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."