By Everett Evans | November 8, 2012 | Updated: November 8, 2012 10:28pmEveryone knows Liza Minnelli is a legend. But did you know she's now also a landmark?
No kidding, the New York Landmarks Conservancy this very month has declared Minnelli a living landmark. True, the honor has been bestowed upon a number of theater greats, but it does underscore Minnelli's iconic status. Call her legend, landmark or just plain Liza, she will perform Saturday at Galveston's Grand 1894 Opera House.
Her "Confessions" show takes its title from her well-received 2010 CD, a change of pace that showcased a gentler Minnelli in intimate renditions of her personal favorites, songs not previously associated with her. But she confides she'll make room for the signature numbers fans expect to hear.
With this year's 40th anniversary of the release of "Cabaret" and her "Live at the Winter Garden" concert just released on CD for the first time, many fans are looking back to the star's 1970s salad days. Yet however grateful for those times, Minnelli says she's most concerned with the here and now.
Q: Can you single out the proudest achievement of your career - the show or film that was most satisfying to do?
A: I always look forward to the next thing. I look forward to the Galveston date.
A: I hope they can expect a good show!
Q: One of the qualities most remarked upon throughout your career has been your dynamism, your way of giving 1,000 percent at every show. What's the secret to that?
A: Imagine that you have 2,000 people looking at you. You'd be energized, too, and want to do your best. It's called "Deliver!" That is my job, and I chose it, and I love to do it. And I sure don't want to disappoint anyone who's come out to see me. Whenever I go out onstage, I pretend I am in front of a big V. And standing behind me are my parents, and Fred and John, and Marvin (Hamlisch) and Bob (Fosse) - and really an army of all the people who have believed in me and helped me and been my friend. So I am never, never out there alone.
Q: Given your parentage and the environment of your early years, is there any way that you would not have gone into show business?
A: At one time, I wanted to be an ice skater.
Q: But that's performing, too, isn't it? Many people with legendary parents never quite emerge from their shadows. How did you manage it?
A: I learned the craft from the bottom. When I started as a teenager, I worked at everything, including hanging lights and scenery. This has always been something I was doing because I loved it. I grew up with this and, you know, I like to learn. And early on, I had the good fortune to meet these terrific people, like John and Fred, Bob Fosse and Marvin Hamlisch - people who influenced me and shaped my career. I looked for the best and tried to figure out how to work with them.
Q: I was very moved by "Minnelli on Minnelli," your 1999 Broadway show in tribute to your father. Do you feel a responsibility to the legacy of your parents?
A: It's not that I feel a responsibility. It's more like, "Man, you don't want to miss this, this was great!" I've always said my mother gave me my drive, and my father gave me my dreams. I never wanted to use them. If I did it, I wanted to do it myself and make them proud of me. That was a promise I made to both of them.
Q: You got a lot of attention for your cameo in "Sex and the City 2," doing Beyoncé's "Single Ladies."
A: That was fun. When I was asked to do it, I said, "Terrific." I know everybody in the cast, and I respect Beyoncé. We got Ron Lewis, whom I've worked with on several shows, to choreograph it. He included her (Beyoncé's) most famous moves but made them fit me.
Q: I understand "Arrested Development" is coming back, and you'll be back in your recurring role as Lucille Austere.
A: I love the whole cast, and Mitchell (Hurwitz, the series' creator) is dead wonderful. We've made some new episodes for Netflix already, and I'll be doing more when I go back after my tour dates.
Q: What keeps you going?
A: Health. Going to dance class every day. If you are a performer, you are an athlete. You have to keep up. I think back on all I've learned - that it's all been so interesting and exciting. Mostly, what I feel is a lot of gratitude. But, going forward, the most important thing to have is curiosity. What is happening now and what's next. And I'm a great audience. I go to see a lot of people, and I love to find new talent and help support it. (She gave major early boosts to the careers of Michael Feinstein and Billy Stritch.) Lately, I'm a big fan of a young singer and pianist named Nicholas King. He's really good, and he's serious about it and wants to learn. That's what I admire. When somebody doesn't just want to be a star, they want to do it well and have fun doing it.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Grand 1894 Opera House, 2020 Postoffice, Galveston
Tickets: $45-$185; 800-821-1894
Liza Minnelli at a glance
Liza Minnelli has been showbiz royalty from her birth - to mother Judy Garland, still regarded as one of the most electrifying entertainers of all time, and father, Vincente Minnelli, famed director of such classic films as "An American in Paris," "The Band Wagon" and "Gigi."
Yet Minnelli made it big on her own. She apprenticed in summer stock, made her off-Broadway debut at 17 in a 1963 revival of "Best Foot Forward" and two years later won her first Tony for her Broadway debut in "Flora the Red Menace." It was also the Broadway debut of John Kander and Fred Ebb and the beginning of the brilliant writing team's long and fruitful collaboration with Minnelli.
The rest is showbiz history, from her first Oscar nomination for "The Sterile Cuckoo" to her win for "Cabaret," other movies including "Arthur" and "New York, New York," such Broadway shows as "The Act" and "The Rink," and celebrated concerts at the Winter Garden, Carnegie Hall and Radio City. Along the way, she's also won four Tonys, two Golden Globes, an Emmy and a Grammy Legend Award.