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.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Chugg Entertainment and David M. Hawkins are proud to present the long awaited return of award winning superstar Liza Minnelli. Bringing her unstoppable Minnelli magic to Australia, Liza will tour nationally in an unmatchable concert performance.
Based on her current hit Broadway show “Liza’s At The Palace”, the evening will feature an incomparable Minnelli songfest including many of her personal favourites and signature hits.
Along with a twelve-piece orchestra led by conductor/drummer Michael Berkowitz and pianist/musical supervisor Billy Stritch, the performance will feature many of Liza’s showstoppers such as “Cabaret”, “Maybe This Time” and “Theme From New York, New York” – all written especially for her by the legendary Broadway song writing partnership of John Kander and Fred Ebb.
Directed by Ron Lewis, this concert performance of almost two hours duration (with interval), will be full of personal stories, anecdotes and heartfelt reminiscences.
Liza Minnelli first toured Australia in the late 1960’s with Peter Allen and played two seasons at Chequers Nite Club in Sydney (second season with The Allen Brothers). She also made a television special in 1967 for TCN9 called ‘Liza’, and appeared with the Allen Brothers on Bandstand in 1969. Her first major solo Australian tour was in 1981 playing all major cities nationally. The last visit to Australia for Liza was with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr. in 1989 with The Ultimate Event.
After an exodus of twenty years this will be one of the most triumphant and eagerly awaited return concerts on the Australian musical stage.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
LEGENDARY cabaret performer Liza Minnelli brought a touch of Broadway pizazz to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre last Friday (October 23).
The audience leapt to their feet as soon as Minnelli swept onto the stage (in a sparkling black top, sleek black pants and pink scarf).
She opened with Teach Me Tonight, which was followed by echoes of ``we love you Liza’’.
Apparently she loves us too replying: ``Adelaide is the most beautiful city.’’
At 63 years of age, Minnelli showed amazing stamina and a hearty sense of humour as she dazzled the fans with hit-after-hit including Cabaret, New York, New York, the fun Liza With a `Z’ and If You Hadn’t, But You Did.
That said she wasn’t too proud to sit down during the first act.
``Remember when I sat down in the second act? Well now I sit down in the first act. I ain’t crazy, just old!’’
Minnelli’s first Australian tour in 20 years is based on her Tony Award-winning run at the New York Palace.
Her tight 12-piece orchestra features longtime pianist Billy Stitch.
A highlight of last Friday’s show was her moving version of Every Time We Say Goodbye.
For an encore she returned in a baggy T-shirt, sans make-up and false eyelashes to sing All The Lives of Me as a tribute to first husband Peter Allen.
by Melissa Philips
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
IT'S been 20 years since stage and screen legend Liza Minnelli performed in Australia and in that time she has survived life-threatening illness, two hip replacements, a couple of her four marriages and substance addiction.
So when the 63-year-old strolled on stage in a spangly black blouse at Rod Laver Arena last night to perform an incarnation of her Tony Award-winning Broadway show Liza's at the Palace, the rapturous applause of some 10,000 fans was no surprise.
Opening with Teach Me Tonight, La Minnelli's voice was as strong as ever from the outset. Sure, she may have wavered over a few notes, and her cabaret-style show, complete with anecdotes and banter, is more suited to a club than a stadium, but still the crowd lapped it up. This was Liza Minnelli, after all.
Her musical arrangements were as accomplished as the singing - Minnelli was backed by a 12-piece band led by drummer Michael Berkowitz and featuring jazz pianist Billy Stritch, who she has worked with for 18 years and with whom she performs a duet, I Can't Give You Anything But Love.
The show included a medley of songs, some of which had been performed by Minnelli's mother, Judy Garland, at the Palace.
She doesn't move like she used to - pulling up a chair, she quipped that once she would only sit down in the second set - but Liza's still got it.
All showbiz timing, self-deprecating gags and jazz hands, the show was a mix of ballads, such as Charles Aznavour's What Makes a Man a Man and He's Funny that Way, and high-camp belting numbers including Cabaret - complete with a cheeky knowing pause as she delivered the line about ''pills and liquor'' - Liza With a Z, and, of course, New York New York.
The crowd - a diverse mix of ages and backgrounds - gave Minnelli more than one standing ovation and she made us feel as if she was completely taken aback. It was cheesy as hell, and everyone loved every minute of it.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Minnelli is the daughter of actress/singer Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli. She began her career at a very early age, co-starring with her mother in the movie "In the Good Old Summertime" in 1949. At the age of 10, Liza hosted the first-ever TV broadcast of "The Wizard of Oz," reaching a viewing audience of about 45 million people.
By the time she was 19, she had landed the lead role in "Flora, the Red Menace." This Broadway performance won her a Tony for Best Actress in a musical.
In 1972, her movie career peaked when she played Sally Bowles in "Cabaret." The film won eight Oscars, including Best Actress for Minnelli. The role also earned her a Golden Globe and a British Film Academy Award. The unqualified success of "Cabaret" put Minnelli on the covers of Time and Newsweek in the same week.
Minnelli also starred in the first concert ever filmed live for television in 1972. "Liza with a Z" produced a Top 20 album and won the Emmy for Outstanding Single Program. It has been released in recent years as a DVD.
Minelli went on to appear opposite Robert DeNiro in the musical "New York, New York," directed by Martin Scorsese, in 1977. In 1981, she co-starred with Dudley Moore in the movie "Arthur," going on to make the sequel "Arthur 2" in 1988. Minelli added a second Golden Globe to her already impressive list of awards in 1985 with her performance in the television movie "A Time to Live."
In 1997, Liza took over from an ailing Julie Andrews in Broadway's "Victoria/Victoria." Andrews had to leave the show to undergo vocal cord surgery which was not completely successful. Liza later underwent the identical surgical procedure and made a full recovery.
Liza returned to the Stage in December 1999 to pay tribute to her father in a show called "Minnelli on Minnelli" at New York's Palace Theater.
Shortly after the CD of "Minnelli on Minnelli" was released in February 2000, Minnelli was hospitalized for encephalitis. The prognosis was grim: she was told that she would never walk, talk, dance or sign again. But her incredible will, determination and relentless hard work proved them wrong, and by June 2002, she was back on stage at the Beacon Theater in New York. Her triumphant comeback CD entitled "Liza's Back!" was released in October 2002 and she was seen as Lucille Austero on TV's critically acclaimed Arrested Development.
In 2008 Liza returned to Broadway with "Liza's at the Palace..." which went on to win the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event, her fourth Tony. She recreated the show at the MGM Grand where her performance was filmed for an upcoming public television special and a DVD. Minnelli continues her extraordinary music career with ongoing concert tours in the U.S. and Europe, as well as recording a new album.
Proceeds of the concert will benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo.
This concert is presented by The Derico of East Amherst Corporation and its employees, a locally owned 12 outlet McDonald's organization. Concert proceeds benefit the families of the Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo. Since opening its doors to families of seriously ill or injured children more than 25 years ago, the Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo has provided comfortable, affordable lodging for 17,000 families from Western New York and around the world. The Ronald McDonald House is a family's "home-away-from-home" when their child requires specialized medical care at a Buffalo hospital.
Tickets for Liza Minnelli are $126.50, $111.50 and $86.50 and are on sale in the Center for the Arts Box Office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at all Ticketmaster locations, including ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets, call 1-800-745-3000, in Canada, call 1-416-870-8000. For more information call 716-645-2787
Friday, October 23, 2009
Liza Minnelli brought the cast of the new 'Sex and the City' movie to tears when she performed for them.
The iconic singer - who has a cameo appearance as herself in the upcoming film - played a song for the cast when shooting wrapped on her scene, before making an emotional speech.
According to gossip blogger Perez Hilton, actor Nicholas Rodriguez said: "Liza's scene is ginormous with a huge budget and pretty much everybody is in it, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Noth, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon.
"After the shoot, Liza said, 'I would like to have everyone's attention,' and they pulled out a stool for her at the piano and gave her a mic and she sang a favourite of her mother, Judy Garland.
"Then she said, 'Thank you for letting me play with you guys.' It was so heartfelt and genuine. I got choked up and several people were sobbing like a baby, but I'm not going to name names!"
Liza is a guest at the film's "shock wedding", rumoured to be that of the franchise's gay characters Stanford Blatch and Anthony Marentino.
The film is due for release in 2010.
(C) BANG Media International
Thursday, October 22, 2009
By Beth Rivers
October 22, 2009 10:27am
LIZA Minnelli transformed the Perth Convention Centre into a Broadway theatre for one night only.Sparkling in a black-sequined top with a pink scarf draped around her, Liza walked on stage to a fanfare from her 12-piece band last night. The 2500-packed Riverside Theatre crowd jumped to their feet, thrilled the great American singer and actress had finally returned to Australia after 20 years. “We’re in Perth finally, we made it,” Liza said to her band. “This city has grown since I’ve been here.” She opened with Teach Me Tonight and proved her voice and stage presence was as boisterous as ever.
Liza Minnelli Perth concert pics
“Thank you Perth,” Liza replied to the audience through cheers and screams of “We Love you, Liza.” Daughter of entertainer Judy Garland and Hollywood film director Vincente Minnelli, Liza’s showbiz talent shined as she switched between sombre ballads and lively dance numbers. Although, now aged 63, she said her stamina was not was it used to be. “Has anyone seen me before?” she asked, pulling a directors chair into the middle of the stage and slowly slumping into it. “You’ll remember I used to sit down at the end of the second act, now I sit down in the first act.” During a pause in one song, she reminisced: “Do you remember when I used to get down on one knee? Forget it, it’s not happening.” And it was her witty humor that made the crowd adore her even more. “Over the years I’ve been particularly drawn to songs about falling in love,” she said. “However, at this point in my life I’m drawn to songs about falling out of love.” She then launched into If You Hadn’t, But You Did. Liza has been married four times. Other crowd-pleasure included What Makes A Man A Man, Maybe This Time, Liza With A Z and Cabaret. Liza also sang a duet with her jazz pianist, Billy Stritch, called I Got A Man, Crazy For Me. Liza heard Billy playing at a restaurant 18-years ago and asked him to follow her “for the rest of his life”, to which Billy had said he would “think about it”. Liza only needed a simply-lit stage – as her animated gestures and expressions had everyone absorbed. To stop the show, she proudly announced “I love you Perth, but here’s where I come from” and broke into New York, New York. The audience were on their feet again, applauding long before the song was over, and then began to chant “Liza” as she took a bow. Liza told everyone there was always a song that could say it better than she could and then encored with Every Time We Say Goodbye. Finally, the curtain came down on this Broadway act but not before a small tribute to her first husband, Australian entertainer Peter Allen, with The Lives Of Me. “Thank you Peter,” Liza said. No Liza, thank you.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Time Out were among a handful of guests who had the privilege of meeting with Minnelli backstage after the show where the singer continued to thank well-wishers individually for coming to see the first of her three Sydney shows. Andrew Georgiou
Liza Minnelli plays the Sydney Opera House on Saturday 17 October and again at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on November 2.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009
CABARET: Matthew Westwood October 19, 2009
Article from: The Australian
Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House, October 17. Riverside Theatre, Perth, Wednesday; Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Friday; Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, October 25; Brisbane Entertainment Centre, October 30; Sydney Entertainment Centre, November 2.
THERE was a lot of love in the room on Saturday night, the second of Liza Minnelli's concerts at the Sydney Opera House. It was Minnelli's return to Australia after a gap of 20 years -- her last concerts were billed as The Ultimate Event with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr -- and her fans let forth something like two decades' worth of adulation when their idol stepped on to thestage.
"I love you, Liza," a lone voice would cry from the auditorium.
"Oh, I love you too," Minnelli would reply, emphasising every word.
The pitch of mutual admiration continued through the evening, but the love was well earned. Minnelli put everything into opening numbers Teach Me Tonight, If You Hadn't, But You Did and My Own Best Friend.
God knows where Minnelli -- the survivor of four marriages, encephalitis, hip and knee replacements and battles with addiction -- gets her energy from.
And one may have a certain admiration for the singer-as-survivor, emerging triumphant and sequined from private and public travails.
In truth, though, the noise of victory becomes a little wearying. Some songs were belted into shape, the diction unclear and the vibrato wide enough to walk through.
The stage act, too, verges on self-parody, with all that arm-flinging and hands raised in salute. This reached an apogee in the show's climax, the Theme from New York, New York.
Part of the show (with a terrific 12-piece band led by drummer Michael Berkowitz and Billy Stritch at the piano) is based on Minnelli's Tony Award-winning season Liza's at the Palace, at the Palace Theatre in New York. But much of the evening was given over to songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb that were written for Minnelli, or which she made famous: Cabaret, Liza with a Z, and anthems But the World Goes Round and the New York, New York theme.
One longed for quieter numbers that would display another side of Minnelli's gifts. This came in the Charles Aznavour song What Makes a Man a Man and Cole Porter's Every Time We Say Goodbye, but even this tender ballad had to be brought to a show-stopping conclusion.
The show ended in un-diva-like fashion, with Minnelli in a baggy T-shirt and wiping her face with a towel, singing Peter Allen's All the Lives of Me. Even stripped of make-up and false eyelashes, she revealed herself as the supreme entertainer she is.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Regal yet humble, the Cabaret star still has energy and talent to enthral her fans, writes Nicholas Pickard.
It's the eyes and the giggle that do it for you - that innocent glare that Liza Minnelli flashes at you to give you a window into the career of a musical star who has been honing her talent for more than 50 years.
The voice has become shaky and the body isn't as agile as it once was but this is Liza - with a Z - and no one in the packed 2000-seat auditorium at the Sydney Opera House was complaining.
When she appeared dressed in her white sequins it felt like the roof of the Opera House was about to lift off. Everyone rose to their feet for the star who first came to Australia with her then husband, Peter Allen, 42 years ago.
But that was then and this is now and, despite her 63 years, it's Minnelli's eyes and her charming giggle that are timeless.
With pianist Billy Stritch and her 11-piece band she pumped out a show full of raw and breathless energy with all the Bob Fosse movements you'd expect. Based on a Tony award-winning show she has performed in New York's Palace Theatre this year, Minnelli was almost giddy as she went from crowd-pleasing show tune to heart-felt love serenade.
New York, New York had parts of the crowd barely able to contain their exhilaration, and Al Jolson's Mammy had people swooning. At one stage a call went out for her to sing Somewhere over the Rainbow - made famous by her mother, Judy Garland, in The Wizard of Oz - but with elegance Minnelli politely declined, saying that ''other people have sung that song''.
Her high notes were often lost and some of the words drowned by the band but not many performers can fill the difficult Concert Hall space like Minnelli can with her raw pizazz and fountain of generosity.
With the audience demanding her return she came back for a second encore dressed in a loose Chet Baker T-shirt with make-up removed and her hair wet from sweat.
She paid tribute to Allen by looking skywards and saying thank you. She then turned to the audience and thanked them. It was a genuine thank you because Minnelli has a humility that is nothing but magically endearing.
But Sydney Opera House management desperately needs to spend a bit of money to properly dress the on-stage entrances and exits in the Concert Hall.
The faded and dusty black cloths, not far removed from ones used by cash-strapped university theatre clubs, were opened manually by backstage crew and looked amateurish beside Minnelli's brilliance.
A performer of her stature deserves much better. After all, she is musical royalty.
17/10/2009 4:00:00 AM
NEWCASTLE Australian Idol contestant James Johnston found himself staring into the large of eyes of Liza Minnelli while preparing for tomorrow night's show.
The Cooks Hill lad, who is down to the final seven contestants on the show, has worked with music greats such as Suzi Quatro and Harry Connick jnr during this season.
But it was Minnelli who really got Johnston shaking in his trademark skinny black jeans.
"Being mentored by Liza was one of the most intense things I've ever done," 18-year-old Johnston said.
"She has these massive eyes and she stares really intently at you.
"I found it a bit intimidating. But she gave me some great advice.
"She sees music from a different angle and that's a new experience for me."
The theme for tomorrow's Australian Idol, featuring Minnelli, is a stage and screen night.
It was a new genre for Johnston, who has been singing since he was four and cut his teeth in Star Struck.
"I've never really experienced musical theatre before, so to have someone from that background giving me constructive criticism was great," Johnston said.
Born in Wingham, Johnston has entertained Star Struck audiences since 2002, performing in front of more than 100,000 people.
Cabaret queen Minnelli has been performing in Sydney and is taking part in her first Australian tour in 20 years.
Minnelli is the daughter of two Hollywood legends, Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli.
October 17, 2009 12:00pm
Friday, October 16, 2009
Fri Oct 16 15:52:36 EST 2009 Fri Oct 16 15:52:36 EST 2009
QUEEN of morning TV Kerri-Anne Kennerley found herself face to face with her idol during the taping of the 1500th episode of her daytime chat show in Sydney this week.
Kennerley met stage legend Liza Minnelli in the hallway, backstage before the show got started.
Minnelli was one of the guests appearing on the milestone episode that will air on Nine this morning.
"We had a brief chat and I said, 'I have to tell you something, I wanted to be Liza Minnelli'. I told her I had worked in New York, I was a singer when I was there and she was very interested," Kennerley said.
Kennerley battled through the show after being struck down with a flu-type condition on the day of the taping.
"Can you believe it, it is Murphy's Law," she said.
"Why of all weeks - the 1500th show, Liza Minnelli as our guest, of all days why did it happen?"
Kennerley said it was a thrill to have reached 1500 shows with Mornings With Kerri-Anne, which started in October 2002.
"With a show like this you are on the treadmill. It is nice to look back, but you don't have time to stare," she said.
"We are already looking ahead to next week."
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday 20 October – Perth, Burswood Dome. Friday 23 October – Adelaide, Entertainment CentreSunday 25 October – Melbourne, Rod Laver ArenaFriday 30 October – Brisbane, Entertainment CentreMonday 2 November – Sydney, Entertainment Centre
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Minnelli first toured the country in the late 1960s with then husband Peter Allen, and she's returned many times since.
Touching down in Sydney this week ahead of her Australian tour, Minnelli said she was thrilled to be back.
"Oh my favourite time was the first time I came here with Peter," Minnelli told media at a news conference in Sydney.
"I loved it so much and I've loved it ever since then.
"I love the Harry's meat pies, I love Bondi Beach, and all the people I know all over the country I'm looking forward to seeing."
And, having one been married to our Boy From Oz, she admitted she doesn't mind Aussie men either.
"I think Australian males are extremely attractive," she said.
"But honey ... I'm 63 years old, don't worry about it."
The Liza tour, which takes in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, starts on Friday, October 16 with two sold-out nights at the Sydney Opera House.
It's a venue that tops her must-do list, according to Minnelli.
"The Sydney Opera House, are you kidding me?" she said.
"This place means so much to me, I'm so excited about performing here."
The showbiz legend will perform a show based in part on her Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Liza's At The Palace, with the second half made up especially for Australian audiences including hits like Cabaret, Maybe This Time and Theme From New York, New York.
Despite being one of the few artists to have won entertainment's top six awards - Tony, Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Emmy and Grammy - Minnelli is not one to rest on her laurels.
"Every performance I do has to be the best one I've ever done," she said.
"What I have to prove is the price of admission."
Minnelli has some serious medical issues in the past, including encephalitis, vocal cord surgery, two hip replacements, and battles with drugs and alcohol.
But now at 63, the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincent Minnelli said her health is "wonderful", and she has no plans to retire in the near future.
"Nay nay nay," she laughed.
"I really like it - or I wouldn't be doing it at this age.
"I'm an old broad to be doing all this stuff."
Minnelli is set to connect with a new, younger audience.
She has just finished recording with US rock band My Chemical Romance, and will be a celebrity judge on Australian Idol this Sunday.
She also has a guest role in the new Sex And The City movie.
"I come on and I marry these two guys, right, it's hilarious," she explained.
"Then I say that they've asked me to sing a special song that was playing when they got engaged, and I think people think I'm going to sing It Had To Be You, and it's "if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it"," she sang from Beyonce's hit Single Ladies.
"We had such fun doing it."
Minnelli said she had no idea why it had taken her so long to come back to Australia. But she was determined it wouldn't be her last.
"Why on earth would it be the last time? You're planning on me dying? Out of the question," she laughed.
19:55 AEST Tue Oct 13 2009
By Alyssa Braithwaite
Liza recorded this medley in Australia in 1967 for a TV special called LIZA for Australia
THE "girl with an int'resting face", as the showman Peter Allen wrote of his American wife Liza Minnelli in Tenterfield Saddler, fronted the Sydney media yesterday after an absence of 20 years. It was a class act.
The entertainer may no longer be the girl of Allen's autobiographical song - they married in 1967, divorced seven years later and remained friends until his death in 1992 - but she still has the trademark effervescence that has made her as famous as her legendary mother Judy Garland.
Minnelli, 63, performs at the Opera House this week in her first Australian trip since touring with Sammy Davis jnr and Frank Sinatra. She first came to Sydney with Allen, playing Chequers nightclub in the 1960s. On later visits she saw the Opera House at different stages of construction, little knowing she would one day grace the Concert Hall stage.
''I choose songs that mean something to me, songs that talk to people rather than just singing into space under a spotlight.''
Minnelli's generosity and warmth starkly contrast with the tabloid horror stories about her battles with alcohol and drug addiction, personal failures and disastrous marriages. In 2000, she was incapacitated by viral encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. She was unable to walk or talk. Her doctor said recovery was unlikely. ''I said 'Nah!' I chose not to believe him. I went back to work and haven't stopped working … My advice to younger artists is [to] believe in what you're doing and do what you believe in.''
Aside from her near-mythical lineage, Minnelli shot to fame playing Sally Bowles in the 1972 film Cabaret. She won an Academy Award for best actress. '''It was so much fun. Here we were, can you imagine, making a musical in Germany about the Nazis yet no one seemed to notice so we got away with it. No one really knew what we were doing … I just adored it.''
Minnelli's whirlwind delivery can be traced to her godmother Kay Thompson. She had been Garland's vocal coach at MGM and sang in nightclubs in the late 1940s and early '50s. ''I was two years old when I was taken to see Kay perform,'' Minnelli says. ''She was an all-rounder and influenced all of us.''
Minnelli's triumphant return to the New York stage last year echoed the sentiments of theatre critic Ben Brantley a decade earlier when she took over from Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria on Broadway. "Her every appearance is perceived as a victory of showbusiness stamina over psychic frailty … Minnelli asks for love so nakedly and earnestly, it seems downright vicious not to respond."
Minnelli performs at the Opera House on Friday and Saturday, and at the Entertainment Centre on November 2.
By Antonette Collins
Posted 6 hours 44 minutes ago Updated 4 hours 11 minutes ago
Liza Minnelli's Australian concert will be partly based on her Broadway show.
Video: Minelli in Sydney: 'I'm an old broad to be doing all this stuff' (ABC News)
Map: Sydney 2000
Liza Minnelli, the multi award-winning star of stage and screen, has arrived in Sydney at the start of her first Australian tour in 20 years.
Minnelli was born into show business royalty and progressed to a long and acclaimed career. She won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Cabaret in 1972 and picked up her fourth Tony Award this year for her show Liza's At The Palace.
Her Australian concert will be partly based on her Broadway show as well as some of her best-known songs.
"Every performance that I do has to be the best one I've ever done before," she said.
"I mean I really like it, or I wouldn't be doing it this age. You know, I'm an old broad to be doing all this stuff."
Speaking at a press conference at the Opera House today, the 63-year-old said despite her success, she still had plenty to prove.
"I'd like to do everything again and better. There are people all over the world who have never seen me," she said.
"So what I have to prove is worth the price of admission."
'Thrilled' to perform
Minnelli first came to Australia in the 1960s with her first husband, Peter Allen.
She made her first solo tour in 1981 before returning in 1989 with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr for The Ultimate Event tour.
But this will be the first time Minnelli has performed at the iconic Sydney Opera House and she says she is thrilled.
"The first time I came here, it wasn't even being built. Then when I came again, they'd sort of started it. Then when I came again, they had started it more, then when I came again, they'd stopped. And then finally it was built," she said.
Working with her long-time director and choreographer Ron Lewis, Minnelli is involved in every aspect of her show from writing, staging, casting and even set design and lighting.
"There's a lot of things I would love to do which have to do with all of this business," she said.
Bringing back live entertainment
Minnelli has recently attracted a new generation of fans through her work with rock band My Chemical Romance and appearances on the television comedy show Arrested Development.
She is also performing a guest role in the new Sex and the City film, where she performs a version of pop singer Beyonce's hit song Put a Ring on it.
Minnelli says a resurgence in musical theatre films and television programs is also bringing live entertainment back into the spotlight.
"People are starting to entertain people again," she said.
"And you can see that on all these dance programs. Dancing has emerged again and I'm a dancer first, so that's terribly important to me. I think all of entertainment is really coming back to life."
Minnelli suffered a bout of viral encephalitis in 2000 and had hip replacements and knee surgery.
Some doubted she would ever perform again but Minelli said she was determined to continue working.
Minnelli also dismissed any suggestions that this might be her last tour to Australia.
"Why on earth would it be the last time? Why, are you planning on me dying? Forget it!" she said.
Liza Minnelli in Concert opens at the Sydney Opera House on Friday night before a national tour to the major capital cities.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The 63-year-old's schedule includes fronting the media tomorrow, mentoring the current crop of Australian Idol contestant for a day and appearing on Mornings with Kerri-Anne- celebrating the show's 1500th episode.
According to a tour spokesman, promoters have been inundated with requests for Minnelli to appear at ''charity events and wildlife parks or to go shopping''.
Some fans even sought a private audience offering B&B at their ''large property in the country.
If Liza would like to relax away from the hustle and bustle we will make our house available.''
No requests yet from Oxford Street or environs. ''She hasn't been asked to dance on the bar at Stonewall.''
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Golden Globes, USA
Robert De Niro
Best Motion Picture - Musical/Comedy
Best Motion Picture Actor - Musical/ComedyRobert De Niro
Best Motion Picture Actress - Musical/ComedyLiza Minnelli
Best Original Song - Motion PictureJohn Kander (music) Fred Ebb (lyrics) For the theme song "New York, New York".
Writers:Earl Mac Rauch (screenplay) andMardik Martin (screenplay)
“There were times where, especially with the Liza episode everyone was like, ‘I don’t have enough time with her,’ and ‘How come you get to be in the scene with her?’ all in good fun,” Brooke recounted. “We all wanted to be in scenes with Liza and Delta and Rosie. We just get excited.”
Sunday, October 4, 2009
A witness in the Las Vegas’ MGM Grand audience — which included Barry Manilow, Renée Zellweger, Alan Cumming and Kathy Griffin — reports that Minnelli “composed herself and finished the showstopper to a standing ovation.” The performance, a recreation of her “Liza at the Palace” Broadway show, was being filmed for a PBS special.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
know, I know. If you see one more send-up of Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” you’re going to slit your wrists. After seeing the versions done by football players on “Glee,” Justin Timberlake on “SNL,” and indie rockers Pomplamoose, what else could possibly be done to add new intrigue to this poor, copycatted tune? Well, someone very dear to my theatre-loving heart is rumored to be having a go at the ditty. In perhaps the best “Sex and the City 2” spoiler news ever, Us Weekly reports that Ms. Liza Minnelli herself will be performing the song in a wedding scene during the film. OK … I’m so giddy I forgot to wonder who is getting married. I seriously can’t wait to see Liza turn that bitch out. I wonder if she’ll do it in full Fosse getup? [MSN]
Liza Minnelli to Appear in Sex and the City Movie:
Amazing: Liza Minnelli is covering Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" for a wedding scene in the Sex and the City sequel. We assume it's because, as Samantha Jones once advised Smith Jerrod, you've got to get the gays before you get the girls.
The only thing gayer than Kristen Chenoweth singing a Liza Minnelli song from Cabaret on Glee is...well, there is nothing gayer than Kristen Chenoweth singing a Liza Minnelli song from Cabaret on Glee. And it was glorious!
Getting one of Broadway's reigning superstars (and a recent Emmy winner!) to guest star on the show not only upped the gay quotient of an already flaming hour, but gave us even more amazing performances. Now that Chenoweth won't be wasting her time on television's last delightfully quirky and different hour (thanks, ABC!) she needs a regular role on television's newest delightfully quirky and different hour. I'm starting the campaign now: Save April Rhodes! Everyone start mailing Fox boxes of wine until they bring her back.
But Will's plot to win the war of the Glee clubs this week centered on Li'l Miss Rhodes in an episode that had the lovable losers acting out of desperation and isolation. It was behavior they would regret, because in the end, all anyone wants is somebody to love—and somebody to love them.