Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

At the Casinos: Liza says, 'it's a big surprise, kids'

Liza Minnelli appears July 24, 2015, at IP Biloxi. (Ruven Afandor photo courtesy of Scott Gorenstein)
By Lawrence Specker | 
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on July 13, 2015 at 12:55 PM, updated July 13, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Few artists have lived their entire lives in the spotlight to the extent that Liza Minnelli has. Yet she insists she intends to bring an element of surprise to her upcoming appearance in Biloxi.
Minnelli, 69, was born into the business as the daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. By her mid-teens she'd already begun a career that would bring her multiple Tony and Golden Globe Awards plus an Oscar, a Grammy and an Emmy. Relatively recent credits include appearances in "Arrested Development" and "Sex and the City 2" and the 2010 album "Confessions."
There have been some high-profile setbacks as well. A 2000 bout of encephalitis threatened the end of her career, and addiction issues resurfaced earlier this year, when she spent a period in rehab. All in all, it seems as if her life has been so public that few surprises could remain.
Just don't try telling her that.
"Well, I try and do the things that people like. Like 'New York, New York' and 'Cabaret' ... But I also try to put in things that I know people there haven't heard," she said in a phone interview ahead of the Biloxi show. "So it's a big surprise, kids. I'm excited about coming."
The appearance takes place Friday, July 24 at IP Casino, Resort & Spa. It will be her first show in more than year, and one of only a few planned for the remainder of 2016. As of Monday afternoon, Ticketmaster warned that only a few seats remained available.
Minnelli said she still studies other artists, looking to learn new lessons about the art of performance. So, in her opinion, who should a young aspiring star study? She had a ready answer.
"Me!" she exclaimed, with a laugh. She added: "There's so many people I admire. It's hard to say. It really is. It classifies people and I don't want to do that, ever."
Minnelli said she strives for a direct approach on stage.
"You see me. I don't change on stage or off," she said. The kind of relationship she wants with her audience is "One that's normal. Like with my friends and teachers and all the wonderful people that I know. ... Dean Martin, believe it or not, was very normal. He'd get on stage and he was sort of the same.
"I'm trying to add a little more hopeful side. I mean the songs I choose," she said. "I try and go from what I've learned, and also what I'd like to hear, what I enjoy. New things and old things. ... I like to sing something that makes you feel slightly different when you walk out. Happier, and satisfied." 

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