Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Friday, January 28, 2011

Liza Minnelli Joins JIM CARUSO'S CAST PARTY 2/17

Friday, January 28, 2011; Posted: 11:01 AM - by BWW News Desk

Show business superstar Liza Minnelli has announced that she will be performing at Town Hall on Thursday, February 17th in the All-Star, Best of Jim Caruso's Cast Party, a major benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDs.

In its eight year history, Caruso's famous open mike night at Birdland has seen a huge number of major stars drop in unannounced. Fans pack the place hoping it might be the night that Michael Feinstein, Liza, Chita, Tony Bennett, Larry Gatlin, Lucie, Marilyn Maye, Paul Schaffer, Cheyenne Jackson, might pop in and sing a song or two. At Town Hall, on February 17th, the fans packing the place won't have to wonder who's coming to sing: it's the big guns, the big talent, the big stars in all their multitude that are coming to perform in The Best of Jim Caruso's Cast Party in support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDs.

For this special show produced by Scott Siegel as part of his first "Siegel Season at Town Hall, the iconic Liza Minnelli will be re-united with her pal, Broadway legend Chita Rivera, as well as Country Superstar Larry Gatlin of The Gatlin Brothers. Also in the cast, Broadway and Nightclub star Lucie Arnaz, Marilyn Maye (Johnny Carson's favorite singer, who holds the record for most appearances by a vocalist on "The Tonight Show"), YouTube sensation "Miranda Sings," Broadway star and Tony nominee Christopher Sieber, Two-Time Tony nominee Sally Mayes, International jazz star Hilary Kole, R&B tenor William Blake (on the heels of his Carnegie Hall debut), Nightlife Award-winning jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein, multi-award-winning cabaret artiste Natalie Douglas, Klea Blackhurst (Merman afficianado and star of the new IFC Comedy Series "The Onion News Network"), acrobat and comedian Rudi Macaggi (direct from "America's Got Talent"), and the rocking Dueling Fiddlers. There will be more special guest stars announced over the next few weeks! And you can count on a special surprise performer or two that night, as well!

The evening will be hosted by the multi-award winning Jim Caruso, with Billy Stritch at the piano, Steve Doyle on bass and Daniel Glass on drums.

About Jim Caruso's Cast Party:

Jim Caruso's Cast Party is an extreme open mic that has been running every Monday for the past eight years at Birdland, the historic music room in Manhattan's Theater District. It's also a bi-monthly event at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles. Stars like Martin Short, Carol Channing, Cheyenne Jackson, Michael Feinstein, Liza Minnelli, Melissa Manchester and Tony Bennett have all joined in on the fun and impromptu performances - sharing the stage with Broadway chorus cuties, jazzers and composers. Playbill put it best: "Starrier than the Hayden Planetarium...a hot spot where Broadway and Hollywood tip, twirl and hit the mic. It's become the place to cruise, schmooze, sing and be seen."

Scott Siegel presents... The Best of Jim Caruso's Cast Party

Thursday, February 17, 8PM

Town Hall Box Office is located at 123 West 43rd Street

Tickets are $25 -$50 - $75

And can be purchased NOW by visiting or calling 800-982-2787. or at The Town Hall Box Office, open noon to 6 PM every day but Sunday.

For more information email

Thursday, January 27, 2011

1964 Candid Judy Garland Liza Minnelli (PHOTO)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

flashback ~ Liza's 2nd album "IT AMAZES ME" released in 1965...
It Amazes Me is the title of Liza Minnelli's second solo studio album, released in March 1965 by Capitol Records. It contained her interpretations of eleven pop standards. It was recorded between December 1964 and January 1965 at Capitol Records' New York studio at 151 West 46th Street.

Album informationAfter Liza Minnelli's first album for Capitol Records was released in September 1964, she kept busy with a tour (The Fantasticks with Elliott Gould), television appearances, and even co-starred alongside her mother Judy Garland in a series of concerts in London (Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli Live At The London Palladium). In December of the same year she was reunited with the same team that worked on her previous studio effort. Minnelli's vocal performance here could be considered flawless and while she had obviously grown since "Liza! Liza!", there is a feeling she was still experimenting with what she could accomplish vocally, thus infusing the record with a feeling of newness. The song selection is a perfectly-balanced mix of uptempo tunes and ballads, not unlike the previous effort.

The album cover boasts that it "sounds better than stereo has ever sounded before!" thanks to the "New improved Full Dimensional Sound". That and a bigger budget spent for a larger orchestra are to credit for a more lush sound. Capitol was aware that they had a hit on their hands and were probably trying to develop their own Barbra Streisand. One track was left off the original track listing but was added to the set when reissued in its entirety in The Complete Capitol Collection, a medley of "Walk Right In / How Come You Do Me Like You Do". Peter Matz, was again mainly responsible for the rich and lush orchestral treatment given to the whole project.

Track listing:
 Side one"Wait Till You See Him" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)

"My Shining Hour" (Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen)

"I Like The Likes Of You" (Vernon Duke, Yip Harburg)

"It Amazes Me" (Coleman, Leigh)

"Looking At You" (Cole Porter)

"I Have Never Seen Snow" (Arlen)

[edit] Side two"Plenty Of Time" (Kander, Ebb)

"For Every Man There's A Woman" (Arlen, Leo Robin)

"Lorelei" (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin)

"Shouldn't There Be Lightning?" (Alexander, Goldenberg)

"Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out" (Jimmy Cox)

"Walk Right In" (Hosie Woods, Gus Cannon, Bill Svanoe, Erik Darling) / "How Come You Do Me Like You Do" (Gene Austin, Roy Bergere) (Medley)

Producer: Si Rady

Orchestra arranged and conducted by: Peter Matz

Saturday, January 22, 2011

BWW Photo Coverage Exclusive: LIZA Visits THE DIVINE SISTER

Liza Minnelli, Sam Harris & Billy Stritch visit the cast of 'The Divine Sister' Alison Fraser, Charles Busch, Julie Halston, Amy Rutberg, Jennifer Van Dyck & Jonathan Walker at the SoHo Playhouse in New York City

Saturday, January 22, 2011; Posted: 11:01 AM - by Walter McBride

Just last week, producers Daryl Roth and Bob Boyett announced that a new block of tickets have gone on sale for THE DIVINE SISTER, Off-Broadway's best reviewed new comedy written by and starring Charles Busch. Tickets for THE DIVINE SISTER are now on sale through Sunday, April 30 at the SoHo Playhouse (15 Vandam Street). Last night none other than Liza Minnelli was in the house along with Sam Harris and Billy Stritch and was there to capture the fun!

This marks the second extension for the production, directed by Busch's long time collaborator Carl Andress, starring Alison Fraser, Amy Rutberg, Jennifer Van Dyck, Jonathan Walker, and Julie Halston. With the current new block of tickets, THE DIVINE SISTER will become one of the longest running hits of his Off-Broadway career.

THE DIVINE SISTER is Charles Busch's outrageous comic homage to nearly every Hollywood film involving nuns: The Song of Bernadette, The Bells of St. Mary's, The Singing Nun and Agnes of God. THE DIVINE SISTER tells the story of St. Veronica's indomitable Mother Superior (played by the legendary Charles Busch). Come join this madcap trip through Tinseltown religiosity from the creator of Die Mommie Die, Psycho Beach Party and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.

The creative team includes: Scenic and Graphic Design by B.T. Whitehill, Costume Design by Fabio Toblini, Lighting Design by Kirk Bookman, Sound Design by Jill BC DuBoff, Wig Design byKatherine Carr, and Original Music by Lewis Flinn.

Photos by Walter McBride / WM Photos / Retna Ltd.

Does Liza Minnelli miss her surgically enhanced ex David Gest? Not a bit - at 64, she's having the time of her life
By Lina Das

Last updated at 1:24 AM on 22nd January 2011
She was born to two Hollywood legends, has lived virtually her entire life on stage and adopted 'The show must go on' as her unofficial motto. So it's no surprise that the small matter of knee surgery failed to deter Liza Minnelli from recording her latest album.

'I was due to go in for surgery when Billy Stritch [Liza's long-time collaborator] suggested we recorded some songs. I was reluctant to do it in a studio, so I said, "Let's just do it at my house." So that's where we recorded everything.'
Wasn't she in pain? 'Only a little,' she says. 'But I love working and I need to keep busy. The secret is to keep working and never stop moving. If I sat down, I'd never get up!'
Never getting up might be an attractive option for someone who has lived a life like Liza's, but it certainly can't be said that she lacks fortitude.

A difficult childhood, battles with alcohol and four marriages - the last to music producer David Gest ending in well-documented acrimony with Gest accusing Liza of repeatedly assaulting him, while she claims he tried to poison her and killed her dog - have done nothing to dent Liza's verve.

And with good reason. Her latest album, Confessions, is doing well and recently Liza has been photographed looking considerably younger than her 64 years, prompting speculation she's had cosmetic surgery.

'I know people are saying, "Look, she's had her face done",' she admits. 'But I haven't had surgery. I'm scared to death of it. Just look at the album cover - it's been retouched to death! Re-touching is heavenly,' she adds. 'I absolutely recommend it to everyone.'

Liza's fourth and most recent husband, the improbably smooth-faced David Gest, had the knack of looking re-touched even in the flesh, though it's a subject I daren't mention, given the fallout from their divorce.
As it rumbled on, mention of Gest's name provoked stony silences in his soon-to-be former wife, and yet when asked if she is now friends with him, she replies with a simple, 'No.'

I'm sorry to hear that, I say. 'Don't be, honey,' she says. 'I'm not! I was married to him for about 20 minutes and I'm doing absolutely great now. I am friends with my other exes though... Well, those that are still alive.'

Given Liza's talent and fame, not to mention the weight of Hollywood history behind her - her mother was Judy Garland and her father Meet Me In St Louis director Vincente Minnelli - does she find that men are simply too intimidated by her to stick around for too long?

'Intimidated? I don't know,' she replies. 'That's probably a question only they can answer. But because I love to work and I tend to go from show to show, I'm not at home much and I am a bit of a gypsy.

'I think when women are young, we tend to maybe do ourselves down in order to make men feel bigger. But no more. I figure if a man is intimidated by me now, then that's his problem and I don't hang around long enough now to even find out!'

Would she ever consider marrying for a fifth time?

'You've got to be kidding,' she laughs. 'Of course not. I really don't want to do that again - but that doesn't mean I can't fall in love a million times. There's no need to marry now, in any case. When I was younger, I always thought I'd have children and I did long for kids. But I have 22 godchildren, all of whose names I remember, and having 22 godchildren is a lot easier than having 22 kids myself.'

After a lifetime in showbusiness, Liza continues to find fans with each successive generation. She made a brief yet memorable cameo appearance in last year's Sex And The City 2. Did she get to keep her outfit, like all the other SATC ladies?

'I made sure I did,' she laughs. 'It was my own to begin with! I loved every minute of working on that movie. It was hard work, but all the girls came in, even if they weren't appearing in the scene that day, and after takes we just sat around gossiping together. It was wonderful.'

Her iconic status would make her ideal, one would think, for an appearance on Glee, and she admits: 'I have been approached by the show, but because I've been on the road so much recently, I'm not even sure what they'd like me to do.

'But I love the show and think it's hilarious, so maybe in the future. Who knows?'

Liza Minnelli's Confessions is out now.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vincente Minnelli to be Honored by Locarno Film Festival
Friday, January 21, 2011; Posted: 11:01 AM - by BWW News Desk

Vincente Minnelli - the late stage and film director best known for his musical films such as 1944's Meet Me in St. Louis, 1951's An American in Paris, 1955's Kismet, and 1958's Gigi (for which he won an Oscar) - is set to be honored by the Locarno Film Festival in August.

"Balanced between dream and reality, humanity and cruelty, the real world and a stylized version of it, Minnelli's films are the high water mark of classic Hollywood movie-making," Olivier Pere, artistic director of the festival said according to the Hollywood Reporter. "But at the same time, they offer an elegant and highly personal vision of the loves and feelings of passionate characters."

The Locarno Film Festival, which will run August 3rd through 13th in Switzerland, intends to look back at Minnelli's career, using selected films and introducing each film by leading filmmakers, critics, and actors. They will also include a discussion and the release of journalist Emmanuel Burdeau's book on Vincente Minnelli.

Vincente Minnelli was only on his fourth film when he directed Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis. The two were married the following year. Minnelli soon became one of Hollywood's top musical directors, directed Garland again in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) and The Pirate (1948). Their daughter, Liza Minnelli, went on to become a multi award-winning singer and actress. Following his divorce from Garland in 1951, he continued to enjoy tremendous success, with a long line of hits that includes The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), The Band Wagon (1953), Brigadoon (1954), Lust for Life (1956), Bells Are Ringing (1960), The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963) and The Sandpiper (1965). Minnelli passed away in 1986, shortly after being awarded France's highest civilian honor, the Commander Nationale of the Legion of Honor.
Hollywood Reporter Story link:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

HBO plans Bob Fosse biopic
Thursday, January 20 2011, 9:34am EST

By Morgan Jeffery, TV Reporter
HBO is reportedly developing a new television film focusing on the life of Bob Fosse.

The feature-length project will be based on forthcoming biography Bye, Bye Life: The Loves and Deaths of Bob Fosse, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Fosse, who died in 1987 aged 60, worked as an actor, dancer and choreographer and won an Oscar in 1973 for his direction of Liza Minnelli musical Cabaret.

X-Men director Bryan Singer will helm the adaptation and will also executive produce alongside partners Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, who are currently working on a new version of Footlose.
No writer is currently attached to the project, which is as-yet-untitled. Sony Television will co-produce with HBO Films.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Liza Insight From Singer Jim Caruso

In honor of Jim's swinging new CD The Swing Set, I asked him some probing show biz questions.

Me: Hi, Jim! Does it ever get boring working with Liza?

Caruso: "Liza...boring? Was Paris boring in the 20s? I traveled the globe with Liza for three years, singing and dancing as one of 'The Williams Brothers' in the show that eventually became 'Liza's At The Palace.' We did hundreds of concerts--from Dayton to Monaco--finally ending up on Broadway and winning a Tony. Every single night, as Liza was about to strut onto the stage, we'd hold hands listening to the crowd roar as her 'New York, New York' entrance music kicked into gear. And every night, I'd scream 'Do it for Donny and Marie,' which was her godmother Kay Thompson's battle cry before Liza's concerts. It made her laugh every night. Of course, I'm still desperate to be an Osmond Brother, so any opportunity I can impart their name is golden."

Me: What are some of the wackier things that have happened at Cast Party?

Caruso: "One couple brought their wedding party to see us. There they were, the bride and groom in all their finery, veils, tuxes, etc., watching chorus cuties belt out show tunes. (I worry for that marriage.) Acrobat/juggler/contortionist Rudy Macaggi bounded to the stage and sat on his own face. If I could do that, I'd never leave the house. Venerated lyricist Betty Comden made one of her last appearances at Cast Party--asking if it would be OK to sing 'One Hundred Easy Ways To Lose A Man,' which she wrote with her partners Adolph Green and Leonard Bernstein almost 60 years before."

Me: Amazing! Congrats on Swing Set. Hot song choices, great guest stars. You're helping to bring class back!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Jim Caruso Plays at Ultimate Drag Off for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids 1/22
Monday, January 17, 2011; Posted: 12:01 PM - by BWW News Desk

Jim strikes hot sexy co -host poses, for a wonderful cause, a diversified cast and fabulous prizes for the audience!

Caruso recently made his Broadway debut alongside Liza Minnelli in the smash hit Liza's At The Palace!, singing, dancing and celebrating the music and arrangements of the late, great Kay Thompson and the Williams Brothers. The show was honored with a 2009 Tony Award for Best Special Event and the recording was nominated for a Grammy. For his nightclub work, Caruso has won six MAC Awards and two BackStage Magazine Bistro Awards for sold-out shows at Birdland, Arci's Place, The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, and The Russian Tea Room.

Caruso has decided to play for BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS.

Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation's leading industry based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization. They fund the social service work of The Actors Fund and award grants to AIDS service organizations nationwide. With your help, what we do together will make a difference.

Tickets should be purchased ahead of time, as there is limited availability!!

Proceeds of your tickets will go to BCEFA.

Hosted by NYC's honky soul mama SWEETIE

Guest Co-Host is Jim Caruso!




JANUARY 22nd, 2011

There is a 2 drink minimum per person at the Ultimate Drag Off

Group rates are also available for parties of 10 or more. for all the info

COMIX THEATRE 11PM- 353 West 14th St NYC

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blu Double Feature! ARTHUR and ARTHUR 2: ON THE ROCKS (April 5)

Blu Double Feature! ARTHUR and ARTHUR 2: ON THE ROCKS (April 5)

flasback ~ Liza! Liza! is the title of Liza Minnelli's debut studio solo album!_Liza!
Liza! Liza! is the title of Liza Minnelli's debut studio solo album, released in September 1964 by Capitol Records. It contained her interpretations of twelve pop standards. It was recorded in June 1964 at Capitol Records' New York studio at 151 West 46th Street.

Album information ~ When Liza Minnelli recorded the songs in this album she was just a teenager. At just seventeen she had starred in the Off Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward in 1963 (a year after recording this album she will win her first Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical Flora the Red Menace). The publicity surrounding her abilities led to television appearances and a single on the Cadence Records label. This single, "You Are For Loving", a song she performed on the show, reportedly sold half a million copies. On the strength of this, Capitol signed the singer and slowly began issuing several singles targeted to Minnelli's own age group and later committed to a whole album. These singles were recorded over the summer of 1963 in New York and by reviewing this output it is clear the artistry displayed by Minnelli was not that of a regular teenager.

For the creation of her debut album, she turned to her friend and classmate Marvin Hamlisch, who could help her in choosing the tunes. At the time he was working in the Broadway production of Funny Girl. It is noteworthy that two of the songs featured on the album, "It's Just A Matter Of Time" and "The Travelin' Life", were cut by Minnelli with Hamlisch on piano 2 years earlier as a gift to her mother. Another one of the tracks featured here, "If I Were In Your Shoes", was written by the young writers Fred Ebb and John Kander, who had yet to make a big impact on the stage. It was the start of a decade-long collaboration during which the trio delivered several unforgettable hits.

Peter Matz, who was also working with Barbra Streisand at the time and would keep on collaborating with Minnelli up until his death, was mainly responsible for the rich and lush orchestral treatment given to the whole project.

Reception ~ Liza! Liza! peaked on the Billboard chart at number 116. It remained debuted there November 21 1964 and remained in it for 8 weeks. Over a period of 3 years it reportedly sold over half a million copies. It received several glowing reviews including "An auspicious debut...fine new talent" wrote Cashbox, while Record World said "Impressive...beguiling...beautiful...beautifully varied...major singing talent". Billboard stated "Simply great...a gas...clarity of tone, genuine feeling, emotion...truly great".

Track listing ~
 Side one"It's Just a Matter of Time" (Richard Everitt, Laurence Stith)

"If I Were In Your Shoes" (John Kander, Freb Ebb)

"Meantime" (Stillman, Allen)

"Try to Remember" (Harvey Schmidt, Tom Jones)

"I'm All I've Got" (Schafer, Graham)

"Maybe Soon" (Everitt, Stith)

 Side two"Maybe This Time" (Kander, Ebb)

"Don't Ever Leave Me" (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II)

"The Travelin' Life" (Liebling, Marvin Hamlisch)

"Together (Wherever We Go)" (Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne)

"Blue Moon" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart)

"I Knew Him When" (Harold Arlen, Harburg, Gershwin)

Released September 1964

Recorded June 1964, Manhattan

Genre Pop, Vocal, Traditional

Label Capitol


Producer Si Rady

Orchestra arranged and conducted by: Peter Matz

Friday, January 14, 2011

Liza is dazzling in ISO concert
Tom Alvarez

Jack Everly, the Principal Pops Conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, set the scene for Liza Minnelli’s concert this past Wednesday evening, when he referred to the daughter of Judy Garland and film director Vincent Minnelli, as “theatre royalty,” during his opening remarks to a full house at the Hilbert Circle Theatre.

Setting the tone further, Everly conducted the ISO during the first part of the concert as it paid tribute to her mother and her era, by performing music from some of her classic films and others. Selections included: “The Wizard of Oz,” “Meet Me In St. Louis,” “Easter Parade,” “Singin’ In The Rain,” “Strike Up The Band,” “Dancing In The Dark,” and “Begin The Beguine.”

After the intermission, Minnelli was finally introduced to the diverse crowd, made up primarily of adoring fans. Bounding onto the stage dressed in a black sequined top and pants, wearing a long red scarf, Minnelli burst into “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” and was greeted with screams, cheers and the thunderous applause of a frenzied audience.

At one point, the show business icon failed to hit a high note, after which she interrupted the song and said to her conductor, Jamie Schmidt, “Oh for Christ sakes…I can do better than that!” Upon doing so, the crowd roared its approval and shouts of “We love you Liza,” reverberated all over the theatre as she replied, “I love you too." Showing her vulnerability, she thanked the audience for coming and said, “Before I do a show I always worry but once I’m out here, it’s always ok because we do this together.”

Then, to the absolute delight of an audience comprised of many who stood to applause after each of her numbers, Minnelli sang tunes she is most identified with, pop standards, and songs from her father’s films.

Accompanied by the ISO and her own seven piece band, featuring vocalist, composer, and jazz pianist Billy Stritch, Minnelli held court during a set that lasted for nearly an hour. Her song list included: “Our Love Is Here To Stay,” “I Must Have That Man,” and “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love (which she performed in a duet with Stritch);” “He’s A Tramp,” (written by Peggy Lee for the animated film, Lady and the Tramp);” “Maybe This Time” (from Cabaret), and “Liza with a Z,” (from Minnelli’s 1972 TV concert), both by Kander and Ebb, the songwriting team that contributed to making her a star.

Recalling the time she stepped in briefly for Gwen Verdon, playing Roxie Hart, in the Broadway production of “Chicago,” Minnelli also sang “My Own Best Friend,” which she said was left out the film, much to her regret.

Promoting “Confessions,” her newest CD, Minnelli’s program also included “Confession,” “You Fascinate Me So,” “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You,” and “This Heart of Mine,” from her album.

Closing with “New York, New York” the Kander & Ebb song which has become one of her signature songs (even though Frank Sinatra was the first to make it famous), Minnelli returned after a prolonged standing ovation and numerous curtain calls to tenderly sing Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.”

In an emotional scene reminiscent of those experienced by Garland after some of her legendary concerts at the Palace and Carnegie Hall, Minnelli bowed and reached out to the outstretched hands of those in the front row, taking in the wild applause and cries from the audience, until she left the stage for good.

Despite the fact that Minnelli has apparently lost her upper voice, making it difficult for her to reach, much less sustain high notes, she more than made up for her vocal difficulties with unbelievable stamina, a dazzling personality, sense of humor, and still vibrant and dramatic ability to sell a song.

Also, looking somewhat fragile, Minnelli, 64, who has had her share of health issues, revealed that she’s had a knee replacement, causing her to sit in a director’s chair near the end of her set and next to Stritch on his piano bench during her encore.

Whatever her present physical limitations, Minnelli nevertheless proved beyond a doubt that she can still mesmerize an audience with the kind of pizzazz that can only be delivered by a superstar of her caliber, and with a talent and a pedigree that has made her a show business legend.
For information about the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and its remaining 2010-2011 season, visit its website at or call the box office at 317.639.4300.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Review: Liza at the Hilbert
January 13, 2011
I honestly don't know how much of Liza Minnelli's act is an act.

At Wednesday's concert, the performing dynamo entered to a "New York, New York" vamp and launched into "Alexander's Ragtime Band" with a fearlessness that only comes with years on the stage. She's a one-of-a-kind entertainer whose batteries seem to be charged in front of a live audience, treating the Hilbert Circle Theatre crowd like it was a gang of guests in her living room. Warm and confident, she even stopped the orchestra after a few missed vocal notes ( "I can do that better, for crissakes," she said) gave herself a redo, nailed it, and took the passionate audience even deeper into the palm of her hand.

If this was a calculated move, it worked beautifully.

The stopping-her-own-show move was consistent with the just-us-folks nature of her set. "Oh, my darlings, thank you for coming," she said, before delivering a deft blend of "Here, I'll Stay" and "Our Love is Here to Stay." She brought back her Roxy Hart from B'way's "Chicago" to both act and sing "My Own Best Friend" and offered a version of "Maybe This Time" that took on even richer connotations with Minnelli decades past the tune's "Cabaret" origins.

Of course, she sang the title song from "Cabaret," and knew that she’d get a thunderous reaction with just the right pause after the "too much pills and liquor" line. And the defiant climax of the song still sends chills, even after the live-fast-die-young of "When I go/ I'm going like Elsie" was changed to the survivalist "I'm not going like Elsie."

Even after recent illness and knee surgery, she remained a whirligig, "I gotta sit down," she said at one point, dragging a director's chair across the stage. But she spent little time in it.

Her set followed a short first act, featuring the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in movie music mode. It seemed to take a little while for the ISO to get in the spirit of things, but that was found once the fingers started snapping to the opening of a big, brassy "Hey, Big Spender." The ISO's role in the second half was largely supportive, with Minnelli's own combo taking on much of the musical chores.

Longtime Minnelli pianist Billy Stritch was in good voice on an "I Cant' Give You Anything But Love" duet. Minnelli showed her seductive side in the Peggy Lee tune "He's a Tramp." And a sweet piano-bench delivery of "Every Time We Say Goodbye" in which the lighting can't take sole credit for Minnelli seeming to drop 40 years.

But the highlight for me was "The World Goes 'Round," a great Kander and Ebb tune from the movie "New York, New York." No, she didn't hit the notes like she did in in the film version (See that stunning performance here), but there's more to an entertainer than that. Yes, she modified songs to fit her more limited range and, yes, she allowed her trumpet player and other musicians to sometimes fill in to mask the sound she couldn't make. But as a fan of Great American Songbook and Broadway music, I've listened to lots of performers who have the technique and the vocal chops but not the special something that makes a singer a star.

We shall not see the likes of Liza again anytime soon. Here's hoping she'll return.

LIZA ~ Fashion & Style > Image >

Liza Minnelli and American runway models belt out “Bonjour, Paris!” at the Grand Divertissement à Versailles in 1973. The event put American fashion on the international map.

Liza on Access Hollywood Live Video!

Access Hollwood Live! from Liza Community on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Liza Minnelli reveals secret to happiness
Liza Minnelli thinks the key to a happy life is simply making the right choices.

The 64-year-old singer and actress is highly acclaimed worldwide for her outstanding performances in movies such as 1972 hit Cabaret, for which she won an Academy Award for best actress. Liza’s personal life has been particularly turbulent – having been married and divorced four times as well as battling an alcohol addiction. Liza feels she is in a happy place right now though, and thinks the key to fulfilment is simply incorporating a positive philosophical approach.

“You can choose how you want to be. And if you choose to be unhappy, for whatever reason, then you are,” she explained to the British edition of OK! magazine. “If you choose to be happy, for whatever reason, then you are. It’s your choice. In the long run, it’s your choice. It’s your life.”

The talented star wastes no time dwelling on life’s tougher moments, and thinks the best thing anyone can do is turn to humour in hard times. Liza thinks the decisions we make have a huge impact on our future, and has urged people to follow her mentality.

“I’ve come to believe that if you have a bad memory of something, change it! Rewrite it for yourself and it becomes funny. It’s up to you, how you feel, and what you look at and what you concentrate on,” she added.

Liza on Oprah Backstage! ~ from Liza Community on Vimeo.

Liza on Oprah Backstage! from Liza Community on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jill Haworth, Original Sally in ‘Cabaret,’ Dies at 65

Published: January 4, 2011

Jill Haworth, a British-born film ingénue in the 1960s who made her only Broadway appearance as the original Sally Bowles in “Cabaret,” died Monday at her home in Manhattan. She was 65.

The police confirmed her death, attributing it to natural causes.

A petite, strikingly pretty blonde (she wore a dark wig on Broadway), Ms. Haworth was just 14 when she was signed to appear, along with Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint and Sal Mineo, as a displaced Jew in “Exodus” (1960), Otto Preminger’s grandiose adaptation of the Leon Uris novel about the birth of the state of Israel.

She made three films in France and then two others with Preminger, “The Cardinal” and “In Harm’s Way,” before auditioning for “Cabaret,” along with more than 200 other actresses, and winning the part of Sally, the lovably intemperate lass who sings for her supper at a decadent nightclub in Weimar-era Berlin.

Julie Harris had played Sally in the John Van Druten play “I Am a Camera,” on which the musical drew for its source material (along with the Christopher Isherwood book “The Berlin Stories,” on which the play was based). Liza Minnelli would make the role indelibly hers when she starred in the 1972 film, directed by Bob Fosse.

For Ms. Haworth, the role would be the high point of her career. Just 21 on opening night and with scant stage experience, she had never before sung a note professionally. The reviews were not overly kind, and one in particular was a damning declaration by Walter Kerr in The New York Times.

“ ‘Cabaret’ is a stunning musical with one wild wrong note,” Kerr began, later naming Ms. Haworth as the clunker and calling her “a damaging presence, worth no more to the show than her weight in mascara.”

Harold Prince, who directed the musical, recalled in an interview Tuesday that Ms. Haworth was remarkably steadfast and mature after the drubbing. She played the part for nearly two years and “never laid the weight of that on anyone,” he said. “We just loved her.”

“They underestimated her,” Mr. Prince said of the critics. “Sally Bowles was not supposed to be a professional singer. She wasn’t supposed to be so slick that you forgot she was an English girl somewhat off the rails in the Weimar era. When Jill came in and auditioned, she nailed it right away, walked that line. That’s what we wanted, and that’s what she delivered.”

Valerie Jill Haworth was born, according to many online sources, in Sussex, England, on Aug. 15, 1945. Her parents, who divorced when she was a girl, were well-to-do. Her father was a textiles magnate who also drove racing cars; her mother trained as a ballet dancer, as did Ms. Haworth.

“Society looked down on me for becoming an actress, but I don’t miss society, ” she told the gossip columnist Earl Wilson in 1965, adding that in America she acceded to a change in the pronunciation of her name. “I can’t get anyone here to pronounce it ‘Hahworth.’ Just as long as they don’t spell it H-a-y.”

Information about her family, including survivors, wasn’t immediately available.

Following “Cabaret,” she appeared in a handful of horror movies and in television series including “Mission: Impossible,” “Bonanza” and “Baretta.” But her career never regained the upward path on which it had begun.

“She was ‘let’s have a good time,’ ” Joel Grey, who starred as the master of ceremonies in the original “Cabaret,” said on Tuesday. “She had a wild abandon about herself and her life. I understood why Hal chose her. She was so Sally Bowles.”

Minnelli Will Never Wed Again
OK magazine
Wednesday 5th January 2011 - 23:45:00

Liza Minnelli has ruled out ever walking down the aisle again - because she's convinced she isn't "meant to be married".

The veteran performer is a four-time divorcee but admits she has stopped looking for a fifth husband - because, at the age of 64, she is finally beginning to enjoy being single.

And the Cabaret star reveals she now wants to date a number of different men, instead of settling down with just one partner.

It's just so wonderful not to be tied down.
Liza MinnelliShe tells Britain's OK! magazine, "I've learned that I'm never getting married again. There's no good reason for it... So I intend to have a 17 year old whose name I don't know, right? I intend to have a 35 year old who's an intellectual and marvellous to talk to. And, I intend to also have a guy who's about 93 with one foot in the grave and one foot on a banana peel. What else can I say? There are some people who weren't meant to be married and it's very difficult for a female star. It just is...

Liza Minnelli ~ Jan. 12, Hilbert Circle Theatre
For a decade beginning about 40 years ago, Liza Minnelli was an actress that directors including Bob Fosse, Stanley Donen and Martin Scorsese wanted in their A-list films. Then she wowed television audiences with her “Liza with a ‘Z’” concert, helped save the original Broadway production of “Chicago” from an early demise by filling in as Roxie, and headlined new shows “The Act” and “The Rink.”

A rare talent who has won at least one Tony, Oscar and Emmy, Minnelli evolved into the quintessential “I’m still here” trouper, surviving plenty of tabloid personal drama to return again and again, thrilling her established audiences while making new fans from appearances in the likes of “Sex in the City” and “Arrested Development.” And just when one might think she was coasting on guest appearances, she conquered Broadway again with the 2008-2009 “Liza’s at the Palace” concerts.

For her Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra appearance—bumped from the fall due to illness—the icon will bring her own conductor and set list, so I can’t promise that your favorites will be presented. I’m willing to bet, though, that “New York, New York” and “Cabaret” will be in the mix.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Liza to appear on "OWN" ~ "Oprah's New Network Channel" (Friday Jan. 7th at 8pm)

Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes

Episode 3

Oprah and her team welcome the legend Liza Minnelli and Oprah confronts her producing team over a upcoming show topic regarding virgins.

PG (D)

Minnelli: 'Lloyd Webber wanted me for Sunset Boulevard'

LIZA MINNELLI has confirmed she was ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER's first choice to play NORMA DESMOND on stage in his SUNSET BOULEVARD musical.

The veteran entertainer reveals she had to turn the part down - because she was on tour and didn't have time for the rehearsals.

She says, "They came to me at first, and I was working, so I couldn't do - the commitments were such that I couldn't be at all rehearsals. And I won't do something if I can't be there.

"I don't want to go out and perform and then come back to rehearsal. And that was the schedule."
But Minnelli hopes she'll be in contention to play Desmond if there are ever plans to remake the classic 1950 film.
She adds, "Of course (I'd do it). Oh, yeah, there's a lot of interesting stuff there."