Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

LIZA UPDATES! Liza Minnelli returns to London Palladium in September

An Intimate Evening with Liza Minnelli will also play venues in Sheffield and Glasgow
Liza Minnelli is returning to the UK later this year for a series of on-stage interviews, including a date at the London Palladium.
An Intimate Evening with Liza Minnelli opens at the Palladium, where the Cabaret star will be inducted into the venue's hall of fame, on 20 September 2015.
Minnelli will subsequently visit Sheffield City Hall on 22 September and the Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow on 24 September.
The show will see Minnelli interviewed for 90 minutes on stage about her life and career, encompassing her Hollywood childhood as the daughter of Judy Garland through her own stage and screen successes.
It will culminate in a selection of songs accompanied by Minnelli's long-time musical director Billy Stritch, plus a Q&A with the audience.
Minnelli has a long association with the Palladium stretching back to 1964 when she joined her mother in concert. She performed solo concerts at the venue in 1973, 1978 and 1986.
She said: "I'm always so excited to return to Britain, which I've considered to be a second home for many years. I have so many friends there and I look forward to being back again for these special intimate evenings."
An Intimate Evening with Liza Minnelli is presented by Rocco Buonvino, who was behind similar events featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
  • Cabaret superstar to appear at the Sheffield City Hall
  • Intimate evening to take place on Tuesday, September 22

Cabaret superstar Liza Minnelli is coming to Sheffield for an intimate evening of chat and performance in association with our own WOW247 entertainments brand.

Promoter Rocco Buonvino, who teamed up with us as official meda partner to bring Sylvester Stallone, promised more Hollywood greats.
An Intimate Evening with Liza Minnelli will be held at Sheffield City Hall on Tuesday, September 22.
She will also perform at the London Palladium - where she will be inducted into its hall of fame - on Sunday, September 20. Her only other date is Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, on Thursday, September 24.
Tickets are expected to sell out fast when they go on sale tomorrow, Friday, May 29.
Unlike her concerts, Minnelli will be interviewed for 90 minutes live on stage talking about her extraordinary career, from growing up in Hollywood to the present day. The daughter of Hollywood royalty Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, she grew up surrounded by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

The evening will end will a few intimate songs, with the 69 year old accompanied by her long time musical director and pianist Billy Stritch, plus a Q&A session with her fans in the audience.
Her songbook includes the likes of Cabaret, Money Money and Liza with a Z.
Considered both as an American and gay icon, she is of course best known for her portrayal of Sally Bowles in the 1972 musical film Cabaret, which won her an Oscar for Best Actress.
Minnelli, speaking exclusively ahead of the shows in association with WOW247, said: “I’m always so excited to return to Britain, which I’ve considered to be a second home for many years.
“I have so many friends there and I look forward to being back again for these special intimate evenings.
“Whenever I do concerts people always say they want to hear about me growing up, being on Broadway, in the movies, the people I’ve met and worked with... so this will give me a chance to share a lot more of those stories. I can’t wait to see you all again!”
She had the original hit with New York, New York, as the title from her movie with Robert De Niro in 1977, two years before Sinatra made it his signature song and later duetted it with her many times live on stage.
Switching between old school and contemporary pop in the late 1980s, she toured The Ultimate Event with Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr, including an appearance at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1989 and recorded the pop album Results produced by British duo Pet Shop Boys. Many of her albums are live records.

I’m always so excited to return to Britain, which I’ve considered to be a second home for many years.

Liza Minnelli
She has also racked up Tony Awards, a special “Legends” Grammy, two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy.
Other major film roles saw her appear opposite Dudley Moore in 1981’s comedy Arthur and 1988 sequel Arthur 2: On the Rocks, as well as 1991 musical drama Stepping Out. She also recently made an appearance as herself in the movie Sex and the City 2.
There have been highs and lows over the years, including four husbands, rehab visits, health scares and incredible comebacks - not least of all when she was hospitalised with viral encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, and told she would never walk, talk, dance or sing again. But Minnelli’s incredible will, determination and relentless hard work proved the doctors wrong.
Promoter Rocco said: “This is another amazing opportunity for us to bring one of the world’s greatest living legends to London, Sheffield and Glasgow for an incredible, unique night of entertainment, in association with WOW247.
“Liza has so many stories to tell about her family, the huge names she grew up calling friends and her own incredible career, not last of all the Oscar winning performance she gave in Cabaret.”
An Intimate Evening with Liza Minnelli will be her fifth engagement at the London Palladium – her first was in 1964 when she joined her mother for two sold out special concerts. She also appeared there in solo concert runs in 1973, 1978 and 1986.
To celebrate this, she will be inducted into the London Palladium Hall of Fame - her photo will be hung next to her mother and alongside Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin and the other American stars that have performed at the venue from the 1950s to the present day.
* Tickets for all three shows are on sale from Friday, May 29. Sheffield prices from £45 to £120, with limited number of backstage photo upgrades available at £250. Buy in person at the box office, call 0114 278 9789 or visit
London prices are £65 to £175 and Glasgow is £65 to £90. Photo upgrdes also available.
For tickets for the Glasgow event visit, or call: 0844 395 4000
For further event details visit

Monday, May 25, 2015

Read the Original 1984 Interview with Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera in Rehearsals for The Rink!
By Harry Haun
23 May 2015 digs into its archives to explore past articles. This original interview, "Two Ringers In The Rink," was published in the February 1984 edition of Playbill Magazine. Take a trip back in time and find out how a legendary Kander and Ebb musical was born.
Two daughters hath Chita Rivera: Lisa with an S, and Liza with a Z.
Lisa with an S is Mordente, born in 1958, about the time Mom and Dad were doing fine in West Side Story(Chita was Anita, and Tony Mordente was A-Rab; they got married, and pregnant, just before the show bowed on Broadway). Now, Lisa Mordente has grown up and already starred in a revival of–you guessed it–West Side Story.

Liza with a Z, who hails from the multitalented House of Minnelli, is a relatively recent addition to Casa de Rivera. Only in the past few months have these two former Chicago cellmates been able to get The Rink, their turbulent family act, together–and into workshop–and through rehearsal–and, now, onto Broadway.

t has to be said that Jules Fisher, the man who lit Chicago and is now producing/igniting The Rink, is pretty pleased with himself about his powderkeg casting. Two more potent doses of Showbiz Concentrate can't be had for love or money. It's stage royalty meeting screen royalty, and the kinetic energy is kinda awesome.
And still he's cautious. "When you read in the paper 'Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli in The Rink'," Fisher says, "there's a certain expectation that comes to mind: you normally expect a glitzy Broadway musical with spangles and beads because that's what they've done most of their careers–but that's not our show, so, in a sense, I'm trying to change the audience's expectations. I don't want the audience to come and think they're going to see an evening of roller-skating. I'm very cautious of that in the advertising, the posters, the art work, all that kind of stuff."
The Rink has been in the works almost as long as people have been saying, "Why doesn't somebody write a show for Chita Rivera?"–almost, but not quite–and, since 1979, playwright Terrence McNally and songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb have been applying themselves to just such a task, setting to music a stormy mother-daughter, love-hate, push-pull relationship and plopping it down in a dilapidated old roller rink which has been earmarked for demolishing; amid the ruins of this symbolic arena, the mother-and-daughter owners of the joint hammer away fiercely at the remnants of their relationship.
This month at the Martin Beck–with A. J. Antoon (who usually fine-tunes dramas like That Championship Season) serving as director/referee–the four-year-old labors of these three music-men are finally coming to fruition, ironically enough, just as mother-daughter conflicts are coming to fashion (The Glass Menagerie and 'night, Mother onstage, "Terms of Endearment" and "Entre Nous" on screen).
With The Rink, there's not a tassel or bauble on the premises; this is a different kind of lightning striking than these stars are used to. "The greatest satisfaction I've had with this show," Fisher confesses, "is to go from having faith in the piece when I first read it to seeing the dimensions these two ladies have brought it. I never expected the depths of feeling they've given it. I think people will be extremely surprised by the acting. There's real acting which you don't see much in musicals. Most acting in musicals is so surface it can be expressed in a single line, but this gets richer and richer as the evening goes on because the more facts are uncovered, the more meaning the drama has. I think people will be moved by it, that they'll come out of the theatre feeling better than when they went in, for some reason."

The Rink may have been erected to Chita Rivera specifications, but the late-blooming notion of Liza for the daughter role was strictly creative afterthought. "There was a question we kept asking ourselves," rationalizes Fisher. "'If a woman walked into the audition who acted as well as Liza does and looked visually like Liza does, would we hire her?' The answer, of course, is yes. She is so perfect for the part, anyway, it didn't have to be altered to fit her. She Is That Character. She's exactly the right age, and she personally knows the problems of a mother-daughter struggle. That's one of the resources Liza's using to act this piece. Her acting instincts are more intuitive than trained, and she and Chita work marvelously together."
This, you can sense, is a love match of long standing. Liza herself tracks it back to early '61: "Chita was the first person I ever saw on Broadway, and, in Bye Bye Birdie, she's the one who made me decide what I wanted to do. I thought, 'Oh, I'd like to do that.' It was so immediate. It wasn't like the movies; it had nothing to do with what my parents did, and it looked so exciting."
In 1975, through some kind of accident of the gods, these two theatrical dynamos struck sparks on the same stage–in Chicago, when Liza subbed five weeks for ailing Gwen Verdon–and it was then she and Chita were, as she says, "joined at the hip." Ever since, they've been looking for another excuse to co-star.
If The Rink answers that dream, then Liza deserves a little credit for letting the dream happen. One day, over lunch, she not-so-innocently asked Chita if the daughter part had been cast yet. It hadn't, so Liza pressed on. "'Now look," I told her, 'I haven't asked anybody else, but it's your show, and I wanted to ask you first: what do you think if I played the  daughter?' She went right through the ceiling. 'Stop right there!' she said. 'Don't do this to me! Don't dangle a little jewel in front of my nose like that! It's not fair. Now you know you can't do this. You've got other things to do. It's not going to happen. I'll get all excited, and then I'll get disappointed again.' Adamant. So I said, 'Well, may I ask Fred?' She said okay, and I went to Fred Ebb. Same song, second verse: 'Don't say that! I'm going to get all excited and disappointed.'"

Liza's powers of persuasion, when put to the test, are no match for anybody born of woman: she talked herself into the show. "This is something I really wanted to do," she readily admits. "I wanted to work with Chita again. I wanted to work with somebody on a stage instead of carrying around a vehicle. When you're doing concerts, even if you have 12 musicians who are right with you in everything, you're still alone out there. There's no give and take. Working with Chita – I mean, what we get out of each other is extraordinary. Nobody knows she can what she's doing in this show, and they've forgotten I can do it. First and foremost, I'm an actress–and I always have been. There's not one sequin, they's not one eyelash, it's all the way back to "Sterile Cuckoo" basics. I understand this role very well, although, in a way, I never got a chance to go through that with my own mother. She died before we could. But all mothers and daughters are alike, really. It doesn't matter if your mother is a famous film star or runs a roller rink. You still go through the same pull and tug."
How much real-life can Chita draw for the mother role? "I think all," she declares at point-blank range. "I think the times when I get disappointed and angry with my daughter–which, in the show, is a lot–I can probably go back in my own head and get some of the anger that I don't let out with my own daughter. That's what you do, anyhow. You use your past experiences and feelings."
"It's interesting: I have a daughter, and Liza's mother was so famous. For years when she was young–and, thank God, they've dropped this–she was known as Judy's daughter. Now, she's Liza–she's finally Liza–and my daughter is one of Liza's very closest friends, if not her best friend. It's all kind of a family with us, smoldering with mother-daughter feelings."
"When we did our workshop, it was fabulous to see the men so moved. It's not a women's show, by any means. It's a people's show. It's about the problems between relationships. There's a quintet in the show, and the words–to sing my part of it is very moving. I have to fight. I haven't had this feeling since West Side Story. It's very difficult to be deeply in emotion, even though you feel you control it, and then to have to sing. It's hard."

Chita started in musical comedy in 1952, knowing no fear, secure in the scholarship she had won to the American School of Ballet, a bit haughty about accompanying a less-fortunate classmate who had to take an audition for a Broadway show. That's how Chita wound up on the road in Call Me Madam and the friend wound up with zip. "This is the terrible thing about fear. It just holds you back. I had no intention of taking that job. I didn't need it, I didn't want it, and I got it."
After that came the wearing rounds of audition eliminations, like the ones in A Chorus Line"That used to be my whole life. When I went out for Can-Can, they were auditioning 250 people at one time for one role. I still claim that this is what makes you strong. Too many people give up because they feel somebody's hit them too hard, somebody who couldn't shine their shoes. Creative people are sensitive. Otherwise, they can't feel, and they can't show you your own feelings."
"I really don't enjoy being onstage alone. I would rather have people out there with me. I have a better time. I can relate to them. They give back. You have to believe that the play is bigger than you, that you can't do anything alone. Not really."
Be that as it may, Rivera et Minnelli both have their own little niches in Tony Award history. At 19, Liza became–and remains–the youngest actress ever to win the prize (for Flora, the Red Menace in 1965); and her reputation has grown in at least one more statue (for The Act of 1977). Both shows were scored by her current musical mentor, Kander & Ebb, who, in the interim, dashed of a little number called "New York, New York" to keep her happy. (The three are very close friends, and it's likely Liza'll do the movie version of their Chicago.) Sometimes Liza doesn't even need to be nominated to win a Tony (witness the honorary she got because her one-woman show broke the Winter Garden house record in 1973). Three for two is pretty good hitting in anybody's book.

When this little statistic is dropped on Chita, hew jaw plummets and her left eyelid slides to half-mast where it goes into a kind of St. Vitus Dance. She is Tony's eternal also-ran – having come home empty-handed all four times at bat: Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago,Bring Back Birdie and Merlin–and this is just a little funny face she likes to put on whenever the subject of Tony strike-outs rears its ungallant head. Is she blue? Not a bit, thanks to classic sketch (sort of the Do's and Don'ts of Tony-Losing) in the classy night club act Kander & Ebb concocted for her when they weren't otherwise engaged with Zorba or Woman of the Year
"I like Kander & Ebb more than other songwriters I've worked with. I have special material in my act that I think is just unbeatable, just as Liza does, just as Joel Grey does. You can't beat Liza with a Z–I mean, that's so on the nose–and you can't beat the Tony-nomination song they did for me. It is so funny because it is so honest. Sometimes I think that I'd rather not have an award. I can get more out of this material than I could out of an award."
Should The Rink connect as hoped, this could well spell the end of a beautiful bit-of-business Just in case, better prepare to retire that routine, Chita, with one big send-off in late spring–say, just before somebody opens the envelope and says that the nominees for Best Actress in a Musical are...
Think Rink, girls!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Liza Minnelli hangs with The Rolling Stones
Ian Mahr
Liza Minnelli and Ronnie Wood

Don’t be surprised if Liza Minnelli pops up with a VIP badge at a Rolling Stones gig this summer.
The “Cabaret” Oscar winner was seen bonding with the band’s Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood at Catalina Jazz Club in LA on Sunday night.
The trio of legends were there to see Lisa Fischer, a singer who’s toured with the Stones as well as Stingand Nine Inch Nails.
“After the show, Watts, Wood and Minnelli were comparing notes on rehearsing,” said a music spy.
The Stones are gearing up to go on a North American summer tour, and Minnelli’s prepping a fall concert called “Great Day.”
Minnelli is doing well after her most recent round in rehab — where Wood has reportedly been eight times.
 Photo: Amanda Schwab/Starpix