Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vintage Liza! ~ You Are For Loving

video

Liza Minnelli coming to Birmingham's Alys Stephens Center


By Mary Colurso -- The Birmingham News
February 20, 2010, 12:43PM

Liza Minnelli will perfom in Birmingham on Sept 25 at the Alys Stephens Center, according to the Pollstar Web site.

The show hasn't been announced by the Stephens Center, but it's included on a list of 12 tour dates Minnelli has booked from June to December, according to Pollstar. The Web site gets its information from the artist's management or booking companies.
Minnelli, 63, is a razzle-dazzle, old-school singer and actress best known for her roles in "Cabaret," "Arthur" and "The Sterile Cuckoo." She also earned fame for a groundbreaking TV special, "Liza With a 'Z': A Concert for Television."
Minnelli, an icon in the entertainment industry. has earned awards from Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Oscar during her long career.
She's also known as the child of Hollywood royalty; her parents were show-biz legend Judy Garland (1922-1969) and director Vincente Minnelli (1903-1986).
Minnelli's other concert dates include Dallas (October 8-9), Austin (Oct. 10), Philadelphia (Nov. 6) and Boston (Nov. 7). Her September show at the Stephens Center will be a rare appearance in Birmingham; Minnelli has not performed here in the past 20 years.
READ ALEC HARVEY'S 1995 INTERVIEW WITH LIZA MINNELLI

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Where Do Oscar Winners Keep Their Oscars?

February 17, 2010

By:
Sharon Knolle

Liza Minnelli (Best Actress, 1972, 'Cabaret') honors her late father Vincente Minnelli by keeping her Oscar next to the one he earned as Best Director in 1958 for 'Gigi.'

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SOUND OFF: Legendary LIZA, LIZA'S AT THE PALACE, At The MGM Grand, In Las Vegas, On DVD


Thursday, February 11, 2010; Posted: 09:02 AM - by Pat Cerasaro
While the title of the show may be misleading, one thing is for sure: Miss Minnelli is always at home on the stage, whether that particularly stage is in NY, Las Vegas or elsewhere, and given the performers of today, that is a big, beneficial boon to her lucky audience in and of itself. The sterling show she performs under the expert direction of Ron Field is even more good gravy on this rich, delectable delight of a meal. And, good gravy, is this show good, I'd even go so far as to call it great!

Ostensibly a tribute to her godmother and lifelong friend, legendary arranger and sometimes performer Kay Thompson, Minnelli is at her very best in this concert, which was filmed over the course of two sold-out shows at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. While the Thompson material is a welcome addition to her repertoire, it is the requisite standards we have come to expect that shine brightest of all. To crib a phrase from THE ACT, and the original title of that troubled show for which she won a Tony Award, Minnelli shines it on better than anyone. It seemed impossible that she could top her legacy, and her progeny, but she sure makes a strong case here that she, indeed, has, and is better than ever. Of course, shine and sparkle is what Minnelli does best, spangled and sterling where once she sounded strangled and mangled in performing many of these songs in recent years. She's been through a lot and gives it all right back to the audience, every shrewdly scripted moment ringing true and seemingly every single syllable infused with all she has to give them. And us. After all, Minnelli is all about her audience and the audience here eats it up - and rightfully so. She is at her best since Fosse's LIZA WITH A Z here and how lucky we are to have such a perfect preservation of a nearly perfect performance to enjoy whenever we want.

"Teach Me Tonight" is sexy and alluring. "I Would Never Leave You" is a dramatic delight. "If You Hadn't, But You Did" is uproarious and hilarious. "What Makes A Man A Man" is the most delectable ballad of the concert and Minnelli's affection for Charles Aznavour is never more tactile than it is in this spine-tingling performance of a powerhouse song. It is the perfect marriage of performer and material, and given the many men Liza has acted as muse for - from Halston to Fosse to Kander & Ebb and beyond - that is a high compliment. Minnelli treats us to a short monologue to set-up a song from CHICAGO, slightly odd as it is cribbed from the screenplay and not the actual show (which she starred in while Gwen Verdon took ill back in the 70s), leading up to a knock-out "My Own Best Friend" with some particularly effective lighting tricks. "He's Funny That Way" is a wonderful entry, as is the entire Palace Medley, which includes "Shine On Harvest Moon", "Some of These Days", "My Man" and "I Don't Care". The first act ends with a searing "Cabaret" with the new de rigueur lyrical change to the final lines ("I'm NOT going like Elsie"). Given the fact that her best friend, and director and specialty-material lyricist, Fred Ebb, approved this change removes any of questionable aspects show purists may find with this change. And just when you thought nothing could be better than what Minnelli achieves in the first act, virtually un-fatigued she barrels through the second act with delete table, tangible delight - and out-of-this-world results. "Wonder" may be the best word one could ascribe to this living legend, and her signature song, "And The World Goes 'Round" has never been better than it is here.

The excellent back-up of Johnny Rodgers, Jim Caruso and company provided during the second-act acts as the defining characteristic of this masterful, endlessly entertaining event. Minnelli is a generous performer and lets each of her "boys" shine, though it would be impossible to outshine this blazing beacon whether in black, red or white (all vintage Halston, natch). "Hello, Hello", "Jubilee Time", "Basin Street Blues", "Clap Yo' Hands" and "Liza" are all affecting and entertaining, nary a false note or misstep in the bunch. "Look For the Silver Lining" is a little maudlin, perhaps, and "Mammy" may be a bit unnecessary, as she has performed it better elsewhere, but more of a very good thing is merely that. The requisite "New York, New York" is proof that even now, more than forty years after her debut, Minnelli is at the top of her field. The concert ends on a sentimental note with a sensitive, moving rendition of her mother, Judy Garland's, famous standard, "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". And be it winter, summer, fall or spring, this capper is sure to get you in a generous spirit - and a great mood. The whole performance is so life-affirming and enthusiastic, it threatens to lift the spirits of the most depressed and depressive among us. Minnelli more than lives up to her legendary lineage, whether Thompson or Garland, and does what they could never do: remain completely contemporary and old-school, simultaneously. How she does it, I do not know, but I could very well assume it has to do most with one element: magic.

Equally shattering, strong, seething, sentimental and superlative, this is one of the best concerts I have ever had the pleasure to experience, live or on video. Enough cannot be said about what a wonderful and wondrous presentation this is, from the sizzling orchestra under the direction of Billy Stritch, to the sublime camerawork to the performers themselves to the leading lady proving herself a star of stars, shining brighter than any in the known galaxy. If nearly forty years ago she was Liza with a Z, she is now, at over sixty, Liza with an A, and an A+ at that. Brava!

SCORE: 10/10

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Liza Minnelli: Looking Back, Looking Ahead


Judging from her voice over the phone, Liza Minnelli is bubbling with enthusiasm and is so excited to speak to an interviewer. And why not? Yes, there are certainly circumstances under which an interview can be an ordeal. Can you imagine being a celebrity and having to talk to strangers day after day, knowing they might ask intrusive questions and demand answers that are none of their business? That must be awful.

But this day, Liza wants to talk. She wants everyone to know that they her new DVD, Liza's At the Palace, is in stores. (And, the reviewer in me must add, those who do, will be treated to a terrific performance.)

The show played on Broadway -- at the Palace -- from December 3, 2008 to January 4, 2009 and won a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. This DVD is a follow-up to the Grammy-nominated CD from the show.

Liza's At the Palace is exuberantly autobiographical. It includes her hit songs, reminiscences about her parents, Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, and a loving, lovely tribute to her godmother, Kay Thompson who died at almost-90 in 1998. Thompson was a performer vocal coach and author of the series of books about Eloise, the little girl who lived at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, where Thompson lived.

Her godmother's influence on Minnelli was profound and the second act of the show recreates numbers from Thompson's nightclub act using the original vocal arrangements and a quartet of men standing in for Thompson's supporting singers, the Williams Brothers (yes, Andy was one of them).

Minnelli says, "I adored her so and she was such a huge influence in my life. I was determined to make this show work. It took us two-and-a-half years to get it opened properly. First, we toured Europe -- opened in Düsseldorf or someplace like that --and got wonderful reviews. I said, 'Well, I guess we should bring it to New York.'

"I didn't know it would play at the Palace. At first I thought it should be in a nightclub, just like where Kay performed. I was thinking of the Rainbow Room [the restaurant-supper club on the 65th floor of the RCA -- now GE -- Building in Rockefeller Center] but it was booked for two years.

"The only place that was open was the Palace."

If you have even the slightest sense of history or tradition, you probably have an idea of what playing the Palace meant to Minnelli.

In the number called Palace Medley she recalls being a five year-old sitting up front in the audience and she addresses a person sitting up front at her show today. "Excuse me, Sir. Yes! You right there. When I was five I sat in your chair...I came to see a lady who, in fact, I was related to."

That "lady" was, of course, Garland who, 57 years before her daughter did, won a Tony for he show at the Palace. (There is video of the award presentation by Helen Hayes and Garland's acceptance speech on youtube.

"That song is all true," Minnelli says. "It is my life. Everything in that song is real. It became a memory and, in the end, it was still my memory but I was there on the stage.

"When I played the Palace I used to call on everybody's spirit. You can actually feel it in the floor."

The DVD (and the PBS Pledge Week special broadcast in December) was recorded last October 1 at a special midnight show in the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Just as a circle was completed when Minnelli played the Palace, there was a symmetry to the fact that she played the MGM, too.

When that symmetry was suggested to her, she laughed. "That's right. If not for MGM, my parents would never have met and I would never have been born."

Speculation that Liza's At the Palace will see her again nominated for an Emmy, the award she won in 1973 for Liza With A Z, brought one word to her lips -- a very quietly uttered, "Really?"

Throughout Minnelli's career she's worked repeatedly with the same people. And, these are first-rate collaborators. Ron Lewis, the director and choreographer of the show first worked with her in the 1970s. His choreography and overall concept are key in this production. The DVD includes a nice chat between the two of them. It talks about this show and about their earlier work. The warmth and genuine affection between the two is palpable.

Of course, much of her music is by composer John Kander and the late lyricist Fred Ebb, who died in 2004. Kander and Ebb gave Minnelli Cabaret and New York, New York among so many others. Of her, Kander said, "One of the nice things about writing for Liza is that you don't have to write for Liza. She can do anything. You know that whatever you do write, she's going to deliver it exactly the way you intended it."

Minnelli met the duo when she was still a teenager. A friend took her to hear their music because she was preparing a club act. They played her some songs from their new show, Flora the Red Menace and she was hooked. She played Flora on Broadway and for it, in 1965, she became the youngest in history to win a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress In A Musical.

The Kander and Ebb songs have become standards but, as she notes, she sings each her own way. For example, New York, New York.

"Frank [Sinatra] called me," Minnelli recalls. "He said, 'Can I sing your song?' Of course, I had no problem with that. But we sang it differently. Frank sang it like he was already there in New York. I sing it like I'm going to be there someday."

Since she made her professional debut as the baby in the very last shot of her mother's 1949 film In the Good Old Summertime, Minnelli's career has been filled with awards -- election to the Grammy Hall of Fame, four Tonys for five nominations and countless other accolades from groups as diverse as the Drama Desk, Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. But, when it comes to the actual presentation of an award none, perhaps, is more memorable for her than the 1973 Oscar for Cabaret.

"My category, Best Actress, followed the Best Actor category that year," she recalls. "So there I was, waiting, and they give the award to Marlon Brando for The Godfather. Remember that? He had that Las Vegas woman dressed as a Native American [Sacheen Littlefeather] accept for him. Then, before they announced my name, Gene Hackman said, 'And the winner is...' Raquel Welch muttered, 'I hope they haven't got a cause...' It was something. It took away for the moment but not for me. I was thrilled to pieces."

Reading about her career, one gets the sense that Liza Minnelli has done it all. But, listening to her, it's equally clear that she's not finished. So, what's next?

Fully recovered from knee replacement surgery last month, she says she "should be back on the boards soon."

She adds, "I just know I want to keep working with Ron Lewis. And, right now, I'm thinking
about that Emmy."

Ellen SterlingAward-winning journalist and editor
Posted: February 4, 2010 05:01 PM

Liza Minnelli: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Ellen SterlingAward-winning journalist and editor
Posted: February 4, 2010 05:01 PM

Judging from her voice over the phone, Liza Minnelli is bubbling with enthusiasm and is so excited to speak to an interviewer. And why not? Yes, there are certainly circumstances under which an interview can be an ordeal. Can you imagine being a celebrity and having to talk to strangers day after day, knowing they might ask intrusive questions and demand answers that are none of their business? That must be awful.

But this day, Liza wants to talk. She wants everyone to know that they her new DVD, Liza's At the Palace, is in stores. (And, the reviewer in me must add, those who do, will be treated to a terrific performance.)

The show played on Broadway -- at the Palace -- from December 3, 2008 to January 4, 2009 and won a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. This DVD is a follow-up to the Grammy-nominated CD from the show.

Liza's At the Palace is exuberantly autobiographical. It includes her hit songs, reminiscences about her parents, Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, and a loving, lovely tribute to her godmother, Kay Thompson who died at almost-90 in 1998. Thompson was a performer vocal coach and author of the series of books about Eloise, the little girl who lived at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, where Thompson lived.

Her godmother's influence on Minnelli was profound and the second act of the show recreates numbers from Thompson's nightclub act using the original vocal arrangements and a quartet of men standing in for Thompson's supporting singers, the Williams Brothers (yes, Andy was one of them).

Minnelli says, "I adored her so and she was such a huge influence in my life. I was determined to make this show work. It took us two-and-a-half years to get it opened properly. First, we toured Europe -- opened in Düsseldorf or someplace like that --and got wonderful reviews. I said, 'Well, I guess we should bring it to New York.'

"I didn't know it would play at the Palace. At first I thought it should be in a nightclub, just like where Kay performed. I was thinking of the Rainbow Room [the restaurant-supper club on the 65th floor of the RCA -- now GE -- Building in Rockefeller Center] but it was booked for two years.

"The only place that was open was the Palace."

If you have even the slightest sense of history or tradition, you probably have an idea of what playing the Palace meant to Minnelli.

In the number called Palace Medley she recalls being a five year-old sitting up front in the audience and she addresses a person sitting up front at her show today. "Excuse me, Sir. Yes! You right there. When I was five I sat in your chair...I came to see a lady who, in fact, I was related to."

That "lady" was, of course, Garland who, 57 years before her daughter did, won a Tony for he show at the Palace. (There is video of the award presentation by Helen Hayes and Garland's acceptance speech on youtube.

"That song is all true," Minnelli says. "It is my life. Everything in that song is real. It became a memory and, in the end, it was still my memory but I was there on the stage.

"When I played the Palace I used to call on everybody's spirit. You can actually feel it in the floor."

The DVD (and the PBS Pledge Week special broadcast in December) was recorded last October 1 at a special midnight show in the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Just as a circle was completed when Minnelli played the Palace, there was a symmetry to the fact that she played the MGM, too.

When that symmetry was suggested to her, she laughed. "That's right. If not for MGM, my parents would never have met and I would never have been born."

Speculation that Liza's At the Palace will see her again nominated for an Emmy, the award she won in 1973 for Liza With A Z, brought one word to her lips -- a very quietly uttered, "Really?"

Throughout Minnelli's career she's worked repeatedly with the same people. And, these are first-rate collaborators. Ron Lewis, the director and choreographer of the show first worked with her in the 1970s. His choreography and overall concept are key in this production. The DVD includes a nice chat between the two of them. It talks about this show and about their earlier work. The warmth and genuine affection between the two is palpable.

Of course, much of her music is by composer John Kander and the late lyricist Fred Ebb, who died in 2004. Kander and Ebb gave Minnelli Cabaret and New York, New York among so many others. Of her, Kander said, "One of the nice things about writing for Liza is that you don't have to write for Liza. She can do anything. You know that whatever you do write, she's going to deliver it exactly the way you intended it."

Minnelli met the duo when she was still a teenager. A friend took her to hear their music because she was preparing a club act. They played her some songs from their new show, Flora the Red Menace and she was hooked. She played Flora on Broadway and for it, in 1965, she became the youngest in history to win a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress In A Musical.

The Kander and Ebb songs have become standards but, as she notes, she sings each her own way. For example, New York, New York.

"Frank [Sinatra] called me," Minnelli recalls. "He said, 'Can I sing your song?' Of course, I had no problem with that. But we sang it differently. Frank sang it like he was already there in New York. I sing it like I'm going to be there someday."

Since she made her professional debut as the baby in the very last shot of her mother's 1949 film In the Good Old Summertime, Minnelli's career has been filled with awards -- election to the Grammy Hall of Fame, four Tonys for five nominations and countless other accolades from groups as diverse as the Drama Desk, Harvard's Hasty Pudding Club and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. But, when it comes to the actual presentation of an award none, perhaps, is more memorable for her than the 1973 Oscar for Cabaret.

"My category, Best Actress, followed the Best Actor category that year," she recalls. "So there I was, waiting, and they give the award to Marlon Brando for The Godfather. Remember that? He had that Las Vegas woman dressed as a Native American [Sacheen Littlefeather] accept for him. Then, before they announced my name, Gene Hackman said, 'And the winner is...' Raquel Welch muttered, 'I hope they haven't got a cause...' It was something. It took away for the moment but not for me. I was thrilled to pieces."

Reading about her career, one gets the sense that Liza Minnelli has done it all. But, listening to her, it's equally clear that she's not finished. So, what's next?

Fully recovered from knee replacement surgery last month, she says she "should be back on the boards soon."

She adds, "I just know I want to keep working with Ron Lewis. And, right now, I'm thinking about that Emmy."

Announcing Liza Minnelli 2010 Tour NEW CD ?


The Cooking Group is proud to announce the exclusive representation for Liza Minnelli and her 2010 tour. On this tour, Liza can perform WITH SYMPHONY or an intimate concert with Liza and her small piece band.

Liza will be supporting her new album of standards, “the basement tapes” which will be released in May 2010. The cd will feature some of the greatest songs of all time performed in their purest, most intimate form – creating a modern, one on one listening experience. accompanied by Billy Stritch, she is at her best singing these classic american standards as only she can

Minnelli will also have an appearance in Sex in the City 2 which will be released in May 2010

In terms of booking, the immediate focus is the initial tour around the release of the album with a time frame of June 2010.

The show can play in symphony halls, performing arts centers, festivals, or amphitheaters.

Will also accept offers for POPS weekends in fall 2010 and Christmas concerts in December 2010