Friday, June 18, 2010
Liza Minnelli to make Asbury Park debut
Bob Considine/The Star-Ledger
The cities are too numerous to recall, the stages too many to remember, when you've had the long, storied career that Liza Minnelli has had.
But there is no denying the historical and cultural significance of Minnelli's first Asbury Park show, Friday at the Paramount Theatre.
Just down the boardwalk is the Empress Hotel, where her superstar mother Judy Garland used to stay in the late 1960s. In fact, the oceanfront suite Garland once dwelled in bears her name.
Minnelli's close friend and biographer, Scott Schechter, was also a passionate champion of Asbury Park's resurgence before his sudden passing last year. On top of that, Minnelli happens to be an icon to the gay community in the city by the shore.
Where and when:Paramount Theatre, 1300 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park, Friday at 8 p.m.
How much:$51-$251; call (800) 745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com..
"It's nice to go where you know people are looking forward to seeing you," said Minnelli in a phone interview.
Minnelli, who has three Tony Awards, an Emmy and an Oscar, is kicking off her 2010 tour with Friday's show, a benefit for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Monmouth County. The music will largely draw from her forthcoming album "Confessions," featuring 14 American standards and due out in September.
On some shows on the tour, Minnelli will be accompanied by an orchestra. For the Paramount and a few other dates at smaller venues, she'll be backed by a quartet.
Minnelli said she is just eager for the music to be heard.
"The music is just so intimate," she said. "And because we're playing as a quartet for this show, it's going to be even more intimate."
Minnelli, 64, had knee-replacement surgery earlier this year, so she doesn't anticipate too much jumping around. But coming off a successful 2008-09 Broadway run, she seems intent on creating some new history by pulling from her past.
"These are songs that I've known and heard forever, since I was a kid. To be singing them now, with these great arrangements, it's pretty wild."
Bob Considine may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (973) 392-7890.