening's presenters, Vogue's Anna Wintour and said, "Do you think Anna will approve?") Even Harry Belafonte was moved to reassure the usually composed Renee. He told her, "It's good to be nervous. That means you're going to give a great performance." Wisdom from her elders proved the perfect balm. Renee went out there and knocked the crowd for a loop! That crowd included Mary J. Blige, Cheyenne Jackson, Dick Cavett and Calvin Klein. This was a big night for AmFAR, hosted by Stanley Tucci; raising over $800,000 for research. Liza, Karan, Howard and Cindy Rachofsky were recognized for their efforts in the fight against AIDS.
The highlight of the evening was -- of course! -- Liza. Designer Kenneth Cole presented the great star with her award. She made a few heartfelt remarks, and then sang her full acceptance speech! Later, Cole, who is also AmFAR's tireless chairman of the board, auctioned off a pair of Cartier love bracelets. He egged the bidding by promising a performance by Liza. The jewels went for $90,000, and Liza, glittering in sequins, sang a powerful rendition of "I Would Never Leave You." (Kenneth designed Liza's outfit, which really was a stunner.)
By the way, don't miss my cover story on Liza for Parade magazine, March 1. Mostly, Liza loves to talk about her work, and give credit to others (she is quite modest for a living legend) but I got her onto to a few other subjects. She was in splendid form for our chat.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marvin Hamlisch brings two shows to South Florida....coments on LIZA & JUDY

Hamlisch -- who entered Julliard's preparatory school at age 6 ½ -- doesn't want anyone calling him ``an old fogie. ``I don't mind listening to Britney Spears as long as you give me something else: Frank Sinatra.''
His latest project: composing music for the upcoming Matt Damon thriller, The Informant.
Hamlisch has lived a charmed professional life. In 1960, he became friendly with a high-school girl who wanted to give her mom an unusual Christmas present -- a demo record to prove she could sing. The two teens went into a studio and recorded four songs.
''I almost died right there,'' Hamlisch recalls, when young Liza Minnelli brought him home to play the demo for Judy Garland.
Four years later, Minnelli performed Hamlisch's musical arrangements during her famous London Palladium concerts with Garland.
''I've known Marvin Hamlisch since [I was] 14 years old. He was then, is now and will always be the best of the best -- and funny,'' said Minnelli in an e-mail to The Miami Herald. She's still singing a few of his arrangements on her new album, Liza's at the Palace.
In 1964, Hamlisch went to work with another young diva, as assistant vocal arranger for Barbra Streisand in Broadway's Funny Girl. The two have maintained a longtime professional relationship that earned Hamlisch a Grammy, Golden Globe and two Oscars in 1974 for The Way We Were (his third Academy Award that year was for scoring The Sting); and two 1995 Emmys for Barbra Streisand: The Concert, a videotaped record of their 1993 tour together.
Hamlisch says ''the award I'm very proud of, I just got.'' On Jan. 28, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame, his name inscribed on a plaque at New York City's Gershwin Theatre. A few blocks away, at the Shubert Theatre, Hamlisch helped create show-biz history. The original production of A Chorus Line ran there from 1975 to 1990, making it Broadway's longest-running American musical.

Johnny Rodgers Sings & Signs at Lincoln Triangle Barnes & Noble 2/25

Monday, February 16, 2009; Posted: 10:02 PM - by BWW News Desk Johnny Rodgers brings the Johnny Rodgers Band to Barnes and Noble, Lincoln Center on February 25 at 6 p.m. for the AnyWednesday Music series. Johnny is fresh off the Broadway run with Liza Minnelli in LIZA's AT THE PALACE and is out promoting his 2 new EP releases - Bound Together, and Let's Make A Date.
Experience the Johnny Rodgers Band - POPjazz with PizzAZZ! - and get your CDs autographed by Johnny and the Band. The band features Johnny Rodgers on vocals and piano, Brian Glassman on double bass, Danny Mallon on drums, Joe Ravo on guitar.Press notes state that, "Bound Together" comes 3 years after Rodgers' critically acclaimed debut album titled Box of Photographs. The new release hi-lights four pop/rock originals by the Johnny Rodgers Band. The catchy title cut is a rallying call for world unity; Cry For Freedom, shades itself in Pink Floyd/Beatlesesque sounds; The Best Of You In Me, is a touching ballad and tribute to those who helped form each of us; and Lord Let The Angels Sing, a Christmas song, features guest artist Ben Taylor (son of music icons Carly Simon and James Taylor).
Johnny's other new EP Let's Make A Date, starts with a swingjazz duet with guest artist Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy winning superstar Liza Minnelli. The duo is backed by the Johnny Rodgers Band and Liza's musical mentor, her longtime musical director, the late Bill "Pappy" Lavorgna, on drums in what was his last recording. The EP also contains Johnny's rousing cover of the Randy Newman song You Can Leave Your Hat On. Rodgers has performed that song at many of Minnelli's concerts, accompanied by Liza's dance steps.
Produced by Richard Barone (of The Bongos) the recordings are available on iTunes,, and
Johnny's familiar with the Barnes & Noble room - having performed there with Liza at her recent CD signing earlier this month. "Yeah - it's great to have Liza warm up the room a bit for us." - Rodgers joked when asked about his planned performance coming after Liza's visit. "Seriously, - Liza's been a great inspiration to me - and I appreciate her friendship and support of me and my music".Come join the Band - Wednesday, February 25 at 6 pm for songs and CD signing.
Barnes & Noble - Lincoln Triangle, 1972 Broadway, New York, NY, 212-595-6859

Friday, February 13, 2009

amfAR New York Gala To Kick Off Fall 2009 Fashion Week - Red Carpet

Liza & Johnny Rogers

by Jemal Countess

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Honoree Howard Rachofsky, honoree Cindy Rachofsky, designer Donna Karan and singer/actress Liza Minnelli attend the amfAR New York Gala at Cipriani on 42nd Street to kick off Fall 2009 Fashion Week on February 12, 2009 in New York City. (Photos by Jemal Countess/WireImage& GettyImages)


Tony Awards Rule on Eligibility of Billy Elliot Boys, Liza Minnelli, and More

By: Dan Bacalzo · Feb 12, 2009 · New York

" The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced additional eligibility rulings for the 2008-2009 season.
The three boys playing the title role in Billy Elliot -- David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish -- will be eligible to be considered jointly in the Leading Actor in a Musical category.
Additional musical rulings include Irving Berlin's White Christmas actors Stephen Bogardus, Jeffry Denman, Kerry O'Malley and Meredith Patterson will be considered in the Leading Actor in a Musical and Leading Actress in Musical categories; Shrek's Brian d'Arcy James and Sutton Foster will be considered as leads, while Danny Troob and John Clancy are eligible in the category of Best Orchestrations; Pal Joey's Martha Plimpton will be eligible in the Featured Actress in a Musical category, while Richard Greenberg's new book for the show will be eligible in the Book of a Musical category.
Liza's at the Palace, Slava's Snowshow, and Soul of Shaolin will all be considered eligible in the Special Theatrical Event category. Dividing the Estate and The American Plan are both eligible in the category of Best Play.
All other decisions were consistent with the opening night credits.
This is the third time the Tony Awards Administration Committee has met this year. It will meet two more times to discuss the eligibility of shows opening in the 2008-2009 season. The cut-off date for eligibility is April 30, 2009.
The awards will be presented by the League of American Theatres and Producers and the American Theatre Wing on Sunday, June 7 and broadcast live on CBS.
For previously announced eligibility rulings for the 2008-2009 season, click here.
For more information, visit

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Liza Minnelli's "Liza's at the Palace" (Hybrid) debuts at No. 3

Liza Minnelli's "Liza's at the Palace" (Hybrid) debuts at No. 3 on Top Cast Albums. The daughter of Judy Garland most recently charted in July 1996 with "Gently," which peaked at No. 156 on The Billboard 200.

Liza Minnelli, and More Set for Virginia Arts Festival

By: Dan Bacalzo · Feb 11, 2009 · Virginia

The Virginia Arts Festival has announced programming for its 13th annual festival, to run April 14-May 31 in more than two dozen venues in ten cities across the region.
Three-time Tony Award winner Liza Minnelli will perform at Norfolk's Chrysler Hall on April 24, while two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone will perform at the Williamsburg Lodge on May 24.
Choreographer Mark Morris will present Sergey Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet, On Motifs of Shakespeare, May 8-10. Dance performances will also include appearances by the Czech National Theatre Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Israel's Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, and Ballroom with a Twist, a show that gathers world champion ballroom dancers, American Idol star singers, and a celebrity host.
The festival will also include a wide range of music performances from the likes of the Kronos Quartet, Jerusalem Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Miami String Quartet, Imani Winds ensemble, Virginia Symphony, Ravi Shankar with his daughter Anoushka Shankar, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, and more. 12-time Grammy Award winner Emmylou Harris will perform during the festival's final weekend at Newport News' Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts, May 30.For more information, call 757-282-2822 or visit

AmfAR Gala, Honoring Minnelli, Karan and Rachofskys, Presented Feb. 12

By Andrew Gans12 Feb 2009

Tony Award winner Liza Minnelli, who recently played a limited engagement at Broadway's Palace Theatre, will be among those honored Feb. 12 at amfAR's New York gala.
The black-tie evening at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan will honor Minnelli, designer Donna Karan and Dallas-based philanthropists Howard and Cindy Rachofsky for "their vital and distinctive contributions to the global struggle against AIDS."
Each will receive amfAR's Award of Courage for "outstanding leadership and distinguished service in furthering amfAR's mission, and for playing a vital role in increasing AIDS awareness and accelerating the pace of HIV/AIDS research," according to press notes. Vogue's Anna Wintour, amfAR's Kenneth Cole and Sotheby's Jamie Niven will be on hand to present the honorees with their awards.
The evening, which begins with a cocktail hour at 6:30 PM, also includes performances by Joan Osborne and Renee Olstead and a live auction conducted by Niven.
Previous amfAR honorees include Clive Davis, Peter Dolan/Bristol Myers Squibb, Richard Gere, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks, Quincy Jones, Patti LaBelle, Lorne Michaels, Rosie O'Donnell, Sumner Redstone/Viacom, Natasha Richardson, Bill Roedy/MTV Networks, Carine Roitfeld, Julian Schnabel, Bobby Shriver, Sharon Stone, Barbara Walters, Robin Williams and Anna Wintour.
For tickets, which begin at $1,000, contact Kate Fitzsimons at (212) 806-1612 or e-mail
Established in 1985, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is "one of the world's leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy."

The Best of Liza Minnelli: Original Keys for Singers (Paperback)

by Liza Minnelli (Author)

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Product Description25 signature standards from this Oscar-, Tony- and Emmy-winning superstar, all transcribed exactly as sung, in their original keys! Includes: And All That Jazz * Cabaret * City Lights * Liza with a "Z" * Losing My Mind * Maybe This Time * Me and My Baby * Mein Herr * My Own Best Friend * Theme from "New York, New York" * Nowadays * Ring Them Bells * Stepping Out * Taking a Chance on Love * and more, plus a foreword by Michael Feinstein!
Product Details
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation (March 4, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1423449223
ISBN-13: 978-1423449225
Shipping Information: View shipping rates and policies Sales Rank: #33,599 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)
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Monday, February 9, 2009

My 2 Days of Minnelli Magic! by Christine Louise

Heya all! So I haven't posted here in ages, but I'm always reading up on the group and deff keeping up with all things Liza. But, after the past 2 days I just had, I felt it was a good time to actaully post, to show how amazing this woman is. So I was able to get tickets when Liza filmed "Mike and Juliet." Everyone working there was really nice and when they saw I was a big fan gave me a front row seat. So during a commercial break, Liza saw my shirt and commented on it, to which I looked back at her like , and then Mike (the host) jumped down to see the shirt cause he didn't realize it was Liza's. So yeah, for anyone who saw the show, I'm the confused/shocked looking blonde with the Palace shirt and green nails, lol. So after Liza's segments she walks over and comes to me, takes my hand and talks to me for a minute...and no I was not breathing lol. So then she tells the audience to come to the signing, asks me if I'm going, I said of course, and she walks off. So I'm sitting there floored that I just met Liza, starign at my hand that she just touched, when I hear "Liza wants to talk to you" . So after a second of trying to comprehend 'Who wants to talk to Who!?', I went back and talked to Liza! We had a little chat and she made sure I was good for the event the next day to get to see her sing and all and we took a picture (though I don't know how I got my camera out I was shaking s o much) and we both checked it out to make sure it came good and said 'see you tomorrow' and then I floated back to my seat...where I had a seat filler oddly enough...and then just sat there, shocked and over the moon at what just happened.
So then the next day, thanks to Liza, I was able to go to the signing and watch Liza's brilliant performance, she sang my 2 fav songs from the show! Then I got my CD signed and gave her the gift I had told her about the day before and thanked her for everything. Then she asked me how the set was and if I enjoyed qualifies as the understatement of the year lol. And so concluded 2 days I will never forget. So I just thought I'd share my story, sorry if it went on kinda long, but I mean who does that for a fan!? Most celebs that don't have an ounce of Liza's talent or magnitude don't care about their fans at all, and here you have a legend who takes her time to make a fan feel so special. All I can say is my idol deffinately gave me a dream come true, it was 2 days I will never forget.
So here is my pic with Liza if anyone is interested in seeing it. It is now officially in just about every room of my house lol.

Minnelli, Fey, Winslet, Letterman, Rourke and Fernandez Win ITRA Awards

Winners of the 2009 Independent Theatre Reviewers Association (ITRA) Awards have been announced.
Six artists in three categories — film, television and theatre — have been selected for 2009. The honorees, according to press notes, "embody the essence of not only artistic integrity, but also complete dedication to their craft."
This year's ITRA Award winners follow:

Mickey Rourke, Best Actor in a Feature Film, "The Wrestler" (Fox/Searchlight Pictures), "for his powerful and honest portrayal. This is a great comeback from a great American actor."

Kate Winslet, Best Actress in a Feature Film, "Revolutionary Road" (DreamWorks Pictures/Paramont Vantage), "for her profound and beautiful work."

Tina Fey, Best Performance in a Television Series or Variety Show (Female), "3 0 Rock" and "Saturday Night Live" (NBC), for "terrific comedic performances and biggest career explosion of the year."

David Letterman, Best Performance in a Television Series or Variety Show (Male), "Late Night with David Lettermen" (CBS), "for his continued success and longevity."

Liza Minnelli, Best Performance Theatrical (Female), Liza's At The Palace (Palace Theatre, NYC; John Scher/Metropolitan Talent Presents), "for a lifetime of art and heartache, and most importantly survival... a legend returns to Broadway!"

Lucio Fernandez, Best Performance Theatrical (Male), "The Cuban Kid in concert" (Don't Tell Mama, NYC), "for an electrifying performance in cabaret. This newcomer came out of nowhere to surprise us."

Independent Theatre Reviewers Association is "dedicated to reviewing professional theatre in the tri-state metropolitan area." For more information visit

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Liza ! ~ NY1 "On Stage" interview part 2

Avi Duvdevani & LIZA over the years...

Liza with a Z” invitation only event May 1972..

Persian Room Plaza Feb 1966 on side 2, from Liza to for full view.

Liza and Avi Empire Room Show 1970 Liza 1966

Liza & Avi ~ 2004

Liza & Avi in Rome NY on location for The Sterile Cukoo ~ Sept. 28, 1968

Empire Room 1968

Empire Room Jan 1968

Waldorf Empire dressing suite Jan 1968

Atantic City Dec 1988 & Jan 1997

Just so it’s not confusing… I was Harvey since immigrating to the US in 1958 and Liza who met me in 1965 ALWAYS called me HARVEY even AFTER I changed it back to my given Israeli name AVI in the 80s (I tried doing “..It’s AVI with a V not HARVEY with an R..” with her..but nothing seems to work.. she just says “You’ll always be my HARVEY!” .

Avi Duvdevani

Friday, February 6, 2009

LIZA ~ performances from Barnes & Noble...sent by Avi Duvdevani

Liza nrp interview by Scott Simon "slideshow"...

PHOTO CALL: Minnelli Sings and Signs Liza's at The Palace CD

Billy Stritch

Ron Lewis

Cortes Alexander, Johnny Rogers, Jim Curuso, & Tiger Martina


By Ernio Hernandez05 Feb 2009
Liza Minnelli celebrated the release of the new Liza's at The Palace CD Feb. 3 with an in-store performance, where she was joined by her recent Broadway co-stars and musical director Billy Stritch.
Jim Caruso, Johnny Rodgers, Tiger Martina and Cortes Alexander — who appeared in the Broadway show — performed along with Minnelli at the Barnes and Noble event at Lincoln Triangle in New York City.
The two-disc set, available on the Hybrid Recordings label, was produced by Phil Ramone.
Here are some photos from the event: