Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Liza Minnelli Happy Halloween 2012!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandra Bernhard & Liza Minnelli at Town Hall 6/8/11


Show stopper: Legendary performer Liza Minnelli promises 'to entertain' at F.M. Kirby Center

by patrice wilding (staff writer)
Published: October 29, 2012

When others speak of Liza Minnelli, words like "legendary," "captivating" and "superstar" are often bandied about.
In a conversation with the performer herself, however, one is more likely to hear the word "lucky" when discussing the entertainer's inimitable career.
Ms. Minnelli, who rose to stardom over a decades-spanning career with unforgettable roles such as Sally Bowles in "Cabaret" and sell-out concert engagements like her show "Liza with a 'Z'," is set to appear at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert are $69 to $150 and are available at the box office, through Ticketmaster or by calling 826-1100 or 800-745-3000.
In a phone interview on a recent afternoon from her home in New York City, Ms. Minnelli recounted the journey that has brought her to a point in her career where she can look back at an impressive list of accolades and accomplishments. She is a rare industry star who has garnered at least one win in every award of distinction, with four Tonys, an Oscar, a special "Legends" Grammy, two Golden Globes and an Emmy to her name.
Paid her dues
While many credit the extreme talent that can be found in her lineage (she is the daughter of the late singer/actress Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli), Ms. Minnelli certainly has paid her dues and worked to make a name for herself as a singer, Broadway actress and movie and television star.

"I grew up around great people and great stars," she said gratefully. For Ms. Minnelli, however, her favorite kind of people are the everyday folks who come to her performances, and the aspiring artists she has the opportunity to teach at The Actor's Studio.
"I always found the best are just normal," she said. "They're not ego-burdened."
The 66-year-old star is quick to point out how much work it takes to stay on top of her game, and how lucky she has been to be surrounded by creative and talented people throughout her life.
"I go to dance class everyday," Ms. Minnelli said, noting that she has known her instructor, Luigi, since she was 3 years old. "When you're a dancer, you're an athlete. You're in training all the time."
She also spends a great deal of time rehearsing with her backing band and crew before a show or tour, practicing every number until it's just right.
"Once the show is written, you want to make sure ... you want to repair the timing," Ms. Minnelli explained. "Luckily, I've been doing this for a minute. I'm just sort of a pain-in-the-ass professional."
Keeping her live show fresh and energetic is also key to maintaining an audience through the years, she added. After all this time, it's her fans she is most concerned and excited about. In fact, meeting them on the road is her favorite part of performing, she said.
"Every new audience is a new show," Ms. Minnelli said. "That's what's so interesting about live performance. It'll always be a little different.
"Hopefully, they can expect to be entertained," she continued. "To entertain people is just that: What do people like to hear? I've had so many great songs written for me, that's what I'm proudest of."
Finally available
Her most recent release, the long-awaited concert album "Legends of Broadway: Liza Minnelli Live at the Winter Garden," became available in the spring after a lengthy delay because of contractual complications regarding some of the "Cabaret" songs that were part of the recording. Originally performed in 1974 when Ms. Minnelli was just 27 years old, the performance was hailed as a brilliant spectacle to behold by critics and audiences who made it a sell-out success.
Marvin Hamlisch, the recently deceased lauded composer, served as musical director of the show. Ms. Minnelli, who said she counted Mr. Hamlisch as a friend since they were teens, noted her surprise and heartache over his passing this past August.
"I was so shocked. Marvin was the last person I expected to join the choir at this age," she said. "You have to find your point of view at this age. What I take on the stage with me is my gratitude to him and our friendship and his sense of personality.
"When your friends die, after the mourning period ... they kind of are with you all the time in your memory," Ms. Minnelli added.
In recent years, Ms. Minnelli has tapped into an entirely new generation of fans with much talked-about appearances on the television series "Arrested Development," and "Sex and the City 2," the big-screen adaptation of the hit HBO program.
For "Arrested Development," Ms. Minnelli cracked up audiences with her comedic turn as Lucille Austere (often referred to as "Lucille Two"), the foil to Bluth family matriarch Lucille and a sufferer of extreme vertigo. The series was renewed for several new episodes and a movie adaptation, and Ms. Minnelli happily shared that she has already filmed some scenes in which she reprises her role.
"It's a wonderful cast, so talented and really, really funny," she laughed. "The timing is just spectacular. We're all thrilled that that's happening."
She also wowed the masses with her performance of Beyoncé's hit single "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" for the "Sex and the City" movie, which was written and directed by Scranton native Michael Patrick King. Ms. Minnelli said she counts herself as a huge fan of the television series and was honored to be asked to be part of the film.
"I thought, 'How do I do it best?' I was lucky, I had choreographer Ron Lewis, who I think is one of the best in the world," Ms. Minnelli said. "He did a wonderful job. We pay tribute (to Beyoncé) and it was also my own."
The enormous talent and energy that Ms. Minnelli is famous for will be on full display in Wilkes-Barre, she promised. For a woman who is known to play some of the biggest-name venues in the world, the Kirby Center is no less deserving of her full attention, she said.
"I want to be there," Ms. Minnelli said earnestly. "I'm really thrilled they're coming to see me, that they asked me to come.
"I can't wait to meet everybody," she added. "I'm just a person. I hate fancy, let's put it that way. When I sing, it's about how everybody feels."
Contact the writer:; @pwildingTT on Twitter
If you go
Who: Liza Minnelli
When: Saturday, doors open at 7 p.m.; concert at 8 p.m.
Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, Wilkes-Barre
Details: Tickets are $69 to $150 and are available at the box office, through Ticketmaster or by calling 826-1100 or 800-745-3000.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story misspelled Ms. Minnelli's name.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Liza’s lasting journey,222775?category_id=463&town_id=1&sub_type=stories

If you’re into Broadway trivia, you probably know Liza Minnelli was only 19 when she won her first Tony Award for her starring role in “Flora, the Red Menace,” a musical about a 1930s artist swept into a group of Communists.
But, did you know that, despite being the daughter of Hollywood luminaries Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, she didn’t just sail in and land the part?
“I had to audition seven times before I got it,” the “Queen of Broadway” reminisced in a telephone interview prior to her Saturday appearance at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre.
That never-give-up attitude has stayed with the 66-year-old performer through the decades, helping her come back from a debilitating case of encephalitis in 2000, when doctors told her they expected she would not walk or talk, let along sing or dance, again.
“I didn’t believe them,” Minnelli said. “I asked myself, ‘OK, what’ll I do? What do I know how to do? I know how to rehearse.’ So I started to count out loud. I said the ABCs out loud.
“The person who helped me the most was my dance teacher, Luigi.”

Dance teacher and choreographer Eugene Louis “Luigi” Faccuito, whom Minnelli had met when she was a small child, helped her with rehabilitation exercises he had developed for himself after he was partially paralyzed in a car accident.
By June 2002, about 18 months after her grim diagnosis, Minnelli was back on stage at the Beacon Theater in New York, and a comeback CD titled “Liza’s Back!” was released in October of that year.
Fighting her way back to health was just one of many triumphs in a storied career, which has included playing to sold-out audiences for five weeks in 1975 when she replaced an ailing Gwen Verdon in “Chicago.” She received a Tony for the 1977 musical “The Act,” an Academy-Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the film “The Sterile Cuckoo,” and the Best Actress award for her 1972 role as Sally Bowles in “Cabaret.”
The movies “Arthur” in 1981 and “Arthur 2” in 1988, the live-for-television concert “Liza with a Z” and her TV specials “Goldie and Liza: Together” with actress Goldie Hawn and the Emmy Award-winning “Baryshnikov on Broadway” with dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov gave her fans more chances to see and hear her in action, as did a December 1999 Broadway tribute to her father called “Minnelli on Minnelli.”
She won a Golden Globe Award for her role as the mother of a child with muscular dystrophy in the made-for-TV drama “A Time to Live” and appeared as Lucille Austero on the critically acclaimed television show “Arrested Development.”

And she continues to tour.
Recently returned from two weeks of concert engagements in South America, she said she had a fantastic time. “I loved Brazil and Rio and the music there, the tangos in Argentina. I tried to take in as much as I could.”
When she’s in concert, she said, she tries to “sing what people know and really want.” During Saturday’s show, which is titled “Liza Minnelli: Confessions” in honor of a recent CD, the set list may well include “New York, New York” and “Cabaret.”
“I also like to put in some surprises,” she added.
“Let’s have a wonderful time together.”

What: ‘Liza Minnelli: Confessions’ Where:
F.M. Kirby Center, Public Square, Wilkes-Barre When:
8 p.m. Saturday Tickets:
$150, $125, $89, $69 More info:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Liza Minnelli and Joan Rivers Visit Cheyenne Jackson, Henry Winkler and Cast at Broadway's The Performers
By Matthew Blank
24 Oct 2012
Liza Minnelli, Joan Rivers and Michael Feinstein were in attendance for the Oct. 23 first preview of Broadway's The Performers. The new comedy by David West Read will officially open Nov. 14 at the Longacre Theatre.
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Henry Winkler, Liza Minnelli, Ari Graynor, Cheyenne Jackson, Joan Rivers, Michael Feinstein, Jenni Barber, Alicia Silverstone and Daniel Breaker

Liza Minnelli and Ari Graynor

Liza Minnelli, Cheyenne Jackson and Ari Graynor

Joan Rivers Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler, Liza Minnelli, Ari Graynor, Cheyenne Jackson, Joan Rivers, Michael Feinstein

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Liza Minnelli cancels Shippensburg concert because of illness
By CHRIS MAUTNER, The Patriot-News
on October 18, 2012 at 4:18 PM, updated October 18, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Thursday, October 18, 2012

LIZA & PET SHOP BOYS - I Want You Now (Demo Instrumental) [Unreleased]

Liza Minnelli confesses: Curiosity keeps her looking ahead
CHRIS MAUTNER, The Patriot-News By CHRIS MAUTNER, The Patriot-News
on October 18, 2012 at 5:30 AM
First things first: Yes, Liza Minnelli will be a part of the upcoming “Arrested Development” reunion.
In fact, the award-winning actress and singer recently finished shooting several sequences for the hotly anticipated fourth season of the cult comedy series, which will be shown on Netflix in 2013. (Fun trivia fact: She’s one of the only entertainers to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony and an Emmy.)
In between filming, Minnelli also is on tour — really, she’s never stopped touring — and she’ll be performing at the Luhrs Center in Shippensburg on Friday.
The legendary performer and “Cabaret” star talked about returning to “Arrested,” and what it was like to meet Lady Gaga.
Q: What are you going to be performing in Shippensburg? Is it going to be mostly from your recent “Confessions” album, or will it be a mix?
A: Yes. It’s a mix, and it’s very intimate concert. There’s only seven musicians. It’s fun. Not much of it is written dialogue-wise, I go by the audience.
Q: I went on Twitter to see if anyone had any questions, and the thing that everyone wanted to know was if you were going to be on “Arrested Development”?
A: I came back a couple of days ago from shooting, and I’m going to shoot there on my way to Brazil. When I come back, I’m shooting more. It’s so great to be back with everybody. And it’s so funny. [Creator Mitchell] Hurwitz is a genius.
Q: How does the experience of being on “Arrested” compare to other acting you’ve done?
A: It’s constantly funny. We all laugh all the time, because Hurwitz is so brilliant. He changes things on the spot, so you really have to be alert and hang in there.
Q: Does acting flex different muscles for you than singing?
A: I’ll tell you what happened. I didn’t ever think that I sang very well and when I was about 19, I went to see [French singer] Charles Aznavour. I didn’t breathe for two hours during his show because each song was acted so brilliantly.
He came to see my show at the Coconut Grove and liked me very much, and I called him later that month and said, ‘Excuse me Mr. Aznavour but can I be your protege? I want to do what you do.’ He said ‘Good, all right. Come on.’ So off I went to Paris.
So with each song it’s like a complete acting experience. I know the character’s name, where she lives, what she’s been doing right up to the moment she sings. What color hair she has, what decals are on her refrigerator, what she’s looking at out the window — is it a city, a field, a forest? Is she on a plane? That makes it specific. And I think that’s what people like about what I do.
Q: It’s interesting that you said you didn’t think you sang very well.
A: Well, yeah, I really didn’t. I still don’t. I think that’s why I try so hard every time [laughs). It also makes it easier with the acting, cause I don’t concentrate on ‘Oh, am I flat,’ I concentrate on the moment.
Q: I saw where your Winter Garden concert was just released on CD.    
A: What happened was I did a long run on a Broadway stage. They recorded it and decided to bring it out. Then they stopped putting it out because “Cabaret” was released, so they held it to promote “Cabaret.” They just decided to bring it out again. I’m thrilled, because all of the songs are so wonderful and Marvin Hamlisch’s arrangements are sensational.
Q: Do you use opportunities like the Winter Garden release to reflect on your career?
A: If I haven’t seen it in a long time, I’ll watch it or listen to it just to remember the funny things that happened, but I certainly won’t sit and study it, no. Cause there’s always something ahead. There’s always something immediate, and that’s great.
Q: Do you try to stay contemporary?
A: I don’t have to try. I love it, so I do.
Q: Shows like “Glee” suggest there’s a resurgent interest in the musical. Do you see your influence in any of that?
A: I went to see Lady Gaga, whom I love. I went to see her in concert, and someone came out and said, ‘Gaga wants to see you.’ So I go backstage, and she hasn’t got her gear on yet. And she came out and said, ‘I do what you do. I do it because of you.’ I said, ‘What?’ Madonna had said that, too. It’s just amazing to me.
Q: You’re surprised by that? 
A: Yes, constantly. But she was so nice and boy, is she talented. The woman’s a great musician, plays the piano like a sunuvagun, sings her behind off and has figured out the sensationalism and how to use it in her artistry.
Q: You mentioned the late Marvin Hamlisch. Can you talk about his influence on you?
A: It was huge. I loved Marvin, and he was my best friend. He was everything to me, and I’ll miss him like crazy, but thank God for him and what he’s given this world.
Q: You’ve had such an acclaimed career. What keeps you going at this point?
A: Curiosity.
Q: About what?
A: About what’s happening, what different people are like. What’s going on? That’s why when My Chemical Romance calls me [to sing on “The Black Parade” album], I do it.
Q: What was that like?
A: Oh, wonderful. That guy [lead singer Gerard Way] is as smart as a whip. It was great fun.
Q: Do you feel like you have a responsibility at all to make people aware of the Great American Songbook tradition you come out of?
A: No (laughs). I sing what I like. I sing what moves me, whether it’s Aznavour or Pet Shop Boys.
IF YOU GO: An Evening With Liza Minnelli: “Confessions” begins at 8 p.m. Friday at Luhrs Center, Cost: $95, $87, $77 and $67. Info: 717-477-7469 or

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Liza with a Z: Liza Minnelli to perform at Shippensburg University October 14, 2012,0,1450878.story
"Just call me Liza."

That's how Liza Minnelli set the tone for her interview as this reporter thrust formality upon her. After insisting to be on a first-name basis, she then punctuates her point with her trademark cackle.

Sure, she's known as the Queen of Broadway, but Liza Minnelli doesn't hold court.

Arguably, she would have every right to do so. Born in 1946 to  Hollywood royalty, legendary singer-actress Judy Garland and director Vincent Minnelli ("Meet Me in St. Louis"), Liza Minnelli followed in her parents' footsteps but was able to carve out her own distinctive path.

Name the award and she has it four Tonys, an Oscar, two Golden Globe Awards, an Emmy and a special "Legends" Grammy. She's had iconic roles in film such as "Cabaret." A TV special called "Liza with a ;Z.'" A sold-out concert at The Winter Garden. And for years she even had a trademark look a short cropped do, a single beauty mark and polished make-up.

Minnelli was home in New York when she had the chance to chat as she gets ready to head to Shippensburg, Pa., on Friday, to perform at the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippesnburg University as part of her "Confessions" tour.

At age 66, Minnelli can still be found dancing, singing and acting, and, she said, it's all been a wonderful journey.

Catching the bug
Acting has just been as important for Minnelli as her singing.

"My first love is the acting and the stage, and acting of the songs, which I learned from Charles Aznavour," she said.

Aznavour is a well-known French entertainment hall entertainer and actor.

"I called him and I said, ‘Can I be your protege?' I went to see him and I couldn't believe it. Each song was a little movie. I thought, 'That's what I want to do,'" she said. "I didn't think I was a particularly good singer — I still don't. I just think that acting each song out, that I know exactly who each character is that sings it, what color hair she is, what she sees when she looks out the window, what's on her refrigerator door. All that kind of stuff, the details. It's really kind of method singing." She laughed.

Minnelli said when she was younger she started to learn lyrics as a hobby "like some collect stamps."

"I started collecting lyrics because I wasn't very good at expressing myself and the songs were so wonderful," she said. "So I learned all of (George) Gershwin and then I went through (Richard) Rodgers ... Cole Porter, and all of that kind of stuff, besides all the rock stuff I listened to."

Although she had already made her screen debut as a toddler with her mother in 1949's "In the Good Old Summertime," a teenage Minnelli had her eyes on the Great White Way. But first she had to convince her parents.

"I wanted to be on Broadway, man," she said. "I came to New York and did it. I visited here first when I was 14. That's when I met Marvin (Hamlisch). Then I came back when I was 15. I said, ‘Can I go for the summer?' They said ‘Yeah.' I said, ‘If I get a job, can I stay?' They said, ‘Oh, of course, if you get a job.' Well, I got a job."

She was 16 when she appeared in the Off-Broadway show, "Best Foot Forward" in 1963.

It's Liza with a Z

While balancing her time on her mother's TV series, "The Judy Garland Show," Minnelli continued to find Broadway roles. Her first starring role on Broadway was 1965's "Flora The Red Menace." For that role, the 19-year-old won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, making her also the youngest person to win that prize.

In 1972, Minnelli appeared in her famous TV special, "Liza with a Z." She was reunited wtih Fosse who produced with Fred Ebb. Her musical director and conductor for the concert was her childhood friend, Hamlisch, who passed away this year.

"He was the nicest man," Minnelli said. "He was my best friend since the time I was 14. So it was a real loss to me. It just knocked me silly."

In January 1974, Minnelli staged a live performance, this time it would simply be called "Liza." Minnelli broke box office records at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City for her one-woman show — selling out all 24 concerts in just 36 hours. For that concert, she won a special Tony.

But those looking for the show's Columbia Records soundtrack, "Liza Minnelli At the Winter Garden" would have a hard time finding it. The album was pulled from shelves because of legal issues.

"What happened was that ‘Cabaret' came out," she said. "So they held the album and they put out the ‘Cabaret' album instead. Now, they're just re-releasing (‘Winter Garden'), which is amazing. See, it shows you, you never know."

The reissued album, which was released in the spring, includes three live bonus tracks — Stevie Wonder's "You and I" and standards "It Had to be You" and "My Shining Hour."

"Everybody who comes to my shows — and I'm lucky that they do come — have said they liked it a lot," she said.

But as she was hoofing it onstage, Minnelli was still appearing in film — 1981's "Arthur" and 1988's "Arthur 2," both starring Dudley Moore.

She won a Golden Globe for her turn as a mother with a muscular dystrophy child in the 1985 made-for-TV movie "A Time to Live."

Minnelli has continued to hop between singing and acting — onstage or onscreen, both big and small.

In 1999, she played tribute to her father with the show "Minnelli on Minnelli."

Throughout all of this, Minnelli was battling health problems — her first hip replacement surgery in 1995, throat surgery in 1997, a second hip replacement in 2000.

In 2000, just as the album of her work on "Minnelli on Minnelli" was release, Minnelli was hospitalized with encephalitis. Doctors told her she probably wouldn't be able to walk or talk, let alone dance or sing again.

However, Minnelli has always been incredibly positive about life, even in some of her bleakest days. She said she owes her parents for instilling in her that strength.

"I guess it just comes from my roots," she said. "My parents were very positive people."

 In 2002, Minnelli defied the odds and was back to work with the album, "Liza's Back!"

Age is only a number

Minnelli has never really stopped. In 2003, she made her first appearances in "Arrested Development."

"I was just in L.A. the other day doing ‘Arrested Development,'" she said.

The canceled Fox series was picked up by Netflix for a new season. Minnelli will be reprising her role as Lucille Austero, the older girlfriend of Buster Bluth (Tony Hale).
"It's great, just wonderful that they're doing it again," she said. "Such a funny show."

Minnelli has continued to look for things that might be considered a little out of the box.

In 2006, she recorded "Mama" with My Chemical Romance. She said she has it in her iPod.

"It was so silly," she said of the song. "It's wonderful when someone will call up and say 'You want to do something?' You never know what's going to happen. I like that a lot."

In 2008 she returned to Broadway with "Liza's at the Palace," which won her a Tony for Best Special Theatrical Event. A year later, she had a cameo on "Sex in the City."

And just last year, she released her latest album, "Confessions."

Those who will see her perform at Shippensburg will be treated to an intimate event, she said, with only seven musicians and herself.

"They'll be a lot of stuff from ‘Confessions,'" she said. "What I try to do is fit in what everybody likes and fit in stuff that I like. I like story songs, interesting songs."

Minnelli is getting ready to start her tour to South America, which she said is exciting.

 "I'll be gone for two weeks. I never stay out more than that," she said.

And why? "Because I'm 66! I have strong rules, I got to stay in shape. They can't run me around like they used to."

The future

 Minnelli said she will continue to keep busy. She has been working with students at The Actor's Studio in New York City, teaching master classes in acting and singing.

 "It's interesting and it's fulfilling," she said.

 Minnelli said she's enjoying being the teacher because she gets "to see them respond and see them get what I'm talking about, and see it work."

As for the legacy she hopes to leave?

"I have no idea, that's up to you," she said, punctuating it with her signature laugh.

If you go...
An Evening with Liza Minnelli.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19

WHERE:  H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, Pa.

COST: Tickets cost $67 to $95

CONTACT: Call 717-477-7469 or go to


Thursday, October 11, 2012

To know Liza Minnelli is to see her live, and you can

Writing about Liza Minnelli is kind of like penning a piece on Bob Dylan; everything's been said about her, so whatever text scrolls on your computer monitor feels unimportant or nonrevelatory.
You know Liza, the singing and dancing Queen of Broadway who's Hollywood royalty as the daughter of Judy Garland. Of course, she defined the role of Sally Bowles in "Cabaret," and she might be a little bit daft or kooky, but she's an artist, and that's why we love her.
Even preparing to speak to Liza on the phone is an exercise in redundancy. I mean, outside of her position on unicorns who play basketball, is there anything she hasn't been quizzed about? Maybe the periodic table of elements.

But after a few minutes speaking with her, you realize it doesn't matter what you ask because the point isn't what she says but how she says it.
The perpetually pixie-haired cutie carries a conversation like it's a one-woman stage show.
She casually reels you in with a laid-back self-awareness and queries you about yourself. She involves you in anecdotes about her past as if you were there - even if they happened before you were conceived. She goes into dated, emphatic voices to underscore a mood or point - like taking on a gun moll's breathy attitude to preserve a secret. And she makes you feel like she's having a great time talking to you.
If Liza's Friday night show at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News is anything like her time on the phone, she's going to give the audience what it wants.
"I always think about the audience's point of view," she said. "You think about your audience and what you'd want to see if you came to see something."
Simple enough.

After a half-hour or so on the phone with Liza, you realize that's her brilliance; a simple, very modest sense of self and the world around her.
She's not an egomaniac, even though her resume is enough reason for full-blown diva monster mode. She seems to respect the people around her, particularly the people who show her respect. And she seems to live life with an easy understanding that the world is much bigger than she is.
She comes off kind of like a Zen matriarch, the Siddhartha of stage and screen. Ultimately, I think we can learn more about Liza, and her world, through her philosophical stance on life than through another treatise on her position in American entertainment.
So here are the seven Zen lessons of Liza, divined through a telephone call.
True wisdom is knowing you know nothingThough she was born into Hollywood royalty as the daughter of Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, Liza didn't take her status for granted. She wanted to study dance and acting from the ground up, starting with constructing stage scenery. "I wanted to learn everything. And I learn more every day. I'm so curious. I'm very, very lucky. I was blessed with wanting to learn from the best."

Friendship doesn't end at deathLiza's dear friend Marvin Hamlisch died in August. Rather than dwell on the darkness of the composer's death, Liza cherishes their friendship and realizes their relationship hasn't ended. "You listen to his music and you look at his arrangements, and I'll never be away from him. He's in my heart and in my ears."
When life gives you lemons, eat hamburgers."My mom was so funny. Because sometimes kids were mean in school. I'd come home and say, 'Mom, they said this and that about you.' And she said, 'Listen to me, they're going to say what they're going to say. You let them say it and then we'll go get a hamburger.' We had hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and it was wonderful."
Constant motion overcomes commotion
Rather than focus on life's unpleasant moments, Liza looks to the future. "It's just easier to move forward. If there's something you can't do anything about, just keep going."
True wisdom is knowing you know nothing, Part TwoTalking about today's pop stars' short shelf life, Liza suggests one cause: hiring yes men. "You gotta hire people who know more than you do."
Enjoy life. All of it.Asked what makes her happy, Liza has the best answer: "Dammit, practically everything."
Let the path come to youFor a woman who has done and seen so much, Liza isn't full. She's still hungry for more things to do, but "I don't know what they are right now."

Who Liza Minnelli
When 8 p.m. Friday
Where Ferguson Center for the Arts, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Newport News
Cost $67 to $147
More info 594-8752, http://ferguson

Robert Morast, 757-446-2546,

getting in character  ~ Liza won't be playing one role during her Friday night performance at the Ferguson Center for the Arts; she'll be playing several.

She says she learned early in her career that the key to singing onstage is performing each song like its own little movie, with herself in the lead role.
"I know what color hair each woman has. What she's doing right before she starts that thought. Is she looking out a window? Is she looking at the city? Or is she looking at the ocean?... So I figure it all out in acting terms first."
It's not only an arsenal of female characters.
"I do a song in my show now where I play a man.... You'll have to see it. I can't explain it."
The show will feature Liza singing classic tunes as well as newer selections from her 2010 record, "Confessions."
And if you've been following Liza's health history, you might wonder how her performances have fared since her hip surgeries.
"I can't do what I did before, but I can do some stuff I couldn't do before now," she said.
Such as?
"Oh, honey, I can swing these hips around."
- Robert Morast, The Pilot

Liza Minnelli, Tony Danza Visit Nicholas King at the Iridium

October 10, 2012; 10:10 AM - by Stephen Sorokoff

Last night, October 9, The Iriduim Jazz Club welcomed Nicholas King, winner of the 2010 Julie Wilson Award and the 2012 Bistro Award for Outstanding Performer. King voiced the character of “Oscar” in Discovery Kids’ “Kenny The Shark”, and has opened for his mentor Liza Minnelli across the US since 2006.
BroadwayWorld brings you photos from the concert below!
Nicolas King, dubbed “the precociously polished crooner” by the New York Times, has wowed audiences for six months at The Iridium NYC, as he jammed with Terese Genecco and her Little Big Band, as a featured guest vocalist, while simultaneously presenting critically-acclaimed solo performances at Don’t Tell Mama and Metropolitan Room. The star-studded audiences were filled with the likes of Liza Minnelli, Gina Lollobrigida, Marylin Maye and Andrea McArdle, to name-drop a few. As a long-time friend of Liza’s, Nicolas received her behind-the-scenes guidance and was asked by Liza to perform along with her for her upcoming engagements at Westbury Music Fair and at the new Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (formerly The Las Vegas Hilton). On Oct 9th at 8pm (ONE SHOW ONLY!), Nicolas King returns to The Iridium NYC, under the musical baton of legendary Mike Renzi and the Mike Renzi Trio. The show will deliver Broadway ballads, swinging favorites and, of course, selections from the Great American Songbook, that belie his tender age of 21, and is a not-to-be missed performance. Don’t miss the singer Bloomberg Radio calls their “candidate for super-stardom [in] this decade!”
Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Liza Minnelli brings her 'Confessions' tour to the Ferguson Center Friday, Oct. 12th.

October 07, 2012|By David Nicholson, | 757-247-4794
Liza Minnelli has a cure for stage fright: surround yourself with talent.
"The greatest gift I got from my parents was the ability to recognize talented people," said Minnelli in a recent telephone interview. The legendary performer brings her "Confessions" tour to the Ferguson Center for the Arts on Friday, Oct. 12.
Surrounding herself with talented people came easily to a woman who grew up with equally famous parents — singer Judy Garland and film director Vincent Minnelli — who prepared her in many ways for an entertainer's life. And her godfather, lyricist Ira Gershwin, instilled in her a love for lyrics and classic songs.
The title of her tour is based on the "Confessions" CD she released in 2010. It was her first studio recording in 15 years and in some ways was inspired by her years growing up around the family piano.
"When I was a kid, my father would always play music in the house," Minnelli told USA Today when "Confessions" was first released. "And I'd sit at the piano at my mother's parties or go to my godfather's house. That's how I first fell in love with songs, with lyrics."
Many of the songs on "Confessions" have a dreamy, romantic quality about them, the kind of song you'd hear at a piano bar late at night. When Minnelli was recovering from knee surgery, she got together with her long-time arranger, Billy Stritch, and recorded them. The songbook includes "He's a Tramp" by Sonny Burke and Peggy Lee, "Here I'll Stay" by Kurt Weill and Alan Jay Lerner, and "You Fascinate Me So" by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh.
Minnelli's upcoming concert should be a little more low-key than her last visit to Hampton Roads, when she opened the Virginia Arts Festival season in 2010. She's bringing a smaller ensemble orchestra, and the material from "Confessions" has more of a cabaret feel about it.
"It's a smaller show with a six-piece orchestra," says Minnelli. "It's the most intimate show I've done in a while."
But at her recent concerts in South America — she played Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Rio — she also performed several of her signature tunes such as "Cabaret" and "New York New York."
Her constant companion, and the man who accompanies all of her appearances, is pianist/arranger Stritch. She first heard him at a piano bar in New York.
"Billy was playing at a place called Don't Tell Mama," she recalls. "His chords were brilliant. I walked up to him and said, "My name is Liza Minnelli...would you come with me for the rest of my life?'"
A man who had an even longer musical association with Minnelli was composer/arranger Marvin Hamlisch. She took especially hard his sudden death in August at age 68.
"It's such a shock that he joined the choir," she says. "We were pals, and he was so funny. Sometimes we would just go out and laugh. There was no one like him."
Hamlisch was the musical director of a series of 24 sold-out concerts she gave at the Winter Garden theater in New York in 1974. The event followed a remarkable 1973 when she had won an Oscar for the film, "Cabaret," and an Emmy for her TV special, "Liza With a Z."

The Winter Garden concerts were recorded and released, but the recording had be withdrawn. Minnelli had included songs from "Cabaret" and she ran into contractual problems because those songs also appeared on film score release. The concert recording, "Legends of Broadway: Liza Minnelli Live at the Winter Garden," was finally released earlier this year.
In addition to Hamlisch, the "talent" that surrounded Minnelli on that occasion included choreographer Bob Fosse, and the composer-lyricist team John Kander and Fred Ebb.
"Was I scared on opening night — not at all!" Minnelli says emphatically. "I had all these wonderful people around me."
Want to go?What: Liza Minnelli
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12
Where: Ferguson Center for the Arts, Christopher Newport University, Newport News
Tickets: $67-$147 available online at

Friday, October 5, 2012

Liza Minnelli brings 'Confessions' to Luhrs Center Oct 19th.