Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Share an Evening with Liza at the Keith - ALBEE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER on Sunday September 12

By Staff  August 30...

Huntington, WV (HNN) - Share an evening with an American icon who has run with the Rat Pack, bedazzled Broadway, captivated in “Cabaret”, and was adored by “Arthur.” LIZA MINNELLI, one of the most versatile, highly regarded and best-selling entertainers to ever live, will grace the stage of the KEITH-ALBEE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER on Sunday September 12, at 7:00 PM as the kick-off event of the 74th season of the Marshall Artists Series. Speaking of kick-offs, the Liza Minnelli performance caps off a full weekend of events happening in Huntington in conjunction with the Friends of Coal Bowl matchup between Marshall University and WVU.

Liza Minnelli embodies the very definition of a living legend, with Tony’s, Grammy’s, Emmy’s, Golden Globes, Legend awards to her credit, Minnelli’s trophy cases are anything but bare.

Born in Hollywood, California to the celebrated actress Judy Garland and director of timeless film classics such as Kismet, and Meet Me in St. Louis, Vincente Minnelli, Liza Minnelli was destined to be a star. Starting off as a gifted lounge singer, Minnelli rose to international stardom for her appearance as Sally Bowles in the 1972 film version of the Broadway musical, Cabaret, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. After which she started in the first concert ever filmed live for television in 1972, “Liza with a Z.

Liza Minnelli’s accomplishments range from hosting the first-ever TV broadcast of “The Wizard of Oz,” at age 10, reaching a viewing audience of about 45 million people; Winning a Tony Award at age 19 (the youngest woman to win leading actress); Filling in for an ailing Julie Andrews in Broadway’s, Victoria/Victoria , and paying tribute to her father in Broadway’s Minnelli on Minnelli at New York’s Palace Theatre. In 2008 Liza returned to Broadway with Liza's at the Palace ..., which went on to win her fourth Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. She recreated the show at the MGM Grand where her performance was filmed for a public television special and a DVD. The show's cast recording was then nominated for a Grammy Award.

Liza continues her extraordinary music career with ongoing concert tours in the U.S. and Europe, as well as recording a new album, Confessions, which will be released in September 2010; she even had her own cameo appearance in the May 2010 release of Sex in the City2 along with a few tracks on the movie soundtrack.

Don’t miss the event of a lifetime! See Liza Minnelli with her first ever appearance in the area Sunday September 12, at 7:00 PM.!

Tickets for Liza Minnelli are on sale now for $45.00, $65.00, $85.25. Tickets may be purchased at the Marshall Artists Series Box Office, located on the right side of the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center, or by calling (304) 696.6656. Patrons can also visit for ticket information. The box office is open Monday through Friday from noon – 5:00PM. Tickets can also be purchased at any Ticketmaster location, including online at

Monday, August 30, 2010

Liza ~ Salk Institute benefit on Aug, 28, 1010. Photo credit: Kent Schnoeker

My review of Liza's show in San Diego, August 28th... by Anthony.

My review of Liza's show in San Diego, August 28th.. Liza fan Anthony & his dad.

Hey guys, I'm back. Here is my review of Liza's show in San Diego last weekend. I went, I saw, Liza was fantastic. The much needed rest from the stage that Liza took seems to have helped her knees a good deal. She was practically dancing at the show. She only sat down in the director's chair for two songs, and she did not sit down for the whole time during those songs. Her knees seem to be leaps and bounds better compared to when I saw her in Saint Louis, where she sat down in the director's chair for most of the songs, and did not move around the stage. Liza's set was only an hour, 13 songs. Something I did not know when I arrived, is that the show, which ran from 8-10pm, was only half Liza. The time from 8-9pm, Thomas Wilkins conducted the symphony orchestra, performing selected pieces from famous composers. The first couple of numbers Mr. Wilkins conducted were "I got rhythm" and "Embraceable you". I thought this must be Liza May's overture, she has sun g those two numbers before, and mabey she plans to sing them tonight. Well after about 30 minutes of the orchestra, and no Liza, and after thinking "damn this is a really long overture", it became apparent that this was not just a really long overture, but an hour long symphony. Liza's time slot was from 9-10pm. She came out on stage, 9 on the dot, ready to sing. She launched straight into "Alexander's Ragtime Band". I was so thrilled with the way she looked and sounded, her vocals soaring far into the night air, I daresay, a bit chilly night air, but not too cold. Her next number was "Teach me tonight". When she got to the middle of the song and her "bah, buh, doop a doo-wah", she was really workin' it, letting loose. Liza's third number was "Here I'll stay/Our love is here to stay". This song I have always wanted to hear live and it ranks amoung my favorite Liza numbers, so magical it was to hear it performed at this elegan t affair, under the night sky. This song alone was worth the trip as was the next song "My own best friend". This version of the song was the best I have ever heard Liza do. Before the song started she acted out the scene from "Chicago" in the same way as she did in "At the Palace", you know, "to hang? they're gonna hang her? hey where ya goin? screw me" screw you!", absolutely fantastic. Concert staples "Cabaret" and "But the world goes round" were performed back to back with no intermission between them as it was only an hour long set. The second half of the show was mostly songs from "Confessions". She opened this half with the song "Confession". From there we were treated to "I hadn't anyone but you", then "I must have that man". "You fascinate me so" was performed as was "He's a tramp". Before I mention the last two numbers I would like to say a w ord about the crowd at this event. Much of this crowd seemed subdued and distracted during the show, and I think it was because, this sounds strange, they were not there to see Liza Minnelli. In fact, bizarrely enough, as I talked to different audience members before the show and during the intermission, which ran between Thomas Wilkins's set and Liza's set, I found it to be literally the case that many did not come to see Liza. Most of the people who attended are associated with the Salk Institute or with the University in some way, and they attend the annual "Symphony at Salk" every year regardless of who's performing, this year it happened to be Liza Minnelli. We were all sitting at round tables that seat ten people, as dinner was served beforehand. I became annoyed several times during the show as a few of the people at my table and the table in front of me kept talking during Liza's set. I wanted to tell them, be quiet, the lady is on stage. Talking throughout Liza's set is near blasphemy in my opinion. And after the songs, several of those in the audience would not applaud. Especially those in the back half of the audience where I was. I was sitting at about the fourth row of tables from the back, even so I was not very far from the stage as this was not a large gathering. Personally if I am at any show, and say I am not enjoying the performer or interested in the performer, I applaud anyways, as it is disrespectful not to do so when a performer is on stage, and Liza was really throwing it out there for us. I just became annoyed with some of the people. In between two of the songs when Liza was talking about either Ira Gershwin or Vincenet Minnelli, she talked about both men during the night, when she had finshed talking, at a point when it would be normal to applaud for Ira or Vincente, there was a dead silence, Liza waited a couple of seconds expecting some kind of response, then she said "Thank you" and started up t he next number. I think most of the attendees were bigger fans of The Salk Institute then of Liza. One of the bigger rounds of applause Liza got was after her speech of how honored she was to perform at "The Symphony at Salk", and how she remembered when she was a kid, living in England, her nanny picked up a newspaper one day, read it and dropped it crying tears of happiness, Liza asked her, what was it, and her nanny told her that scientists at The Salk Institute had just discovered the cure for polio. Noble prize winning scientists have come from The Salk Institute and during the show scientists were coming out onto the balconies from the research labs to watch the show. The people sitting at my table were quite fascinated by my level of dedication to Liza. They were quite taken by the idea that someone would travel across the country just to see a show, then go home. To me it is normal, and if I had it in my pocket to do so right now, and if Liza were performin g in England, I would fly to England and back to see her. After the shows closer "New York, New York" ended, she was really singing that one with all she had, you know "mmyyyy lliitttllee ttooowwwn bbllueees!", some people in the audeince left right after the song ended. A couple of people at my table started to leave, I told them "wait Liza is going to do an encore". And she did. She did a song I have never heard her sing "Everytime we say goodbye", this was a real treasure, she sat at the piano bench with her back to Billy Stritch as he thumbed the notes. I give this show 50 stars and it was so special to see Liza as she was that night, she was in fine form, strutting around the stage in her usual black sparkling blouse, balck slacks and black shoes and a long pink scarf draped around her neck. The memory lives on in me. Love, Anthony..

Friday, August 27, 2010

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Liza & Steve ( (click title link for videos!)

Bringing together the subject of this week’s InDepth InterView, Liza Minnelli, and this week’s Sound Off, Stephen Sondheim, is today’s Flashback Friday taking a look at some fantastically spectacular performances of Ms. Minnelli singing and words and music of Stephen Sondheim throughout the years. A song from FOLLIES given a Pet Shop Boys face-lift, a trip down MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG lane, a jazzy Mel Torme gem from DICK TRACY and a lot more than you could have ever wished for given the blazing talent and astonishing accomplishments of both legends. When Sondheim’s intellectual artistry meets Liza’s extroverted actorly introspection it is a combustible combination with the results more mind-blowing than you would ever even think possible even loving both! Indeed, both individuals are the very, very best of Broadway. So, see why when they meet it is pure Broadway magic.

Hey, Old Friends

Besides the 1992 SONDHEIM: A CELEBRATION AT Carnegie Hall and the errant “Some People” from GYPSY or “Losing My Mind” from FOLLIES here or there, Liza Minnelli could very well do an evening of Sondheim if she wanted since she has performed relatively little of his material over the years. Yet, she hasn’t chosen to do so. Yet. So, we have something to look forward to since seemingly everyone else has done a night of Sondheim's songs, but, until then, we have these marvelous clips of Minnelli On Sondheim. In my conversation with Ms. Minnelli last week, this comment which will be a part of the complete InDepth InterView: Liza Minnelli, we talked a bit about that momentous night that also hosted unforgettable performances from Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Betty Buckley, Glenn Close and Karen Ziemba. Above all others was Miss Minnelli and after premiering the ravishing, repressed Paul Simon-esque pop song that is “Water Under The Bridge” - composed for the abandoned William Goldman/Rob Reiner/Stephen Sondheim original movie-musical SINGING OUT LOUD that never got off the ground, though Sondheim wrote six or seven songs, at least, most in a modern pop/rock-type idiom with a little Broadway brass thrown in - she simply raised the roof of Radio City Music Hall into the stratosphere with a no-holds-barred sexy tap extravaganza version of “Back In Business” from DICK TRACY (choreographed by Susan Stroman) to close out the first act on the ultimate high of highs. The evening itself found its penultimate performance - and preserved theatrical history in the meeting of the two legends on film for the first time - in Ms. Minnelli’s famous rendition of “Old Friends” from MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, which she had been performing in her concert act (most recently then at Radio City Music Hall to much hubub and deserved praise) to much acclaim as part of a medley with another DICK TRACY song, “Live Alone And Like It” which was introduced in the 1990 Warren Beatty-directed film by the Velvet Fog himself, Mel Torme. Liza and Steve are no strangers and it should come as no surprise to Broadway babies that they have a mutual respect for each other’s work and that admiration shines through in these marvelous clips - and in the full DVD of SONDHEIM: A CELEBRATION AT Carnegie Hall which is a true must-own, perhaps the very best Sondheim concert ever captured on video (and the only, in the US at least). And with Ms. Minnelli you know you are always in the very best - and jazziest - hands!

Here is Liza Minnelli in her Radio City Music Hall concert doing “Old Friends” from MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG complete with a hilarious story and a fast-paced interpolation of “Live Alone And Like It” from DICK TRACY. Both those scores have Sondheim writing in a very specific style so it is a satisfying surprise to hear that they work so well together as they do in this marvelous medley. Indeed, the combination of the two numbers is truly exciting and the resulting song is something unexpectedly effervescent and enjoyable, perhaps even more than either song on their own has ever even been. It's a one-of-a-kind interpretation from a one-in-a-million performer. See if you don’t agree!

Read more:
From that same unforgettable entertainment event at Radio City - Miss Minnelli was simply on fire, blazing that night, firing from all axels - comes this clip of Ms. Minnelli performing “Some People” from GYPSY (music by Jule Styne, of course). Some people say this is the best the song has ever been done - whether by Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters or Patti LuPone - and I have to agree. See why! And how! And wow! What a Rose Liza would make!

Read more:

Our last When-Liza-Met-Steve moment comes from Liza Minnelli’s 1989 Pet Shop Boys collaboration RESULTS which spawned this UK Top Ten hit techno reworking of Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind” from FOLLIES. Never has the song sounded quite like this, but it is a credit to the durability of Sondheim’s songs that a version this unique and different could work so well and reveal new sides of what the song is really about. To say nothing of the silvery-sounding, impassioned delivery. Miss Minnelli is always the consummate actress first and foremost - above all else - and the Sally (Durant Plummer, not to be confused with Bowles) that sings this “Losing My Mind” is a sad, confused but not completely indomitable and bereft Sally. She has hope. Or, is what she thinks is hope just some sort of madness? Such is the sort of question this Neil Tennant produced version of the Sondheim ballad queries - and, as with much of Sondheim, questions lead to more questions. Whatever the case, how can you not love Liza in this oh-so-80s performance from Top of the Pops in 1989? What a treat! Yes, you’re welcome!

Read more:
tay tuned until the final Friday next month when we will be discussing and showcasing even more clips from Ms. Minnelli's remarkable career - some fun. some fascinating, all fantastic and one quite unexpected and surprising! Coming soon!

That’s all for this week. Please remember that if you have discovered a particularly thrilling, unique, bizarre or hilarious Broadway-related clip to please send us a line at the link below. Until next week…

For more information about and to pre-order Liza Minnelli's Confessions, to receive it on September 28, 2010, the day of its release - click here.

Read more:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Liza's new CD to be included in the September issue of Vegas Magazine. It appears in their “Staff Picks” column.

Judy and Liza ~ Thu., August 26, 7:30pm, Fri., August 27, 7:30pm, Sat., August 28, 7:30pm

The Manor Restaurant and Bar

Price: $29-$35

Somewhere Over the Manors

By Penn Bullock

Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli are the God/Jesus team of gays. They've got all the tragedy, venerability, and immortality of an Abrahamic religion; the church is cabaret.

Judy is long since dead from an accidental drug overdose, but with the right dress, stage makeup, and accent, she can be resurrected and made to cavort side-by-side with Liza. That's the plan at the big gay nightclub the Manor, where two drag queens have been hired to impersonate mother and daughter for the show Judy and Liza. There is a surplus of drag queens in the Wilton Manors area, more than few of them tawdry and boring. So what a relief that Rising Action Theatre has hired two real professionals, Tony Femia and Rick Skye, both winners of Manhattan Association of Cabaret awards, to become the idols.

Judy and Liza perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Manor (2345 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors). Tickets cost $29 to $35. Call 954-561-2225, or visit


The Manor Restaurant and Bar

2345 Wilton Drive; Wilton Manors FL Reviews Events

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Minnelli a down-to-earth diva at heart

Liza spoke to the North County Times in support of her August 28 concert at the Salk Institute and "Confessions." The link to the article is below.


Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 11:24 am

Liza Minnelli may be a legend, but the down-to-earth diva isn't one to stand on ceremony. Just try greeting her with the courtesy title of "Ms. Minnelli."

"Oh, honey, just call me Liza," she responded enthusiastically in a telephone interview from her New York home. The 64-year-old actress/singer/dancer is hitting the road for a 20-date concert tour next month, but she'll warm up first with the San Diego Symphony on Saturday night at the Salk Institute in La Jolla.

The Symphony at Salk event, a fundraiser for the research institute, will include a pre-concert cocktail party, dinner al fresco and lab tours. The concert will be presented in the U-shaped institute's ocean-facing courtyard.

One of the few artists to win an Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Oscar, Minnelli said she's most at home onstage and can't wait to hit the road with her new album, "Confessions," a collection of favorite songs set for release Sept. 28. Although this tour won't include as much of Minnelli's signature dance moves (she's recuperating from knee replacement surgery), she's excited to get back in front of audiences again (her last stage show, "Liza's at the Palace," concluded a sold-out Broadway run in January 2009).

Question: What will you perform at the Salk concert?

Answer: I do some things from the new album and some things by Fred Ebb and John Kander (songwriters for "Cabaret," "Chicago") like "Maybe This Time" and "New York, New York." It's a program I've done before and people seem to like it. I put a bunch of new stuff and old stuff together and it works.
Q: What's a typical day for you?

A: Well, I can walk again, thank goodness. Getting back into shape is hard. But I'm back taking dance lessons again and it feels wonderful. In the mornings I'm going to the gym and dance class. Then I usually have lunch with friends. Then I come home and do my business and either go out to dinner or stay home and someone comes over. Mornings are when I usually cook. I don't exercise my voice every day. I save it, and then go back into my vocal exercises a week before I go out on tour.

Q: How did you choose the songs (including "At Last" and "He's a Tramp") for your new album, "Confessions"?

A: Almost every Saturday night in the fall, I have friends come over and we sing to each other softly, and funny songs. It's not performing, it's just sharing. Finally, Billy (Stritch, her longtime stage partner/accompanist) said, "Why don't you do this on an album?" It's all the songs I learned growing up at different people's houses. When I was a child, I'd sit under the piano and listen to my mother and others sing, and these songs are drawn from those memories.

Q: How is it different from your other albums?

A: I think this is my favorite album. It' very quiet and completely intimate. It's just wonderful.

Q: You recently had a cameo in the movie "Sex and the City 2" singing Beyonce's "Single Ladies." How did that come about?

A: I've known all those girls for a long time, so I was happy to do it when I was asked. That wonderful dance that Ron Lewis choreographed for me was hilarious.

Q: You also had a long-running role as the kooky neighbor Lucille Two on the cult favorite TV show "Arrested Development." Any truth to the rumors that an "Arrested Development" movie is in the works?

A: Wasn't that fun? I had such a ball working on that show. They had such brilliant writers and an incredible producer. I keep hearing rumors about a movie, but nobody's told me that a movie is going to happen yet.

Q: You also poked fun at yourself on a recent "Snickers" bar television commercial, acting the diva with Aretha Franklin. Do you often find worshipful fans treating you like a queen?

A: I thought the "Snickers" commercial was so funny. People do treat me as if I'm royalty until they meet me, then they see I'm just Liza. It's funny, I know a lot of real royalty and they're very down to earth because they were born into it. I was born into Hollywood royalty (her parents were Judy Garland and Vincent Minnelli), and there's nothing to be snobby about. You just do your job and live your life.

Q: Who are some of the artists you look up to?

A: I was lucky to work with Charles Aznavour (the French singer/songwriter), Fred Ebb and John Kander. They were all a big influence on me.

Q: What about some of the contemporary performers out there today?

A: I love Pink, and Lady Gaga is great. I watch it all and enjoy keeping up on everything ---- that's how you learn.

Symphony at Salk with Liza Minnelli

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 28

Where: Salk Institute, 10010 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla

Tickets: $250

Info: 858-453-4100, ext. 1262

Looking back at Liza!

Apologies to Liza Minnelli, From The New Republic

By Zeke Turner

August 24, 2010
2:45 pm
New Republic editor-in-chief Martin Peretz said something sort of mean about Liza Minnelli yesterday and then took it back this morning.

Mr. Peretz quoted a column yesterday on his blog from The Daily Beast's Tunku Varadarajan in which Mr. Varadarajan compared John McCain to Liza Minnelli. It was really no big deal, just a few words at the bottom of a big block quote. Mr. Peretz also quoted Mr. Varadarajan's comparison of Mr. McCain to Barnacles.

But Mr. Peretz apologized today for circulating the reference to Ms. Minnelli. He's a big fan! His "movie director son, Jesse" cast her in a film, The X, three years ago, so they're sort of close. He said he was sorry but not entirely to blame. (When you're in your seventies people blog blockquotes for you?)

"Minnelli has been a talented singer and actress for several decades, and she still has the the [sic] warranted courage to perform," he wrote this morning on his blog, The Spine. "What's more, she is one of those paradigmatic entertainers who gives of herself—her ample brain and enchanting personality—in the cause of human rights, a cause not as popular as it once was was."

"And, by the way," he added, "what an exemplary private life she has had."

Monday, August 23, 2010

BWW EXCLUSIVE: Liza Minnelli Talks CONFESSIONS, Lady Gaga, GLEE, SEX 2, Aretha & More!
by Pat Cerasaro
Last week I had a true Broadway baby's dream come true by having the thrill of interviewing not only one of the best interview subjects (check out her episode of INSIDE THE ACTOR'S STUDIO for further proof of that) but also one of the very greatest and most highly-rewarded stars in Hollywood and Broadway history, the recipient of the Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, multiple Tony Awards and Hollywood Royalty like none other before or since: Miss Liza Minnelli. In this special preview of a much longer interview which will go live in a few weeks, we discuss her revealing and intimate new studio album CONFESSIONS featuring a riveting "At Last", her impressions and opinions on Lady Gaga and Beyonce, as well as discussing her blockbuster HSN Liza Collection success, the recent Snickers commercial with Aretha Franklin, GLEE, and much, much more. Plus, some stories about her father, director of GIGI and AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, Vincente Minnelli; as well as her mother, Judy Garland, by most accounts the greatest star in Hollywood history and as popular today as ever thanks to THE WIZARD OF OZ. Liza Minnelli has conquered every arena of entertainment and in the complete discussion she opens up and reveals fascinating, absorbing and electrifying new sides to her legendary, starry and incomparable career on stage and on screen. Even more coming soon, but here are some comments on her recent achievements and new insights, plus a look at her new album!

If you were lucky enough to catch the 2009 Tony Awards, you know that even on the stage of Radio City MusicAl Hall with a cast of over a hundred people - some even in green monster costumes, and some nearly-naked hippies - there was one true star on that stage that shone brighter than the sun. It was Liza Minnelli and she won her umpteenth Tony Award that night - as well deserved as any of them, perhaps even more considering everything she has gone through in the last ten years. Or her whole life. She has never had it easy and it is because of that - that survivor modus operandi - that she can be a hero and a friend, a poet and a pal, dressed to the nines but never above the sixes and sevens. Resilience personified. She is proof positive that the best and most talented people can rise to the top, but only if they are indomitable. She is and always will be. With that and with a Z.

As if any of Miss Minnelli's credits needed repeating - they don't - but a cursory film overview would include CABARET, THE STERILE CUCKOO, LIZA WITH A Z, NEW YORK, NEW YORK and ARTHUR, as well as hundreds of concerts, television specials, concert albums, studio albums, cast albums, soundtracks, DVDs and, first and foremost, her many appearances on Broadway: from FLORA THE RED MENACE to CHICAGO to THE RINK to VICTOR/VICTORIA and 2009's truly remarkable LIZA‘S AT THE PALACE! Be sure to pick up any of these titles you may not be familiar with - and also check out some of her lesser known work such as her television special with Goldie Hawn, the triptych TV musical-movie SAM FOUND OUT, her cameo on My Chemical Romance's BLACK PARADE and her many appearances on the cult hit television comedy ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT which is rumored to be leaping to the big screen soon. It is impossible to ever get enough of Miss Minnelli, but here is a tiny taste of what awaits in September both in the complete InDepth InterView: Liza Minnelli and the CONFESSIONS album itself (plus the detailed review and features on it and the illustrious career of Miss Minnelli)! The future looks bright for Broadway babies everywhere!

PC: Your new album, CONFESSIONS, is divine and sublime. It's so intimate and cool.

LM: Thank you. I loved making it.

PC: I heard you recorded a lot of while recovering from back surgery.

LM: I did!

PC: It gives new meaning to "Liza's Back!"

LM: Oh, that's too funny! (Laughs.)

PC: I am in love with the first song and the last song most of all.

LZ: Oh, really? They're both so great.

PC: The last song we'll get to in a minute - "At Last" - but, first things first: could you tell me about that fantastically risqué first song - which became the title of the album itself - "Confession"?

LM: OK. In 1960, maybe late fifty-something, my father was working with Judy Holliday. In BELLS ARE RINGING.

PC: Yes, yes. A great Jule Styne show.

LM: And she had just made her first album with Jerry Mulligan. And that was one of the songs on her album. And I just loved it.

PC: Oh, I've never heard that Judy Holliday album.

LM: Oh, you've got the world at your fingertips [with the internet]! You've GOT to get that album!

PC: I will, I will. I promise!

LM: OK! You better! (Laughs.)

PC: And everyone else needs to get CONFESSIONS!

LM: (Laughs.) Yes!
PC: You're on such a roll this summer! First off, congratulations on your HSN Liza Collection clothing line. It's a resounding success and one of the pieces - the Boyfriend Blazer - is their fastest-selling clothing item this year!
LM: Well, that's fantastic. I think it's great, great, great.

PC: Also, this summer you were in SEX & THE CITY 2 doing Beyonce's "Single Ladies", the fashionistas' film with the woman who originally introduced the miniskirt in the 60s now re-introducing it in 2010!

LM: Did I really re-introduce it? (Laughs.)

PC: Yes! You introduced it and now reintroduced it!
LM: (Laughs.) I love it! I love it!

PC: Everyone was - and is - talking about your performance and how great you looked, sounded and danced in that movie! You were by far the best part if only for "Single Ladies"!

LM: Oh, thank you so much for that.

PC: Could you recount that story of the original mini to me?

LM: Oh, yeah. Well, I'll tell you something...

PC: Please do!

LM: Well, you see, we had been living in England. Or, I had been working over there, actually. I was at... The Town Hall or someplace. Something like that. They were selling miniskirts there, and mini-dresses. So, I got them. And I came back... and it was incredible, the reaction!

PC: I can only imagine!

LM: I had cut-off hair, which was not in fashion. I had on a mini-skirt. And boots! And they just went, "Huh?!"

PC: And to this day that's still the height of fashion - the haute-est couture - to this very day. The hottest look.

LM: Oh, well...

PC: From you to Beyonce now to Lady Gaga. What do you think of Lady Gaga?

LM: Oh, I like her!

PC: She's emulating your performances and you, in a lot of ways. Everyone is. How could they not? Your influence...

LM: Nooo, no... I don't think so. But, what she is, is she's original. You know?

PC: Yes.

LM: You know, she finds these absolutely wacky outfits that absolutely demand attention.(Laughs. Pause.) And then she wears them for direction.

PC: Oh, how interesting to hear you say that! The muse of muses! So, her costume is an extension of her performance, or the song she wrote and is performing?

LM: Yes. Exactly. I didn't know I was going to have to be up on all this stuff [for this interview]! (Laughs.)

PC: Oh, but you are. You are! You're more on the cutting edge than anyone!

LM: Oh, thank you. I try to keep up!
PC: And the one last pop-culture moment I have to ask you about that you've been involved with: that hilarious SNICKERS commercial that you and Aretha Franklin premiered earlier this summer?

LM: Oh, it was funny to make!
PC: What was it like working with Aretha?

LM: Are you kidding? I'm such a fan. (Pause.) Just: wow.

PC: Had you two worked together before? Maybe a benefit concert or something?

LM: Yes, we did something together. She was the closing performer. Then, they wanted to get all the other performers to come back out onstage. So, they sent me out there to tell her! (Laughs.)
PC: Uh-oh!

LM: And I kind of bounced around and backwards saying, "The cast! You've gotta introduce the cast!" And she said, "Oh, of course, I'm sorry," you know, and she went on.
PC: So you had a great time working together, a great rapport, then and now?

LM: Completely.

PC: The Queen of Broadway and the Queen of Soul together at last!

LM: (Laughs.)

PC: So, the word on the street is Ron Howard has a script for the ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT movie and it‘s in pre-production now. Are they making the movie?

LM: I have no idea.

PC: Ron Howard has a script and your character is in it!

LM: Oh, did he say that himself?

PC: Jason Bateman has been saying in interviews it's on the fast-track, or was recently. So, let's hope it happens soon!

LM: Yeah. I just don't know yet, honey!

PC: They've mentioned you multiple times on GLEE. Do you like that show?

LM: Oh yeah!

PC: I hope you'll be on it soon! You and CABARET are so many young people's first exposure to musical theatre!

LM: You're such a darling.

PC: On the new album, CONFESSIONS, you re-invent "At Last" which was most recently performed to great acclaim by your friend Beyonce.

LM: Yeah, right. I loved the song. I always did. But, I wondered... I thought, "If you do it - you have to do it differently." So, what hasn't been done? So, then I thought, "Nobody smiles."

PC: Like Louis Armstrong's version of "What A Wonderful World", so, too, does your version bring a smile to the heart, face and ear! That's the best comparison.

LM: Oh, thank you! I'm so glad you liked it.

PC: Define collaboration.

LM: (Long Pause. Each Word Carefully Chosen.) Collaboration can only happen when you respect and honor your co-workers.

PC: What a woman, what a career! What a thrill it is speaking to you!

LM: Thank you so much, baby!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The life of Liza Minnelli ~ Minnelli revisits her Hollywood childhood with a quieter, more intimate album

San Diago Union Tribune
By George Varga, UNION-TRIBUNE
The 15th annual Symphony at Salk — A Concert Under the Stars, featuring Liza Minnelli and the San Diego Symphony

When: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

Where: Theodore Gildred Court, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla

Tickets: $250 (includes dinner, reception and concert); sponsorship packages range from $2,500 to $75,000

Phone: (858) 453-4100, ext. 1882


With her bigger-than-life voice and a personality to match, Liza Minnelli has never been regarded as laid back.

In a career that began with her Broadway debut at age 3 in 1949 and has since seen her win an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, several Tony Awards and a “worst actress” Razzie, she has always seemed like an indomitable force of nature.

Whether making an indelible impression as the brassy star of the iconic musical “Cabaret” in 1972 or during her recent cameo in this summer’s “Sex and the City 2” movie, which finds her belting out Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On it)” with steamrollerlike intensity, Minnelli fills a room, movie theater or concert hall as if it’s her birthright.

And it may well be, considering that she is the daughter of two Hollywood legends, singer-actress Judy Garland and film director Vicente Minnelli (of, respectively, “The Wizard of Oz” and “An American in Paris” fame).

But when it came time to record her new album, “Confessions,” Minnelli got as laid back as any singer could while still remaining fully conscious, albeit only partially upright.

“I made it in my bedroom!” chirped the veteran singer and actress, who performs here Saturday night with the San Diego Symphony in a benefit gala dinner concert for (and at) the Salk Institute in La Jolla.

“I had to have knee-replacement surgery and I go nuts with nothing to do because I have so much energy,” she continued, speaking from New York. “So it was perfect. I did part of the album before the operation and part of it after. I started off singing in bed and then, as I got better, I moved into a director’s chair. There was no other way to do it, because I couldn’t walk.”

Now 64, Minnelli shows no sign of slowing down soon, despite the knee replacement (it was at least her third knee operation), two earlier hip-replacement surgeries, three divorces and a number of drug- and alcohol-fueled stays in various rehab clinics.

On “Confessions,” which she recorded in her bedroom with veteran pianist Billy Stritch, she sings in a far more intimate and understated style than is usually associated with her name. While some of the songs, such as “At Last” and “All the Way,” are weathered standards, many are more obscure, such as “Moments Like This,” “You Fascinate Me So” and the finger-snapping Peggy Lee chestnut, “He’s a Tramp.” At its best, which is on about half of the 14 songs she performs on the album, Minnelli and Stritch come close to evoking her longtime friend Tony Bennett’s two splendid releases with jazz piano great Bill Evans in the mid-1970s.

“These songs are very personal and private to me, and my singing on the album is not a performance,” she said. “It’s so personal that I had to be talked into doing it,” she said.
Perhaps so.

But the album, due out Sept. 28 on Decca Records, also takes Minnelli back to her childhood in Hollywood.

On many a night as she was growing up, such American music icons as Irving Berlin, Oscar Levant and Ira Gershwin (her godfather) would drop by to socialize. On other nights, the Minnellis would go visit Berlin, Gershwin and other pioneering songwriters. Invariably, they would take turns singing and playing a few songs, while a little girl named Liza would sprawl under the grand piano and listen intently.

“To me, they were the neighbors,” she recalled of her family’s famous friends. “Our home was like a coal mine in town and everybody knew everybody who worked in the mines. The songs on my new album are the songs I heard sitting all under pianos all over Hollywood.”

In 1964, when she was still a teenager, Minnelli famously recorded a live album in London with her mother, who would die five years later of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 47.

Yet, while she now pointedly credits all of her musical acumen to her godmother, Kay Thompson, Minnelli allows that appearing on stage with her mother in London was a major turning point for both of them.

“I was scared to death, but I was determined,” she recalled. “I asked my mom: ‘Why don’t you do this with Frank Sinatra or Peggy Lee?’ She said: ‘No, I want you.’ And I thought: ‘Oh my god!’ ”

In 1967, Minnelli co-starred opposite Albert Finney in “Charlie Bubbles.” It was her first movie since 1949, when she briefly appeared in a scene with her mother at the conclusion of “In the Good Old Summertime,” and it marked the launch of a lengthy film career. Today, she credits her many roles on Broadway and the inspiration of French singing institution Charles Aznavour for informing her actorlike approach to interpreting the lyrics she performs on stage.

“I always loved music,” she said. “But I didn’t really get into it until I saw Charles perform, and he influenced me. How? It was the acting. How he could take you to different places when he sang; it was like God (was) acting. I asked him if he would be my mentor, and he said: ‘Yes.’ But I know so much music because I was a shy little girl and the songs said what I couldn’t say.

“If you are singing 20 songs in concert, each song has to have a character breakdown. Who is this woman (in the song)? What does she look like? Where is she? The country? The top floor of a penthouse? It’s almost like I am the character, so each song is different. But none of that is happening on my new album — which is me just sitting there singing.”

Though Minnelli is long a Broadway favorite, her fans also include rock singer Pat Benatar, Crowded House band leader Neil Finn and the members of Queen, Pet Shop Boys and My Chemical Romance, all three of whom she has collaborated with.

Asked if she or the all-male members of the guyliner-fueled My Chemical Romance wore makeup in the recording studio, she laughed with delight.

“I don’t know who had more on, but we were sure wearing a lot!” said Minnelli, who for a short period in the 1980s was managed by Kiss bassist-singer Gene Simmons.

Through all her ups and downs — and there have been many of both — she has always charged (or, sometimes, limped) forward, determined to do her best whatever the circumstances. While her reputation as a diva is not undeserved, she maintains that “it’s easier to treat people nicely.”

Ultimately, Minnelli said, “When people remember me, I want them to say: ‘She did a good job.’ ”

Friday, August 13, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

LIZA Stepping Out! with CORTEZ!

Coetez Alexander, Liza and Daniel @ Match 65, NYC 8/10.


The Fan Carpet
August 9 2010
The minute I lay my blanket on the ground it was obvious that this was going to be a special evening.
There's a sense of excitement at certain venues, and Somerset House is no different. Sitting in the peaceful square flagged by the magnificent neo classical buildings of Somerset House, I couldn't help but feel humbled in the presence of so much history and the people over the last three century's who have been lucky enough to feel in awe of this house.

History, along with the world's greatest musicals, has also become the theme for this particular night at Summer Screen. Over the last ten years we have enjoyed nostalgic treats such as Singing In The Rain from the 1950's, and West Side Story from the swinging sixties, but tonight was the decade of disco, where musicals were scarce, but one outstanding and memorable performance from Liza Minnelli and friends ensured Cabaret, from the 1970's, will be never be forgotten.

It really was a treat for Liza fans as the opening credits rolled. We adore her and we still smile at the portrayal of Sally Bowles. Born into Hollywood aristocracy with talent to spare and deep-well eyes, she has made a spectacular play of growing up. No battle is won. Addictions ravage her; marriages collapse around her and health and weight problems haunt her. But Life is a cabaret, or so the song goes.

Set in the early 1930s, Bob Fosse's portrait of decadent life in a decidedly decadent Berlin is both uplifting and grim. Not a typical movie musical it is comedic, dramatic, realistic, tasteful and ultimately thought provoking.

Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles, plays an entertainer at the Kit Kat Klub, a German hot spot where the festivities are overseen by a charming Master of Ceremonies (Joel Grey). She is determined to become a film star and willing to bed whomever she must in pursuit of screen tests. Brian Roberts (Michael York) is a mild-mannered lad from England who arrives and rents a room at her boarding house.

Romantic complications are provided by the handsome Baron Maximilian von Heune (Helmut Griem), who spends lavishly. The uneasy involvement of the trio provides the film's best scene, in which they all get drunk and a little touchy-feely. Nothing, but everything happens.

Griem, Wepper, and Berenson provide good support in their smaller roles, but the only one who comes close to stealing Minnelli's thunder is Grey in his Oscar-winning role as the sly emcee.

The musical numbers were masterfully staged by director Bob Fosse, who beat out Francis Ford Coppola as the year's Best Director at the Academy Awards in 1974. Nominated for ten Oscars, Cabaret won a stunning eight.

I remember watching Cabaret seven or eight times with my mother so I found it quite hard to restrain myself from blurting out the lyrics at the top of my voice. I couldn't get enough of it. The film (and Liza) makes me feel that I didn't know what to do, even if I didn't know who I was, or what I specifically wanted out of life, I did want life and I wanted experience. Afterall, what good is sitting alone in your room?

If you missed out on tickets this year - be sure to book well in advance next year. It's a night to remember.

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