Friday, June 4, 2010
Liza Minnelli still singing, dancing, laughing
ST. LOUIS — Iconic performers don’t come along every day.
Sure, there are those that become household names, many who remain so, while others disappear as fast as they materialized. But there are only a select few who become larger than life and, even through life’s ups and downs, end up back on top.
Liza Minnelli, the original "Broadway baby," has proven again and again to be one of those who can rise to the occasion, bouncing back after illnesses, husbands and rumors, proving it once more, winning the 2009 Tony Award — Best Special Theatrical Event for "Liza’s at The Palace...!"
She once was quoted as saying, "One day it’s kicks, then it’s kicks in the shins," but it didn’t stop her from "going on with the show." And as always, she seems to maintain her laughter and sense of humor through it all.
Minnelli will appear Saturday at Powell Hall, accompanied by her quintet, including pianist Billy Stritch, and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra as part of SLSO’s "Presents" series.
"Liza is a legendary entertainer, and with this being her first show on her 2010 tour, you can be sure she knows the value of a sensational opener, which also has a special energy," said Eddie Silva, spokesman for SLSO. "In terms of preparing for a big show such as this, there is a lot of anticipation among the musicians and stage crew about working with a superstar such as Liza Minnelli.
"She’s a one-of-a-kind talent who combines showbiz dazzle with heartwarming intimacy. There will be a lot of electricity provided by Liza’s star power on the Powell stage," Silva said.
Minnelli fans can expect familiar standards and showstoppers such as her signature songs, "New York, New York" and "Cabaret," but should be ready for some surprises, too.
Besides her live tour, Minnelli is making her first movie appearance in quite some time. Billed as a cameo, her role in "Sex and the City 2" actually is more of an "expanded cameo," with a small acting part and a song-and-dance performance that defies her 64 years with long legs and loads of high energy.
She also soon will release "Confessions," a new compact disc recorded with Stritch, her longtime collaborator pianist.
Minnelli is the winner of four Tony Awards, an Academy Award for Best Actress in "Cabaret," an Emmy and numerous other awards and honors throughout the years. Along with many Broadway-style and musical performances and shows, Minnelli had a number of acting roles, though not in recent years. Early dramatic roles included "Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon." She appeared as Dudley Moore’s love interest, Linda Marolla, in two "Arthur" movies that showcased her comedic appeal.
The SLSO Presents series consists of concerts performed by the SLSO and featured artists. The remaining performance for the 2009-2010 series is "An Afternoon with Richard Hayman" at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 27, with pops conductor, Richard Hayman. Founded in 1880, SLSO is the second-oldest orchestra in the country. In 2005, David Robertson became the 12th music director and second U.S.-born conductor in the orchestra’s history.
Currently in the 130th season, the SLSO presents regular concert performances at Powell Hall, as well as more than 250 free education and community partnership programs each year.
Liza Minnelli and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at Powell Hall in St. Louis. Tickets cost $40 to $125 and are available at the Powell Hall Box Office, online at www.slso.org, or by calling (314) 534-1700.