Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Sunday, July 31, 2011

LIZA ~ Flashback!

Friday, July 29, 2011

LIZA ~ at her best in "LUCKY LADY" (1975), Get While The Gettin Is Good!

Friday, July 15, 2011

LIZA & FRANK ~ Charlotte, NC , The Ultimate Event Tour

All pics are from Charlotte, NC - when the did the Ultimate Event Tour.

photo's by Steve Jarrett

thanks Steve!

Exclusive: Liza Minnelli looks forward to Las Vegas concerts in the fall
By Robin Leach (contact)

Thursday, July 14, 2011
3:11 p.m.

Superstar entertainer Liza Minnelli is looking forward to her Las Vegas concerts Liza With a Z this autumn and promoting her new album Confessions that she recorded and rehearsed while bed-ridden during a six-week recuperation from knee-replacement surgery.
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Liza Minnelli in Perugia, Italy

Ken Henderson Photo Credit

Liza told me that she is now fully healed and in fine form with a stronger-than-ever voice. She proved that and more last night at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, near where I am on my annual vacation.

Liza, a longtime friend, invited me -- along with husband-and-wife actors Michael Tucker and wife Jill Eikenberry, who also are on vacation here (remember them in L.A. Law?) -- backstage after the performance. We, along with 10,000 Italian and British fans, agreed that she’d made magic once again.

It was a full-moon evening, and Liza kept cool under the bright spotlights of the open-air theater stage, with the temperature still not dropping much from the 99 degrees of sunshine.

The Umbria Jazz Festival is considered Italy’s premiere summer musical festival, with Carlos Santana and wife Cindy the night before, Sergio Mendez tonight, Prince tomorrow and B.B. King, who often plays his blues and jazz club at the Mirage, rounding out the star attractions.

Liza told me she heads to Switzerland and Monte Carlo to wrap up her European tour before heading home to New York and preparing for her Las Vegas Hilton shows in October.

She was completely comfortable with the audience, who were on their feet with appropriate bravos several times during her 90-minute-plus performance, especially after “Cabaret,” “Maybe This Time” and her anthem “New York, New York.” She even joked about her busted marriages!

At one point, she pulled a director’s chair to stage center to sit down to sing, explaining the knee surgery. At another point, she took off her ankle boots and sat down. She also sang atop arranger-pianist Billy Stritch’s stool.

The audience didn’t want her to leave, giving her three curtain calls until she finally ran out of band rehearsed material to sing, so she just sang a capella under a sole spotlight. To say the performance under a full moon was spellbinding is an understatement. This was Excellent Entertainment with a capital E!

The highlight, though, was when she’d almost reached the end of the show: One minute into “New York, New York,” her voice cracked, and she stopped the band! She told everybody she wanted to start it again to do it right. Two sips of honey tea, and she kept her promise, delivering it at full, faultless energy.

“That’s how we do it,” she joked. “I wanted you to get it at its best.” The entire arena erupted in applause and cheers.

Billy told me afterward: “Now you don’t see that anymore today. That’s old school entertainment. I don’t know anybody who would feel so comfortable and confident to do that.”

Liza, the daughter of Judy Garland and film director Vincente Minnelli, was last in Italy in 2008. She told me: “I’d always wanted to play the Umbria Jazz Festival as a tribute to my father. This is something very special, and to hear Italians applauding for the great music and songs of Broadway made me feel a lot of love here tonight.

“I think this band and I have been together now for 20 years. We love what we do together. We’re all looking forward to returning home to Vegas this fall, and we hope you all love the new songs on the Confessions album.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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Liza Minnelli and Robin Leach in Perugia, Italy, on July 13, 2011.

Liza told me that she is now fully healed and in fine form with a stronger-than-ever voice. She proved that and more last night at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, near where I am on my annual vacation.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Liza News

Star Is Now an Officer in the Legion of Honor
Liza Minnelli with Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand

PARIS – Liza Minnelli has three Tonys, two Golden Globes, an Oscar, an Emmy and a Grammy legend award. Now the 65-year-old singer and actress also has the rank of “officier” in the Legion of Honor, the award for service to the French state created by Napoleon in 1802. In the grand salon of his ministry on Monday, Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand pinned an enameled vermeil medal affixed to a red grosgrain ribbon onto Ms. Minnelli’s black silk brocade jacket.

“Priestess of the music-hall, you are the contemporary incarnation of talented versatility à l’américaine!” he said in honoring her. He called her “a tiger — with the heart of a lamb.” He praised her charitable work in the struggle against AIDS and her celebration of life and liberty in her songs that has “made her an icon in every community, and notably the gay community.”

In an unscripted and breathless reply Ms. Minnelli exclaimed: “I’m here! I’m honored! I’m totally in love with all of you! To stand in this room in front of all of you, my God! This is my dream come true!”

It was the second time this dream had come true for her, although the last time it happened was 24 years ago. In 1987 Ms. Minnelli was made chevalier of the Legion of Honor, the first of several ranks of the award. Vincente Minnelli, her father and the director who made Paris-themed films like “Gigi” and “An American in Paris,” rose to the third rank of “commandeur” only weeks before his death the previous year.

The French government tends to hand out Legion of Honor medals like bonbons. About 2,200 civilians and 600 military personnel – most of them Frenchmen — are awarded the Legion each year.

Some potential French honorees have rejected the honor, saying that they want to keep a distance from the French state. (Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus considered it ridiculous and said no. So did Marie and Pierre Curie. Brigitte Bardot never came to claim her medal.) Others never wear the tiny lapel insignias that announce their achievement to the world, saying that to do so would seem like self-promotion. A recent documentary on the award charged that the principles of the Legion are often violated, and that the awards are sometimes given as political and personal favors to people in unworthy professions, like journalism.

For foreigners, the award tends to be a big deal, and it has often been given to recognize Americans in the arts. The chef and cookbook author Julia Child won it in 2000 for spreading knowledge of French cuisine around the world. Robert Redford was made chevalier, Steven Spielberg officier and Clint Eastwood commandeur for their cinematic careers. The British actor Michael Caine thanked France for giving him the Legion of Honor – only to find out to his embarrassment that he had been given the less prestigious Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.

(Full disclosure: I was made “chevalier” of the Legion of Honor last month. I have worn the slim red grosgrain barrette twice, even though its “pin” is more like a nail.)

Only French citizens can be received as official members of the Legion of Honor “community” in the service of the French nation. Foreigners have a sort of adjunct status. The advantage is that foreigners do not have to pay for their medals. If Ms. Minnelli were French, her medal would have cost her $270. (Mine would have cost $230.)

The awards ceremony on Monday was witnessed by more photographers than guests. One special guest was Line Renaud, one of France’s most celebrated actresses and performers. Ms. Renaud herself has been decorated with various ranks of the Legion of Honor and other awards that come with medals, in the presence of three presidents, François Mitterrand, Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy. Half a century ago she played Hollywood and Las Vegas with Ms. Minnelli’s mother, Judy Garland.

As Ms. Minnelli said goodbye to Mr. Mitterrand, kissing him tenderly on both cheeks a final time, she whispered, “You’ve got my love to keep you warm.”

“I need it sometime,” he replied.

“You have it always,” she said. He kissed her hand.

On Monday night, Ms. Minnelli was to perform solo at the Olympia in Paris; she first performed at the fabled theater 41 years ago.