Thursday, June 3, 2010
Diva? Nah — Minnelli is still hard at work
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Liza Minnelli is no diva. Not if you ask her, anyway.
"I grew up in Europe a lot when I was a kid, and 'diva' was always an opera singer," Minnelli says. "So I don't get 'diva.'"
Minnelli, 64, who has an Oscar, an Emmy, a Golden Globe, four Tonys and a Grammy Legend Award, is portrayed as a diva alongside another musical legend, Aretha Franklin, in a recent TV commercial for Snickers candy bars.
"I don't live like a diva — I live like a worker," she says. "I get up, I go to dance class, I'm on a schedule."
Her schedule brings her to St. Louis on Saturday for a show with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
"I've performed with them before, and I love it," she says. "I love Powell Symphony Hall."
Minnelli will sing a mix of her favorite American standards, plus selections from her new album, "Confessions," due out in September. The CD includes songs such as "You Fascinate Me So," "Moments Like This," "I Got Lost in His Arms" — "every song I ever heard sitting under the piano at my father's house and my mother's house and a lot of other people's houses," she says.
Growing up, Minnelli had quite a musical family — not counting her parents Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. Her godfather was Ira Gershwin, and her godmother was St. Louis-born Kay Thompson.
"Everybody else had the same family," she says matter-of-factly, "like a coal-mining town."
In the new film "Sex and the City 2," Minnelli covers Beyoncé's "Single Ladies," which she was tight-lipped about — "under pain of being shot in the foot" — when we spoke to her.
But she says she had a ball with the film.
"I know all the girls, and we had great fun," she says.
Another project Minnelli thinks would be a blast: working with another diva, Lady Gaga. The two have never performed together, but Minnelli would love the opportunity.
"I think she's great," she says. "Maybe if we did a disc together. That would be funny."
But for now, Minnelli isn't sure what she'll tackle next.
"I've got so much in front of me," she says. "I really go one step at a time and put my full heart and soul into what I'm doing. That's how I was raised, you know? You do it right."