Liza News


February 23, 2012:

  • Liza Minnelli Out Of Cleveland (via TV Guide
    Health issues have caused music legend Liza Minnelli to cancel her shoot next week on the set of TV Land's Hot in Cleveland. Liza, who turns 66 on March 12, had been scheduled to fly from her East Coast home base to Los Angeles, but is suddenly unable to travel.
    While the episode will still be shot with a new actress in the role of Jacki, the eccentric agent of Wendie Malick's Victoria Chase, a rep for Liza says she is hoping to make a future appearance on the show, as she is a fan.
    Casting directors are madly trying to fill the vacancy. Who can you possibly get to replace the great Liza Minnelli? Debbie Reynolds? Carrie Fisher? Joan Collins? Or how about Shirley MacLaine? (Yes, I realize I just listed off the entire surviving cast of the 2001 TV movie bomb These Old Broads.)
    Following a recent X-ray, her doctor has advised her to stay off her ankle until it heals more completely.

     

  • Liza Minnelli Jazzes It Up (via Montreal Gazette)
    Liza Minnelli is among the big names in a new wave of concerts announced Wednesday by organizers of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Broadway and film buffs, fans of Arrested Development and devotees of oldschool showbiz won't want to miss the diva's July 5 performance at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier of Place des Arts. Singer-songwriter Melody Gardot, a festival favourite, will appear at the same venue June 29.
    Spectrum Road, a bona fide supergroup consisting of Jack Bruce, one of rock's most influential bassists, guitarist Vernon Reid, John Medeski on keyboards and drummer Cindy Blackman, will be at Théâtre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts June 28. The all-star band came together out of admiration for the late, great jazz drummer Tony Williams.
    Metropolis will host shows by dynamic singer and dancer Lila Downs (June 30) and Montreal's Barr Brothers (July 1). Accordionist Richard Galliano will be joined by a string section as he pays tribute to masters from Bach to Astor Piazzolla, June 28 at the Maison symphonique.
    Speaking of string sections, the Harlem String Quartet will join legendary bassist Stanley Clarke June 29 at Théâtre Jean Duceppe of Place des Arts as part of the Clarke-hosted Invitation series. An acoustic show with high-energy pianist Hiromi (June 28) and a concert by the jazz-fusion Stanley Clarke Band (July 1), both at the same venue, will also be part of the series. A bass summit at Théâtre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts, with Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten (June 30), will make it four shows.
    The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith: The Devil's Music pays tribute to the beloved blues singer. From July 2 to 7 at Cinquième Salle of Place des Arts, Miche Braden will bring Smith to life in what is described as something between a one-woman show and a musical.
    Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. For Place des Arts and Maison symphonique concerts, phone 514-842-2112 or go to pda.qc.ca. Tickets for Metropolis shows can be purchased by calling 514-790-1245 or by visiting www.admission.com. A pre-sale for subscribers to Spectra's Infolettre starts Thursday.
    For further details and ticket prices, call 514-871-1881 or visit www.montrealjazzfest.com.

     

  • Montreal International Jazz Festival 2012: another wave of concert announcements (via Montreal Gazette
    Liza Minnelli is among the big names in a new wave of concerts announced Wednesday by organizers of the 2012 Montreal International Jazz Festival.
    Cult followers, Broadway and film buffs, fans of Arrested Development and devotees of old-school showbiz won’t want to miss the diva’s July 5 performance at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier of Place des Arts.
    Singer-songwriter Melody Gardot, a festival favourite, will appear at the same venue June 29. Spectrum Road, a bona fide supergroup consisting of Jack Bruce, one of rock’s most influential bass players, guitarist Vernon Reid, John Medeski on keyboards and drummer Cindy Blackman, will be at Theatre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts June 28. The all-star band came together out of admiration for the late, great jazz drummer Tony Williams.
    The Metropolis will host shows by the dynamic singer and dancer Lila Downs (June 30) and the Barr Brothers (July 1). Buzz for the Montreal group has been growing at such a steady rate over the past year that it’s hard to predict how long they’ll be playing clubs.
    Accordionist Richard Galliano will be joined by a string section as he pays tribute to masters from Bach to Astor Piazzolla. That show will take place June 28 at the Maison symphonique de Montreal.
    Speaking of string sections, the Harlem String Quartet will join legendary bassist Stanley Clarke June 29 at Theatre Jean-Duceppe of Place des Arts as part of the Clarke-hosted Invitation series. An acoustic show with the high-energy pianist Hiromi (June 28) and a concert by the jazz-fusion Stanley Clarke Band (July 1), both at the same venue, will also be part of the always-exciting series. A bass summit at Theatre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts, with Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten (June 30), will make it four shows.
    The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith: The Devil’s Music pays tribute to the beloved blues singer. From July 2 to 7 at the Cinquieme Salle of Place des Arts, Miche Braden will bring Smith to life in what is described as something between a one-woman show and a musical.
    Tickets go on sale Saturday, Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Metropolis box office. For Place des Arts and Maison symphonique concerts, phone 514-842-2112 or go to laplacedesarts.com. Tickets for all other shows can be purchased by phoning 514-790-1245 or by visiting admission.com.
    A special pre-sale for subscribers to Spectra’s Infolettre starts Thursday, Feb. 9.
    For further details and ticket prices, go to montrealjazzfest.com or phone 514-871-1881.

     

  • Silent Power (via NY Post)
    Liza Minnelli didn’t even have to show up at the Drama League gala to steal the show. This was no small feat considering Thursday’s lineup included Joel Grey, Nick Jonas, Cheyenne Jackson and honoree Kristin Chenoweth. A private dinner with Minnelli at SD26 was on the silent auction block and fetched a plucked eyebrow-raising $16,500 — the highest bid in the organization’s history. Liza’s big-spending dining companion’s identity is being kept secret.

     

  • Reactions to Whitney Houston's Death (via The Christian Science Monitor)
    "My friend Whitney sang better than anyone. She was magnificent. She gave us everything she had. May she rest in peace and may we let her memory rest in peace." – Liza Minnelli

     

  • SCA to present emerging young artists scholarship (via Shoreline Plus
    Stamford Center for the Arts announced a newly created scholarship opportunity for a talented vocalist, Stamford Center for the Arts will award its third Annual Emerging Young Artist Scholarship Award, in honor of Diana Ross on March 30, 2012 at SCA’s Gala starring Liza Minnelli. The recipient of this award will receive a $2,000 scholarship to pursue his/her musical education.
    The criteria and audition process for the scholarship is outlined on SCA’s website at www.scalive.org; go to the Scholarship tab on the home page or go to our Facebook page and click on the Scholarship Information tab on the left hand side. The audition is open to all high school students, grades nine through twelve, who live in Fairfield County, CT. The deadline to submit the completed audition form, resume and CD is February 27, 2012.
    Last year’s recipient of the Annual Emerging Young Artist Scholarship Award was Danny Pravder, an outstanding young jazz pianist from Staples High School in Westport who received the scholarship in Dave Brubeck’s name at last year’s Diana Ross Gala Concert. This season Danny has been featured at two performances on The Palace Stage.
    The Emerging Young Artist Scholarship is integral to SCA’s Arts Education program. “Arts in Education will continue to be one of the driving forces of the institution as we move forward,” said SCA Executive Director, Elissa Getto. “We are able to capitalize on the momentum created through our past programs and continue to develop and offer some truly unique experiences for our youth this year.”

    February 11, 2012:

  • Jay-Z and Liza Minnelli Met IRL and Someone Took a Picture Of It (via MTV)

    Liza Minnelli & Jay-Z
    Liza Minnelli poses with Jay-Z at his benefit concert at NYC's Carnegie Hall

    Here's something to cross off your bucket list: See a WTF photo of hip-hop star Jay-Z and LEGENDARY ICON Liza Minnelli standing next to one another, touching and smiling. Yes, this actually happened on Earth last night -- more specifically, it happened at Jay-Z's Carnegie Hall concert benefiting the United Way of New York City and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, the one event we didn't get invited to. (Maybe it was a mail-merge problem? We'll trust that it wasn't human error.)
    Listen, guys, no matter how many times you spill coffee on your new white button-down or get called a "broke-ass Courtney Love" by a homeless person, sometimes you just need to stop, smell the roses and realize that a lot of really cool things can happen in life. Just like this magical day when "Arrested Development"'s very own Lucille 2 posed with the original H-to-the-Izzo, maybe you'll find yourself in an equally bizarre/insanely cool scenario one day. Go U.S.A.!

     

  • Jay-Z and Liza Shine at Carnegie (via New York Post Page Six)
    Liza Minnelli played unofficial emcee Monday night at Jay-Z’s show-stopping Carnegie Hall benefit. After walking the red carpet in a cleavage-baring black gown, diamond necklace and full-length fur, the “Cabaret” diva was spotted walking to the concert hall’s stage before Jay began his show, waving to the crowd and calling out, “Hello, New York!” spies tell us. Minnelli was also photographed backstage with Jay-Z (left), impeccably dressed in a white dinner jacket and sunglasses. Nas and Alicia Keys also guest-starred during the landmark concert, the first solo rap performance at Carnegie Hall. Jay unexpectedly thrilled some fans towards the finale by disappearing backstage, then reappearing up in their balcony box. “There were these two banker-looking dudes who Jay just kept pointing to all night, feeling their energy,” said a source close to the rapper. “So he just went up there. They were freaking out.” After performing a medley of hits while standing on a seat, Jay attempted to climb outside the box to the next level of the hall. But the feat for the proud new dad proved too perilous and he headed back down to the stage for a safer sign-off. The rapper later joined wife Beyoncé and well-wishers at his 40/40 Club after-party.

     

  • Liza Minnelli Gets A Shout-Out From Jay-Z During Carnegie Hall Concert (via The Inquisitr)
    Last night Jay-Z went to Carnegie Hall to perform a concert benefiting the United Way of New York City and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. Hova was joined by Alicia Keys, Nas, and a 36-piece orchestra on stage. And back stage, he was joined by Liza Minnelli.
    Jay-Z gave the legendary actress a shout out during the show, saying:
         “I’d like to give a special shout-out to Liza Minnelli in the house tonight.”
    The two even posed for a picture together.
    But Liza Minnelli wasn’t the only big name in the house. C.C. Sebathia was in the crowd, Questlove of the Roots was on the stage, and as the Inquisitr reported earlier, Beyonce made her first post-baby appearance at Carnegie Hall last night. (You can see photos here.) It’s not clear if little Blue Ivy attended the concert with her mother, but Jay-Z did perform his tribute to his baby girl.

     

  • Liza Minnelli 'emcee for Jay-Z' (via Yahoo! OMG Philippenes)

    Liza Minnelli at Jay-Z's concert at Carnegie Hall

    Liza Minnelli acted as “unofficial emcee” at Jay-Z’s benefit show on Monday night.
    The rapper performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and Liza was also in attendance. The legendary actress-and-singer caused a stir as she arrived on the red carpet in a full-length fur coat, revealing black dress and impressive diamond necklace.
    She then helped to warm up the crowd inside the venue, before Jay-Z took to the stage.
    “Liza Minnelli played unofficial emcee Monday night at Jay-Z’s show-stopping Carnegie Hall benefit,” reports New York Post. “The Cabaret diva was spotted walking to the concert hall’s stage before Jay began his show, waving to the crowd and calling out, ‘Hello, New York!’”
    Liza and Jay-Z were also spotted backstage as they posed for a photograph together.
    The rapper’s wife Beyoncé Knowles made her first post-pregnancy appearance to support him on Monday.
    Jay-Z ensured it would be a night to remember by performing with Alicia Keys and also giving a rendition of Glory – the song he wrote for his new baby daughter Blue Ivy.
    The star had spotted some fans cheering enthusiastically throughout the concert, so decided to surprise them by going up to their balcony box to see them.
    “There were these two banker-looking dudes who Jay just kept pointing to all night, feeling their energy,” a source told the publication. “So he just went up there. They were freaking out.”
    Jay-Z then performed a medley of his biggest hits as he stood on a seat, before returning to the stage.
    The concert was held to raise money for his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and The United Way of New York City, which gives talented students financial assistance to attend college.

     

  • Theater Hall of Fame inducts 8 with reminiscence and laughter (via Post-Gazette)
    NEW YORK -- Phylicia Rashad gave the most affectionate speech, Brian Dennehy the funniest and Donald Margulies the best written. But the best overall was by surprise presenter Meryl Streep -- affectionate and funny, delivered in that artless way that is the perfection of art.
    There was also Liza Minnelli, gushing sweetly; Jane Alexander, earnest and professorial; Brian Murray, playing the veteran pixie with practiced skill; and a very dry, crisp emcee, Estelle Parsons, riding herd on it all with an amused twinkle.
    Those were just the presenters. They gathered last Monday at the Gershwin Theater beneath the gold-lettered names of some 400 members of the American Theater Hall of Fame to pay tribute to the eight members of the class of 2011 (when they were elected): actors Tyne Daly and Ben Vereen, producers Elliot Martin and George White, costume designer Ann Roth and directors Paul Sills, Daniel Sullivan and Woodie King Jr..
    On balance, the inductees are never as well-known to the public as the presenters, even when the presenters aren't as starry as these. After all, the Hall of Fame celebrates those who work in every niche of the theater, from onstage to backstage to production offices.
    But they are certainly known to each other. As at every annual induction since I first got involved in an official way in 1992, each of the eight inductees noted professional or personal connections with most of the others. And when you take the presenters into account, along with the audience of 100-150 family, colleagues and friends, you understand just how small and tightly knit a profession it is.
    This year's induction ceremony and the party to follow were orchestrated, as always, by the very experienced Hall of Fame executive producer, Terry Hodge Taylor.
    Jane Alexander presented her old colleague, producer Elliot Martin, 86, saying, "you always remember the first time." That was about her first Broadway audition. She didn't get the part, but she still remembers Mr. Martin as "an impossibly handsome man sitting next to the impossibly tall Mr. [George] Abbott."
    The play was "Never Too Late" (1962), Mr. Martin's first credit as producer. He had broken into the theater as a raw westerner in boots and Stetson in the ensemble of "Oklahoma!" He moved into stage managing in 1953 -- his best credit is "Long Day's Journey into Night" (1956) -- then started producing the first of his 34 Broadway shows, many of them revivals of classics.
    One original show was "Shadowlands," where Ms. Alexander did get the part, playing opposite Nigel Hawthorne on Broadway, for which she said Mr. Martin had the grace to let her warm up as a replacement in the London production. "The last of the gentleman producers," she called him.
    In response, Mr. Martin recalled that his first New York job was at Schraft's at $25 a week, plus meals, so when he was offered $55 a week to go to London in "Oklahoma!," he grabbed it. His two years in London was "a marvelous start in the theater."
    Tyne Daly, 65, couldn't attend, for the best of reasons: she's in London, appearing in "Master Class" (now in previews, opening Tuesday). But she sent Brian Murray to accept on her behalf. He remembered first seeing her in 1967, "a snip of a thing, gorgeous. She is a solid, total, true person of the theater."
    In the letter Ms. Daly sent, she described herself as, like "any actor . . . looking for a place to belong . . . the company of my colleagues . . . now thrilled to be in this room with this family of mine."
    Playwright Donald Margulies claimed to be "representing two generations of playwrights" in honoring director Daniel Sullivan, 70. Artistic director of Seattle Rep, 1981-97, where he premiered his own play, the popular "Inspecting Carol," Mr. Sullivan has been the favored director of such playwrights as Herb Gardner, Wendy Wasserstein, John Robin Baitz and Mr. Margulies.
    On Broadway, he made his directing debut 40 years ago and has directed more than three dozen plays there since, four of which have won the Pulitzer Prize -- "one more than [Elia] Kazan," Mr. Margulies pointed out. His directing credits run from "I'm Not Rappaport" (1985) and "The Heidi Chronicles" (1988) to "Proof" (2000) and "Time Stands Still" (2010). The last is by Mr. Margulies, one of three they have done together.
    "His signature is no signature, just truth in service to a story," said Mr. Margulies, saying "landing the right director is a lot like finding the right shrink, who understands you better than you do yourself." He described Mr. Sullivan as "laconic, inscrutable, discriminate" and "more patient than he has any right to be, until he isn't."
    But he has never been one for unnecessary compliments. Paul Scofield once confronted him after their play had opened to ask, "do you think I'm any good?" What you had to realize, said Mr. Margulies, is that if he cast you, he clearly liked your work. He has "the magical ability to [make us] want to please him, to do our best work."
    Mr. Margulies concluded, "being with Dan is a master class in life and art, and it's so damn much fun ... Garson Kanin said he was a student in the school of Thornton Wilder: I am a proud student in the world of Dan Sullivan."
    Mr. Sullivan, obviously pleased, contented himself with a memory of his acting in a 1973 modern-dress "Merchant of Venice," with costumes by fellow honoree Ann Roth. It was directed by the notoriously eccentric Ellis Rabb, who didn't like Mr. Sullivan's costume as Launcelot Gobbo, so he brought in some drapes from home with gold tassels and a gold lame jockstrap. Mr. Sullivan said he'd wear them if he could also have motorcycle boots and smoke a cigar.
    "It's a deal," said Mr. Rabb. "And that's when I knew I'd be a director for the rest of my life," said Mr. Sullivan.
    The late Paul Sills (1927-2008) followed in the footsteps of his mother, teacher of improvisational theater, Viola Spolin. Admired and beloved as the artistic founder of The Second City and Story Theater, Mr. Sills helped launch the careers of Ed Asner, Shelley Berman, Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Alan Arkin and Barbara Harris, among others, while his work in improvisational theater has influenced three generations of American actors.
    He was represented by his wife, Carol Sills. She described herself as a painter from Montana who arrived in Chicago just in time for the second show at Second City and became Mr. Sills' set designer and artistic collaborator during a crucial era of theater innovation. She continues his work today.
    Wide-eyed and flushed with enthusiasm, Liza Minnelli (who had had to miss her own induction in 2000) presented Ben Vereen, 65, triple-threat performer best known on stage for "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Pippin" and elsewhere for his Chicken George in TV's "Roots."
    She called him "a man who changed my life," teaching her how to focus and not spread all over the place. She remembered it was Bob Fosse who first took her to see Mr. Vereen in "Pippin." She said, "he was so specific and so sharp, that raised the bar in singing and dancing for everyone." And then she sang, "all he ever needed was the music . . . and the chance to dance, for you."
    Mr. Vereen was ebullient. He remembered doing "Jesus Christ Superstar" right across the street. That's when the doorman gave him an envelope, "from Tony." Well, "I'm from Brooklyn, I didn't know who Tony was." He soon learned it was his first Tony nomination, giving him recognition by his peers -- as welcome as the recognition this night.
    That was "back when the Palace Theater was the Palace Theater, now it's the Doubletree Hotel. The first Broadway show I ever saw was the one I was in." He recalled his horrendous 1992 automobile accident and his struggle back, aided by Gregory Hines, who gave him a role in "Jelly's Last Jam."
    "Stand up for the arts!," he urged us. "Make a powerful noise!" And seeing Stephen Schwartz in the audience, he sang, "because I knew you, I have been changed, for good."
    Beautiful as ever, Phylicia Rashad praised inductee Woodie King Jr., 74, as "the gentle giant. Say his name and people smile." He and his off-Broadway New Federal Theatre have launched many a career. He is also "the artist with everyman sensibilities . . . the gentle giant; say his name and people smile."
    Mr. King took the podium with his own smile a yard wide. "When you're out there doing it, you wonder, 'maybe nobody knows I'm doing it,'" especially when you're off-off-Broadway. Looking out over the room, he could see that many did.
    Brian Dennehy couldn't attend his own Hall induction two years ago because he was performing in Ireland, but he was here this week to do the honors for George White, c.81, a fellow Connecticut native. Under-dressed in a sport coat, he explained "I would be better dressed, but George is wearing our tuxedo."
    Mr. White has had a career of creating things, serving on boards, panels and commissions of many councils and institutes -- he's even been Town Constable of Waterford, Conn. -- but his Hall of Fame-worthy credit is as founder and long-time head of the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, a great workshop of the American theater.
    He's also preserved Eugene O'Neill's Monte Cristo Cottage, where both "Ah, Wilderness!" and "Long Day's Journey into Night" are set. "I'm surprised George is being inducted into the Hall of Fame because I would have thought he had founded it," Mr. Dennehy quipped with perfect deadpan. And noting that Mr. White has a Master's Hat from the Coast Guard, the avid boatsman noted, "I hear Italy's Costa Cruise Lines is looking for one."
    Beaming with pleasure, the voluble, energetic Mr. White quoted Yogi Berra: "I want to thank the committee for making this evening necessary." He thanked his theatrical mentors, Dale Wasserman and Lloyd Richards; said "unlike so many awards, tonight is really a family affair; and then launched into his chief indebtedness, to his wife Betsy: "without her, I'd be a beachcomber somewhere off Waterford."
    The final presenter was the reigning queen of American film, Meryl Streep, whom no one had to note had abandoned a promising stage career in the 1970s to head for Hollywood. She had come to induct her good friend, costume designer Ann Roth, 80, but she started by acknowledging Mr. White and the O'Neill, where she had had a "pretty intense, seat-of-the-pants" theater education in which "I think I learned more in three weeks than in three years at Yale."
    She described Ms. Roth as being "of a capacious mind and confident talent . . . [who] doesn't just design clothes," but also characters. She creates "a video biography of a character," bringing "collaborative spunk and inexhaustible wit to every project."
    Ms. Streep described working with Ms. Roth on a recent film, going to her workshop in a railroad loft on 23rd Street, where "she's always on her feet, standing, in high heels -- she has great legs." There, Ms. Roth reduced her to tears listening to a long emotional aria by a Russian contralto, then said, "OK, let me show you what I got at the mall" -- the sexual vibration of the music giving her a deeper insight into her character.
    "She's not a writer, she's a poet. She mixes objects and music, high and low, text and subtext. She makes herself vital to every project, but not crying 'look at me' -- except in 'The Book of Mormon,' but everything screams at you in 'Book of Mormon.' Go online and read all the credits."
    If you do, you'll discover Ms. Roth was costume designer of 80 Broadway shows, from "The Disenchanted" (1958) to "The Book of Mormon" (2011), and more than 100 movies, from "The World of Henry Orient" (1964) to "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" (2011) -- and still counting.
    In response, Ms. Roth struck the common note of the evening. "When I started to work in the theater, I walked through the stage door -- sizzle and magic was what I craved -- and then continued right to the cellar," where costumers work. Looking over the room full of theater veterans, she said, it has been "all of my friends and all of my great moments."
    The ceremony at the Gershwin continued with a reception, dinner and many a reminiscence at the Friars Club.
    Induction into the Hall of Fame requires a minimum of 25 years in the business and five major stage credits. Usually these are on Broadway, but not necessarily -- witness, from this year's class alone, Mr. King (off-Broadway), Mr. Sills (Chicago) and Mr. White (Connecticut).
    Nominations may be suggested by anyone (contact Terry Hodge Taylor) and the ballot is compiled by a small committee of critics and scholars, led by yours truly, and sent to members of the American Theatre Critics Association, members of the Hall of Fame and selected other critic and historians.
    These eight names now go up in gold letters along with their previous colleagues in the Gershwin upper lobby, where display cases hold mementoes of their careers. And next year, we get to do it again.

     

  • Liz Smith column on Liza (via WowOWow)
    THIS WEEK marks the 40th anniversary of the release of “Cabaret,” starring Liza Minnelli. It is certainly her best-known movie and the one that nabbed her an Academy Award. Interestingly, Liza did not mention this milestone when she recently performed at Newark’s Performing Arts Center. (Perhaps she assumed her devoted audience already knew it.) The star did mention the ankle she broke during last October’s freak New York City snowstorm. “It’s getting better and soon I’ll be able to really move,” she told a packed and super-affectionate house. However, it looked to most people that she was already really moving, ankle be damned. She received a tumultuous five-minute standing ovation.
    Next up for Liza is a guest appearance on TVLand’s big hit, “Hot In Cleveland” — and Sony Masterworks will soon release re-mastered versions of classic Minnelli performances. And, of course, concerts, concerts, concerts.
    Like ole man river, Miss Minnelli just keeps rollin’ along.

     

    February 10, 2012:

  • Liza Minnelli To Open Hampton Court Festival (via Elmbridge Today)
    It has been announced that Liza Minnelli will open this year's Hampton Court Palace Festival on June 14, while the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will mark the event’s 20th anniversary with a special show on June 16 and Brit Award winner James Morrison will appear on June 20.
    Liza Minnelli will open this year’s Hampton Court Palace Festival, it has been announced.
    The legendary actress and singer will take to the stage in the main courtyard of the Tudor palace on June 14.
    The show will include many of her showstoppers – including Cabaret, Maybe This Time and New York New York – plus a selection of her best-loved songs.
    It has also been announced that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will mark the festival’s 20th anniversary with a special show on June 16.
    And Brit Award winner James Morrison will appear on June 20.
    All of this means that the number of acts confirmed to be performing at this year’s festival is up to seven.
    Last month it was announced that Katie Melua, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and Caro Emerald will all be appearing this summer.
    Each concert begins at 9pm but festival-goers can arrive early to enjoy a picnic courtesy of Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts in the palace gardens.
    Tickets are available from www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com or at Hampton Court Palace’s welcome centre.

     

  • Liza Minnelli To Open Hampton Court Palace Festival 2012 (via UK Festival Guides)
    The legendary Liza Minnelli will perform at the 2012 Hampton Court Palace Festival. The worldwide universally loved superstar will provide the opening for the Festival's 20th Anniversary on Thursday 14th June
    The concert will include many of Liza’s showstoppers such as Cabaret, Maybe This Time, New York New York – arguably her very own signature tune – all written especially for her by the legendary song writing partnership of John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret) - and a selection of her best loved songs. Tickets go on sale on Thursday 2nd February at 5pm.
    In addition, Brit Award Winner James Morrison is also confirmed to perform in the stunning open-air courtyard of King Henry VIII’s Palace and will treat fans to his hit songs You Give Me Something, Wonderful World and I Won’t Let You Go as well as new tracks from his current album The Awakening. To mark Festival’s milestone, we are also delighted to announce that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a special 20th Anniversary Gala, which will be followed by spectacular fireworks over the Palace. Conducted by Gavin Sutherland, he will be joined by tenor James Edwards, soprano Laura Wright and violinist Clio Gould. The evening will have a long interval so that Festival-goers can enjoy their picnics and Champagne in the Palace gardens as the sun sets on the summer’s evening.
    They join, Katie Melua, one of Britain’s most successful artists of the last decade and legendary Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons who will perform their first concert in the UK for 18 years at Hampton Court Palace Festival. Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra will make a triumphant return to the Palace and Caro Emerald, will make her Festival debut this year.
    In addition to the music, Hampton Court Palace Festival is renowned for creating a truly unforgettable experience. Artists perform in the historic main courtyard of the magnificent Tudor Palace providing an intimate atmosphere for an audience of 3,000. Corporate hospitality is available in the State Apartments and Festival-goers can also arrive early (doors open at 1730) and enjoy a delicious picnic courtesy of Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts, in the stunning Palace gardens.

     

    February 7, 2012:

  • Liza Minnelli Performs At NJPAC (via NorthJersey.com)
    WHAT: Standards, pop and jazz.
    WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday.
    WHERE: New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark (888) 466-5722 or njpac.org.
    HOW MUCH: $39 to $125.
    FOR MORE INFORMATION: officiallizaminnelli.com.
    Liza Minnelli is a live wire. The longtime entertainer has been rehearsing at her New York City apartment for a series of upcoming shows – including one on Saturday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center – and she's bursting with nervous energy as she takes a short break to jump on the phone for an interview.
    "I can't even think about it," Minnelli says of her living-legend status. "It used to be that a legend was dead, so a living legend, I suppose, is good. I'm busy focusing on the living part of it. I still love performing. I get excited, like a racehorse. I say a prayer and off I go."
    So what's on tap for the NJPAC performance, which was originally scheduled for December?
    "There'll be all kinds of things in it," Minnelli promises. "If you remember 'Alexander's Ragtime Band,' it starts off with that. I'll be doing the character songs, as I like to call them, songs like 'My Own Best Friend' and 'What Makes a Man a Man.' Then there will be stuff from my new album, 'Confession' and 'You Fascinate Me So' and 'On Such a Night as This.'
    "It's wonderful, just wonderful, to do the new songs for people. My fans are loving the new material. It's wonderful, the reaction. I've performed in front of all kinds of audiences and I've gotten the best reviews I've ever gotten, with the new material.
    "And, of course, Billy Stitch will be with me," enthuses Minnelli, referring to her longtime musical director and frequent singing partner.
    "He's just great. I feel like we're kind of connected and I know he feels that way, too. So we always try to do things together when we can."
    Beyond the evening at NJPAC, Minnelli has plenty more on her plate. She's got several other concerts lined up for February, March and April, including one in Atlantic City. She recently shot a guest spot on an upcoming episode of "Hot in Cleveland," which stars Betty White and Valerie Bertinelli. And, in April, she'll participate in a Turner Classic Movies film festival event that will include a 40th anniversary screening of her Oscar-winning film, "Cabaret."
    "It's just wonderful, 40 years!" Minnelli says. "I can't believe it. There was a scratch in the film's negative, in the film's reels and they've fixed it. So it'll be a restored version of the film [that will be shown]. I'll actually be there. I'm so excited for that."
    That Minnelli is still on the scene, and playing to standing-room-only crowds, could be seen as a miracle. She's dealt with addictions and illness over the years. Having been up and down more often than a yo-yo, Minnelli counts her blessings every day.
    "The lessons are in A.A.," she says. "I don't drink. And I appreciate everything, absolutely everything."

     

  • Liza Minnelli Shows Her Love To The Boys Of New Jersey (via Out In Jersey)
    Liza Minnelli has been a gay icon for as long as many of us can remember. How could she not be with lineage like hers? (Liza is the daughter of legendary actress Judy Garland and director Vincent Minnelli). From "Cabaret" to "Arthur" to "Arrested Development" (with an amazing songbook in between), Liza can simply do no wrong with us. Here, Entertainment Editor Cookie got the honor of sitting down with Liza to talk about her new album "Confessions", how she loves New Jersey, and her love for her gays and Lady Gaga!
    Liza performs this Saturday night at 8pm at NJPAC in Newark. For tickets visit http://www.njpac.org/

    Ms. Minnelli, this is such a pleasure, thanks so much for speaking with me. You're in rehearsals right now, are you even a little bit tired?
    No! I will be tonight though (LOL).
    Your latest album "Confessions" features some amazing Ira Gershwin songs you grew up listening to, such as "At Last" & "All The Way". Was it hard to choose from such an amazing songbook?
    Well, those are the only two Gershwin's on the album. Ira Gershwin was my godfather and I definitely wanted to sing two songs that I had never sang before.
    I was blessed enough to be one of the people to see your spectacular performance Of "Liza At The Palace", where the show was a tribute to your godmother Kay Thompson. Many consider that to be one of the most iconic performances on Broadway in recent history. What are some of your best memories of that magical show?
    I think some of the best memories of the show is actually putting it together. It started as an idea for an album really, and then it kind of grew. I thought, well, we could perform it and record it at the same time, and then it kept going from there. I called Ron Lewis, who is my favorite choreographer, and asked if he would help me. See, the guys in the show with me were singers, they were not dancers. Ron had them moving exactly like dancers and they sang great! We did it on the road as we were traveling, I think it took about a year to completely get it together.
    You're February 4th show is eagerly anticipated by your New Jersey fans, and your show in Asbury Park last year was sold out! Is there anything about fans in New Jersey that bring a different energy to a show you do here?
    Those are great places, and the audiences in Jersey, they're just so vocal and so enthusiastic; that's what makes it so much fun.
    A large part of your audiences are always gay men, especially in your New York/New Jersey performances (with a large amount of them being able to sing along with every word of "Liza With A Z"). Do you know why so many gay men feel such an affinity for you?
    I love that! Well, I usually give a real flip answer like "they have good taste" (LOL). I think that the part of me that's the rebel, that went up against all odds, I think we relate to each other that way. My fight was to win my own status, and I think that's their fight also.
    Tony Bennett just made his second album of standards, featuring such amazing artists as Lady Gaga. Do you think you would ever embark on a project of "Duets"? If so, who would you love to team up with?
    Well, to tell you the truth, I'm thinking about it, so I can't discuss it! (LOL). There are so many people I would team up with though. Lady Gaga's a friend. She knows exactly what she's doing, she's great.

     

  • Liza Minnelli Brings Home New Show to NJPAC in Newark (via NJ.com)


    Liza Minnelli performing in Germany in 2009.

    She won’t be dancing her way onto the stage at NJPAC on Saturday night.
    A broken leg, suffered during a fall she took in November, has limited her mobility somewhat.
    But all fans of Liza Minnelli know: Catch the star in performance, and no matter what, you’re guaranteed to be entertained.
    “Every other country has singers or actors or performers,” says Minnelli, 65. “We’re the only country that really has entertainers. Entertainment really started out as an American art form, and I think it continues to be.”
    The formidably talented Minnelli, who has been in show business since early childhood, is proud to stand in the American tradition of multifaceted performers. She’s excelled at singing, dancing and acting — especially when combining all three into a single expression of her artistic will.
    And while it is possible to bathe in the full wattage of Minnelli’s star power at a theater or even in front of the small screen, to truly understand why she’s so beloved, you’ve got to see her in concert.
    “I’ve calmed down a bit,” says Minnelli, whose NJPAC appearance was scheduled for Dec. 16 before the fall sidelined her. “But I try to make every night onstage exciting, no matter what. I’ve got to love it, otherwise why would I even be doing it at this point?”
    Minnelli is famous for the warmth, generosity and respect for showbiz history that she regularly brings to the stage. But even longtime fans were unprepared for the command she demonstrated in her show, “Liza’s at the Palace …!”
    “Liza’s,” which ran at the Palace Theatre on Broadway in December 2008 and January 2009, was, in part, a tribute to the two women who exerted the greatest influence over Minnelli’s early development as a performer: her famous mother, Judy Garland, and her lesser-known godmother, Kay Thompson.
    Minnelli resurrected Thompson’s nightclub act of the ’40s, and performed a modified version of Garland’s “Palace Medley,” which her mother performed at the same theater decades ago. It was simultaneously an act of great imagination and one of considerable fidelity to source material that held great personal significance to her. The show won Minnelli a Tony Award for best special theatrical event.
    The show that Minnelli brings to Newark doesn’t include many elements from “Liza’s at the Palace …!” Yet Minnelli suggests that the energy and invention of that concert has carried over into her new project.
    “It’s a brand-new show,” says the performer, who is thrilled to return to NJPAC, a theater she lauds for its intimacy. “It came from me wanting to do something smaller, but one that had the same kind of power.”
    Minnelli attributes that power to her ability to coax the narrative out of every song she sings. She credits French singer Charles Aznavour for helping her locate that character and make the elaboration of that character’s motivation the core of her performance.
    “I always have the story line in my head. I always know who the person is, and why she’s saying what she’s saying. What I’m singing is what the character is thinking, or doing.”
    It’s a rewarding approach that can be applied to singing far beyond Broadway, and Minnelli has never confined herself to standards. In 1989, she cut the “Results” album with Pet Shop Boys Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant, and showed a fresh generation of listeners that she could apply her voice, her warmth and her technique to synthpop as easily as she could to Sondheim.
    When ferocious (albeit theatrical) Belleville pop-rockers My Chemical Romance needed an expressive vocalist to sing the part of the Mother on the 2006 concept album “The Black Parade,” Minnelli got the call. She cut her part on “Mama” enthusiastically — she didn’t even charge the band.
    “They just called up and said, ‘Do you want to do this?’ and I was happy to,” says Minnelli. “I am just a very curious person, and I enjoy exploring everything from rock ’n’ roll stuff to the classics.”
    Minnelli hasn’t let the accident slow her down much and intends to keep on conceptualizing shows as long as they keep coming to her. The entertainer insists she’s always got a project cooking and is always looking around, taking inspiration for the characters she plays from the interactions of ordinary people.
    “I always think from the audience’s point of view. What would they want to pay to see? I know if I was there, I’d want to get my money’s worth.”

    Liza Minnelli
    Where and when: Prudential Hall at New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center St., Newark, Saturday; Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Atlantic City, March 24. Both shows at 8 p.m.
    How much: $39 to $125 for Newark; call (888) 466-5722 or visit njpac.org. $75 to $95 for Atlantic City; call (609) 317-1000 or visit theborgata.com.

     

  • Liza Minnelli Reveals Intimate Details on NJPAC Performance, 'Hot In Cleveland' Role and Judy Garland (via Huffington Post)

    She's captivated standing-room-only audiences across the globe, nabbed an Oscar for her role in a celebrated Hollywood musical and held court amongst New York's famed glitterati at Studio 54.
    However, one week before she is set to take the stage at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on Feb. 4, Liza Minnelli has something considerably less glamorous on her agenda: a visit to the dentist.
    Calling just minutes following her appointment, Minnelli apologizes in advance if she is difficult to understand over the telephone. Of course, something as minor as dental anesthetics would never be able to numb this ever-shining star; after all, it's Minnelli's well-established survival skills -- not to mention her unique brand of wide-eyed, precocious spunk -- that helped make her a gay icon for multiple generations, with a legacy rivaling only her legendary (and similarly tenacious) mother, Judy Garland.
    Busy as ever, the 65-year-old singer-actress who Joy Behar once jokingly introduced as having "entertained more gay men than Larry Craig" will be whisked off to rehearsal shortly after the phone call. Still, she speaks enthusiastically and at length about her highly-anticipated NJPAC performance as well as her forthcoming guest-starring turn opposite Betty White on the hit series "Hot In Cleveland," while sharing memories of working with famed Broadway and film choreographer Bob Fosse and, of course, the beloved Judy.
          Huffpost Gay Voices: Congratulations on your upcoming NJPAC performance. What sorts of surprises do you have in store for us?
          Liza Minnelli: Liza Minnelli: My show is called "Confessions," and it's really a collection of various songs about how I feel about different things, what I believe in, people I've known -- some of whom nobody would ever know. "Confessions" is really all these different points of view; it's something I learned from [Armenian-French singer-songwriter] Charles Aznavour when I was 19. I saw him perform in Paris, and his show just killed me because each one of his songs was like a movie.
    I knew I could dance and I knew I could act, but I never thought I could sing, so I went to Aznavour in Paris and I asked if I could be his student, and he said, "Sure." And he really taught me everything I know about singing -- how each song is a different movie.
          Huffpost Gay Voices: You've also signed on for an episode of "Hot In Cleveland," set to air later this season. What's your character going to be like?
          Liza Minnelli: They haven't told me a thing! I'll be out there Feb. 12, so I'll just see what they tell me and I'll do it, kind of like what I did with "Arrested Development" -- everybody was just so excellent on that show; I just respected everybody on that set so much. Of course having the chance to do anything with Betty White is great.
          Huffpost Gay Voices: Two living legends, united on the small screen...
          Liza Minnelli: What the hell is a "living legend"? (laughs)
          Huffpost Gay Voices: Well, in my opinion, a living legend is someone whose work and career are immensely respected across multiple generations and in various industries.
          Liza Minnelli: Well, thank you -- I guess as long as it's a living one, it's OK! (laughs) But I always think of myself as a gypsy, a Broadway performer who travels from show to show.
          Huffpost Gay Voices: You're one of the few entertainers who has won an Oscar, an Emmy and a Grammy, not to mention four Tony Awards. Is there anything you're dying to do, either personally or professionally, that you haven't already?
          Liza Minnelli: I won't know until it happens -- that's it. I love it because things just come up! I rarely plan anything unless it's a tour or a show I'm working on, and in the meantime, all of these mad, wonderful things have happened, like My Chemical Romance calling me up and asking me to sing with them.
          Huffpost Gay Voices: 2012 marks 40 years since the release of "Cabaret," for which you won the Academy Award. What comes to mind when you look back on that film?
          Liza Minnelli: Bob Fosse. And just how extraordinary it all was. Bob took immense risks in terms of how he depicted sensuality in the choreography, the photography. It was so fun. We were away in Germany and we were doing this kind of outrageous, wonderful film. We wanted to make a musical about Nazis, so we could really kind of do anything we wanted. And our cinematographer, Geoffrey Unsworth, was just so great. At one point they sent him a letter that said there was too much smoke in the cabaret...Bob took the letter from him and tore it up.
    What Bob did was just extraordinary. I came on before Bob, as you know...[his work] really reminded me so much of a film called "The Damned," which was just so dark and wonderful and bizarre. I remember seeing that film with my dad [director Vincente Minnelli], who was always there for me. He helped me so much all of the time.
          Huffpost Gay Voices: Your mother, Judy Garland, remains one of most fascinating stars in Hollywood history. Even though there's been a tremendous amount of research into her work and analysis of her life, what do you think is the biggest misconception audiences still have about her?
          Liza Minnelli: The biggest misconception people have about my mother is that she was so unhappy. I think people enjoy thinking that -- some of them, anyway. They see the tragedy as opposed to the fact that she understood how to play tragedy.
    I remember somebody at school once said something really mean about her: "Oh, Judy does too much of this or that, she drinks too much." And I came home from school crying; my mother asked me what was wrong and I told her. And then she said, "You know what? You let everybody say what they're gonna say, and we'll go get a hamburger."

    Liza Minnelli performs at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on Feb. 4. For more information click here.

    Check out some of Liza's best moments over the years below:

    Liza Minnelli & Judy Garland, 'Together (Wherever We Go)' (1963) - This stellar performance -- among others seen on 'The Judy Garland Show' -- made it clear that Liza was poised to follow in her legendary mother's footsteps.
    Joining Judy Onstage for 'Over the Rainbow' (1965) - Liza has generally (and some say wisely) steered clear of Judy's musical repertoire throughout her career, but she seemed happy to join in on this 1965 performance of her mother's signature song at the London Palladium.
    'Cabaret' (1972) - Liza took home an Oscar for her portrayal of Weimar-era nightclub singer Sally Bowles in Bob Fosse's adaptation of the Broadway musical "Cabaret." Watch her perform a medley of songs from that show here.
    'Liza With A Z' (1972) - Produced, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, Liza's 1972 television concert film took home four Emmy Awards. Watch her perform the title song here.
    'My Own Best Friend' (1975) - In 1975, Liza briefly replaced Gwen Verdon as Roxie Hart in the original Broadway run of the musical "Chicago." Watch her perform one of the hit show's numbers here.
    'New York, New York' (1977) - Although the song became Frank Sinatra's signature tune, 'New York, New York' was originally written by John Kander and Fred Ebb for Liza to perform in the 1977 Martin Scorsese film of the same name.
    'The Muppet Show' (1979) - The star appeared on 'The Muppet Show' in 1979, opening with this stellar rendition of Barry Manilow's hit 'Copacabana.'
    'Baryshnikov on Broadway' (1980) - Watch Liza share the stage with Mikhail Baryshnikov in this incredible 1980 TV special.
    'Frank, Liza & Sammy: The Ultimate Event' (1989) - Liza performed alongside fellow legends Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in this 1989 televised concert.
    Performing With Queen (1992) - One year after frontman Freddie Mercury's death, Liza took the stage with members of Queen in London in 1992 for this rendition of an arena rock classic.
    'Arrested Development' (2004) - In 2004 and 2005, Liza appeared on the Emmy Award-winning show "Arrested Development" as Lucille Austero. Check out one of her deleted scenes here.
    GLAAD Vanguard Award (2005) - After winning the GLAAD Vanguard Award in 2005 for her support of LGBT equality, Liza entertained the crowd with "What Makes A Man A Man," a song written about an impersonator.
    My Chemical Romance's 'Mama' (2006) - Liza contributed guest vocals on My Chemical Romance's song "Mama" -- portraying "Mother War," a dark conception of the main character's mother.
    'Liza's at the Palace' (2008) - Liza paid homage to her late mother in 2008 with this vaudeville-inspired tribute, "Palace Medley."
    'Sex And The City 2' (2010) - Liza stole the show from Sarah Jessica Parker and company with her cover of Beyonce's hit "Single Ladies."
    With Charles Busch On Her Gay Fans (2011) - Liza looked back on her career highlights, and her status as gay icon, with author Charles Busch.

    January 31, 2012:

  • Liza Minnelli to Kick Off 2012 TCM Film Festival (via Official Liza Minnelli)
    Liza will kick off the TCM Film Festival with Joel Grey and Robert Osborne on April 12th. The festival opens with the world premier screening of the 40th anniversary restoration of Cabaret. Read the full press release here:

    TCM 2012 Film Festival logo

    For Release: Jan. 31, 2012

    Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Debbie Reynolds,
    Film Noir Stars Peggy Cummins, Rhonda Fleming and Marsha Hunt
    And Silent Era Child Star "Baby Peggy" Diana Serra Cary,
    Slated to Attend the TCM Classic Film Festival

    Passes Now on Sale Now for Four-Day Festival,
    Coming to Hollywood April 12-15, 2012

    Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Debbie Reynolds, and "Baby Peggy" Diana Serra Cary, along with film noir leading ladies Peggy Cummins, Rhonda Fleming and Marsha Hunt are the latest stars scheduled to appear at the 2012 TCM Classic Movie Festival.

    Also announced today, the festival will feature the North American premiere of a new 75th anniversary restoration of Jean Renoir's powerful POW drama Grand Illusion (1937), widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. And the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will provide a live musical accompaniment for a screening of the silent Douglas Fairbanks fantasy-adventure The Thief of Bagdad (1924).

    Minnelli and Grey are slated to join TCM's own Robert Osborne to kick off the four-day, star-studded event with a gala opening-night world premiere screening of the 40th anniversary restoration Cabaret (1971), the film for which the two stars took home Academy Awards. Reynolds will make her second appearance at the TCM Classic Festival, appearing at the world premiere screening of a new 60th anniversary restoration of Singin' in the Rain (1952). Reynolds will also appear at a 50th anniverary screening of How The West Was Won (1962), which will offer festival passholders the rare opportunity to see the epic western in all its Cinematic glory at Arclight Cinema's Cinerama Dome.

    Cummins, Fleming and Hunt and will each appear at screenings of film noir classics, presented as part of a celebration of The Noir Style. And Cary, who was one of Hollywood's top child stars during the silent era, will join filmmaker Vera Iwerebor for the U.S. premiere of Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room (2010), Iwerebor's fascinating documentary chronicling Cary's life on and off the screen.

    In addition, the festival's celebration of Style in the Movies will include an extensive tribute to one of the most stylish actresses in cinema history: Audrey Hepburn. Presentations will include Sabrina (1954), Funny Face (1957) and the world premiere of a new 45th anniversary restoration of Two For The Road (1967).

    The 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival will take pace Thursday, April 12 - Sunday, April 15, 2012, in Hollywood. Passes are on sale now through the official festival website: tcm.com/festival.

    The following is a roster of newly added screenings and appearances:

    Opening Night
    Cabaret (1972) - World Premiere 40th Anniversary Restoration, featuring appearances by Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey*
    One of the most acclaimed films of its era, Bob Fosse's Cabaret stars Oscar-winner Liza Minnelli as an American singer looking for love and success in pre-World War II Berlin. Joel Grey, who is currently co-starring in the Broadway revival of Anything Goes, earned an Oscar as the ubiquitous Master of Ceremonies. And Michael York co-stars as a young English teacher whose eyes are opened by what he experiences.Fosse also earned Oscar gold for directing this perfect showcase for his unique choreography and imaginative visual style.

    * schedule permitting

     

    Style in the Movies - The Noir Style
    Presented by Eddie Muller, founder of the Film Noir Foundation, this collection explores the unique style of film noir, known for its often-shadowy black-and-white photography and stylistic set design.

    Raw Deal (1948) - Featuring an appearance by Marsha Hunt
    Noted for its extraordinary cinematography by John Alton, this gritty Anthony Mann thriller stars Dennis O'Keefe as a man in prison for another man's crime, Claire Trevor as the gun moll who helps him break out of jail and Marsha Hunt as the social worker who wants to reform him. Raymond Burr and John Ireland co-star.

    Gun Crazy (1950) - Featuring an appearance by Peggy Cummins
    Long before Bonnie and Clyde rattled moviegoers came this ruthless tale of a gun-toting husband-and-wife team. Peggy Cummins and John Dall star, with a script by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo (credited to Millard Kaufman).

    Cry Danger (1951) - New restoration, featuring an appearance by Rhonda Fleming
    Shot in only 22 days by former child star Robert Parrish, this gripping film noir stars Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming in the story of a man trying to clear his name after being sentenced for a crime he didn't commit. Cry Danger has been restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, in cooperation with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros., and funded by the Film Noir Foundation.

     

    Audrey Hepburn: Style Icon
    The TCM Classic Film Festival pays tribute to one of the most beautiful and stylish actresses ever to grace the screen with this collection of films showcasing Audrey Hepburn.

    Sabrina (1954)
    Audrey Hepburn is the chauffeur's daughter caught in a love triangle between tycoon Humphrey Bogart and his playboy brother William Holden. Billy Wilder directed and co-wrote this off-beat romance, based on the play Sabrina Fair.

    Funny Face (1957)
    Fred Astaire is a fashion photographer who turns Audrey Hepburn into a chic model in this highly stylized musical featuring memorable Gershwin songs. Kay Thompson co-stars, with impeccable color cinematography by Ray June and John P Fulton.

    Two For The Road (1967) - World Premiere of 45th Anniversary Restoration
    Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney star as a quarrelsome couple reminisce about their relationship during a drive in southern France in Stanley Donen's insightful drama. Henry Mancini wrote the score. The 4K digital restoration of Two For The Road was completed by Twentieth Century Fox in collaboration with The Film Foundation.

    Additional Events & Screenings
    The Thief of Bagdad (1924) - Featuring live accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
    Douglas Fairbanks considered this lavish fantasy to be his personal favorite, and it's easy to see why when one watches the gymnastic and charismatic star in action. Fairbanks stars as a thief in love with the daughter of Caliph, with Raoul Walsh directing.

    Grand Illusion (1937) - North American Premiere of 75th Anniversary Restoration
    Jean Renoir directed this extraordinary World War I drama about a small group of French officers held captive. Considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made, Grand Illusion features memorable performances by Jean Gabin, Pierre Fresnay and Erich von Stroheim.

    Singin' in the Rain (1952) - World Premiere of 60th Anniversary Restoration, featuring an appearance by Debbie Reynolds
    Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen's delightful musical about Hollywood's transition to talkies features Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor, alond with the scene-stealing Jean Hagen and the sensuous Cyd Charisse. This movie will be presented in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Gene Kelly's birth.

    How The West Was Won (1962) - Presented in Cinerama and featuring an appearance by Debbie Reynolds = Event sponsored by Arclight Cinemas and presented at Arclight's Cinerama Dome.
    The panorama of the American West is presented in its glory with a memorable Cinerama presentation of this epic adventure from directors John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and George Marshall. This multi-generational tale stars Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Debbie Reynolds, Caroll Baker, Carolyn Jones, Eli Wallach, Robert Preston, James Stewart, John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Waltar Brennan and many more.

    Baby Peggy: The Elephant In The Room (2010) - U.S. Premiere, featuring appearances by "Baby Peggy" Diana Serra Cary and filmmaker Vera Iwerebor
    This intimate portrait of one of the last survivors of Hollywood's silent era features the 92-year-old star speaking openly for the first time about her life and experience as a child star. Diana Serra Cary's sudden rise to fame and fortune as Baby Peggy had a severe impact on her family life. The frustrations of her father, the naivety of her mother and the jealousy of her senior sister created a love/hate relationship between the young star and those around her. But she reserved her greatest anger and resentment for the Baby Peggy persona itself. Now with the discovery of her lost films, Cary has seen her childhood talent through fresh eyes and slowly reconciled with her younger self.

     

    About the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival
    Taking place Thursday, April 12 - Sunday, April 15, 2012, in Hollywood, the third-annual TCM Classic Film Festival is produced by TCM and sponsored by Vanity Fair, host of the exclusive, opening-night party, and Delta Air Lines, official airline of the event. Since launching in spring 2010, the TCM Classic Film Festival has quickly established itself as a destination event for film lovers, drawing more than 25,000 attendees from around the country and around the globe in 2011.

    The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the side of the first Oscars ceremony, will serve as the official hotel for the festival, as well as home to Club TCM, a central gathering point for passholders. Screenings and events will be held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and, for the first time this year, Arclight Cinema's Cinerama Dome.

     

    About TCM
    Turner Classic Movies is a Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in more than 86 million homes, TCM features the insights of veteran primetime host Robert Osborne and weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include The Essentials, 31 Days of Oscar and Summer Under The Stars. TCM also stages special events and screenings, such as the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise; produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs; and hosts a wealth of materials on its website, http://www.tcm.com. TCM is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company.

    Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

    Follow TCM on twitter @TCM and @TCMPR.

     

  • Filmmaker Whitney Sudler-Smith on Wearing Wigs & Searching For Halston (via Blackbook)
    One of the greatest moments from the 2010 documentary Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston is when Liza Minnelli tells director Whitney Sudler-Smith that Halston always used to say that "you gotta fuck 'em up" in order to keep an audience on their feet. The legendary singer goes on to advise Sudler-Smith that when it comes to making the rest of the film, "fuck the gossip" and find the solid stuff. Watching Minnelli sit back and curse like a sailor as she reminisced about her dear friend Roy Halston Frowick set the tone for this unconventional doc on the iconic designer that defined disco fashion in the '70s.
    While the doc was heavily focused on the life and times of the late iconic designer, there was one other character in the film that we couldn't help but be distracted by, besides the straight-shooting Minnelli: the director. Sudler-Smith brings a sense of offbeat hilarity to the information-heavy doc by pushing interviewee Andre Leon Talley's buttons, rolling up to historical sites in tricked-out cars, and wearing an array of ridiculous wigs. Here, the filmmaker talks us through his Ultrasuede journey and just why he wanted to "bring a little Borat into things."
          BLACKBOOK: What was the process of finding individuals to interview for this project?
          SMITH: The process was very tricky: you called and emailed friends of friends, contacted agents, managers, publicists, and hoped for the best. For example, a friend of Dennis Basso, the furrier, is very close to Liza Minnelli, so he asked her to do it. Once we got Liza and people heard that this was a legitimate production, it got a bit easier. Andre Leon Talley, a close friend, was also instrumental. Besides [Halston's one-time muse] Elsa Peretti, there were a few others we would have liked to speak with who declined to participate.
    (click the article link to read more!)

  • BWW Interviews: The Legendary Liza Minnelli on Broadway Memories, Wild Nights at Studio 54 & New Concert! (via Broadway World)
    Liza Minnelli, winner of four Tony Awards, an Oscar, a special "Legends" Grammy, two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy, is one of the entertainment world's consummate performers. In film, on stage and in television, Liza has won critical acclaim, a multitude of fans, and high recognition from her show business peers. In short, she is the true definition of the word 'superstar'.
    Born to actress/singer Judy Garland and film director Vincent Minnelli, Liza began her professional career at the age of 16 in an Off-Broadway revival of the musical “Best Foot Forward.” Numerous memorable Broadway performances followed, including “Flora the Red Menace,” “Chicago,” “The Rink,” “The Act,” and “Victor/Victoria.” Liza has also starred in several feature films including “New York, New York,” “Arthur,” “The Sterile Cuckoo” and the Academy Award-winning “Cabaret.”
    Minnelli made a triumphant return to Broadway in 2008 with “Liza's at the Palace ...” which went on to win the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. In between her many TV and film roles, Liza has never stopped touring at some of the world's most prestigious venues and has long been considered one of the most exciting and entertaining concert performers. At 65-years-old, she is as committed, spirited and enthusiastic about her craft as ever!
    Recently, Ms. Minnelli took an unfortunate fall and broke her foot and is temporarily confined to a wheelchair. However, in true show-biz style, she refuses to disappoint her fans and will still perform her high energy show next Saturday evening, February 4th at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. (visit njpac.org for details) As the steadfast entertainer told me herself, "Nothing stops me!"
    Liza took a moment out of her busy schedule to speak with BWW about her upcoming concert, her favorite Broadway memories and the real story behind those 'wild nights' at the legendary Studio 54 during the 1970's.
          BWW: I want to start by thanking you so much for taking the time to speak with me today.
          LM: Oh no, don't be silly - Thank you!
          BWW: Let's start by talking about your upcoming show at New Jersey Performing Arts Center next week.
          LM: I know I am so excited!
          BWW: What types of songs do you plan to sing in the show?
          LM: Well the show's called 'Confessions'. So they're songs that mean a lot to me. And some of them are a little risqué and some of them are just funny and some are sad you know - it's all wonderful songs that I've found for this album I just did called 'Confessions'. Also, at one point in the show I'm gonna try to do 'Liza With a Z', but I can't dance because I've got pins in my leg and it's broken in three places. But you know, nothing stops me!
          BWW: Well I remember your dance scene in the recent 'Sex and the City' movie and you were certainly able to move for that!
          LM: Oh thank you!
          BWW: I know that you are going to be appearing in an upcoming episode of TV Land's 'Hot in Cleveland'. Was that filmed yet?
          LM: No, I haven't done it yet.
          BWW: Have you ever worked with Betty White before?
          LM: No but I feel like I know her. I'm around her a bit and I'm just such a fan. And it should be wonderful. I go out around the 12th of February to film that.
          BWW: Looking forward to that! I recently saw an interview with Mary J. Blige in which she said of you, "A person knows when they're listening to Liza Minnelli sing - there's only one Liza", which is certainly true. You have such a unique vocal style...
          LM: Oh thank you!
          BWW: You're very welcome. Were there any early influences that helped you create your authentic style?
          LM: What it was was that I was always a dancer you know, but I really only learned to sing because I wanted to go on Broadway - that lit my whole body, when I saw Broadway shows. So, when I found what I consider, and what people call 'my style', was when I saw (French singer, songwriter and actor) Charles Aznavour, who was a great actor in his time, that's what it was all about for me. For instance, the woman who's singing a particular song, take any song, I try to imagine, what color hair does she have? What does she look out the window and see? The city? The country? What's happened up to that point when she sings these words? And so it's different characters when I sing, and I have a character breakdown of each song. It's funny!
          BWW: Unbelievable! So it's really very performance-oriented when you're singing?
          LM: Oh yeah - they're all little movies!
          BWW: Speaking of performing, are there any future plans for a return to Broadway?
          LM: Oh gosh - I have so many other places I have to go first! On the 4th I'm in New Jersey, I'm doing the Kennedy Center in DC, then Hollywood and Vegas and London and Montreal and South America...
          BWW: Oh my goodness!
          LM: You know I'm a gypsy! That's what they call people on Broadway, particularly dancers, because they travel from show to show.
          BWW: Yes - living out of a suitcase.
          LM: And you know the first show I opened in on Broadway 'Flora', I got the 'Gypsy Robe'. Which was amazing because usually you had to be on Broadway forever and I was only 19! But they admired me for having learned the craft - I had changed scenery and painted sets and just learned.
          BWW: Is there a favorite Broadway show that you've appeared in or is each one special in its own way?
          LM: I think they're all special - hopefully. I'm always passionate about what I'm doing at the moment. My work is kind of an immediacy. And that's my passion and through living that, I find the show.
          BWW: I don't know if you're familiar with a recent documentary called 'Ultrasuede', about the life and times of Halston, the legendary designer who I know was a very good friend of yours.
          LM: Yes!
          BWW: Could you tell me a little bit about that exciting era during the 70's and your nights at the famed Studio 54?
          LM: Well, what was really funny about Studio 54 was that Halston used it as a means of getting everyone out of his house on weeknights!
          BWW: Very smart!
          LM: Yes - because they would stay in his house until like 2 in the morning and he had to work the next day and so did I - I was on Broadway! So we'd kind of go to the club and take people in and stay for maybe 10 - 15 minutes and then sneak out the back door and go home!
          BWW: He just wanted to clear out his house!
          LM: That's right! That's how it all started! (laughing) And then the glitter, the glamour, the gutter of it all... hilarious! And it was an interesting period. The fact that they kept all of those people outside of that place - nobody could get in. I think a lot of them were hired, I mean it was just to build the reputation of the club. But you know Studio 54 had been the theater where Ed Sullivan filmed many of his shows so I knew every inch of it and I knew how to get out of it!
          BWW: You knew where the back door was!
          LM: Yes I sure did! I spent most of my time in the lighting booth because I loved to run the lights to the music. Well, that's my father side of me in me!
          BWW: That must have been fun.
          LM: It was!
          BWW: On a personal note, when I told my teenaged daughter that I would be speaking with you she was just so excited and it made me realize that you truly transcend generations.
          LM: Thank you darling! Yeah it shocks me too because I go and see people that I know, their kids and their parents and their grandchildren, its just like whole families that I've known all these years - it's a big part of the element.
          BWW: Do you feel like you're ever making career choices or adjustments in order to appeal to all generations - it seems like such a natural gift that you have.
          LM: No, it's just that I'm a performer, nobody does what we do anyplace in the world. Broadway was born in America, people sang and danced and acted. And that was the American art form. In other places, people danced or they sang or they were actors. So to bring that to Europe and to all of these places was and is so exciting for me.
          BWW: Do you have a chance to take in many Broadway shows?
          LM: No I haven't. I haven't been able to move around because of this damn ankle!
          BWW: Oh - it's going to be tough performing next week.
          LM: We'll figure it out! The audience and I, we'll figure it out together - we'll just play it by ear! Thank you honey!
    Liza Minnelli will be appearing at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 4th at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $39, $59, $79 and $125 and are available by calling 1-888-GO-NJPAC (1-888-466-5722), or online at NJPAC.org or in person at NJPAC Box Office, One Center Street in downtown Newark.

    January 19, 2012:

  • Win a dinner for four with Liza Minnelli!    (via Broadway World)
    The Drama League’s 28th Annual Benefit Gala Online Auction goes live on Tuesday, January 17 at www.biddingforgood.com/thedramaleague with over forty-five exclusive and elegant items announced (please see list attached), some of the highlights include:
    -Exclusive Dinner with Liza Minnelli for four people at Daniel (the #2 restaurant in New York, according to Zagat!)
    (click the article link to read more!)

  • Liza Minnelli & Chita Rivera to Duet at Kander & Ebb Gala in April    (via Broadway World)
    Oscar-winning Hollywood legend Liza Minnelli has signed up to appear at a major charity gala in London on 29 April 2012 to celebrate the work of legendary songwriters Kander & Ebb. The all-star gala at the Victoria Palace Theatre is being produced by veteran promoter and producer Barry Mishon in collaboration with John Kander, and will be in aid of the Ovarian Cancer Action charity.
    Also appearing at the gala are Tony award winning Chicago choreographer Ann Reinking, Chita Rivera, Marvin Hamlisch, Janie Dee, Maria Friedman and Billy Stritch.Minnelli is rumoured to have agreed to perform a duet with Chita Rivera at the event.
    John Kander and Fred Ebb are two of the most successful musical theatre song writing partnerships of all time, with their work including Cabaret, Chicago, Zorba, The Rink and Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Fred Ebb passed away in 2004.
    Musical directors for the event will be Gareth Valentine and Donald Pippin.
    Tickets will go on sale soon but a waiting list has been set up at the Victoria Palace Theatre box office, call 0844 248 5000 (Monday to Saturday 10am to 8.30pm).

  • Exclusive Preview: Liza Minnelli Remembers Fashion Legend Halston    (via AfterElton)
    Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston is opening in NYC this Friday and we have an exclusive preview clip of Liza remembering her friend Halston. "We were so close. He was my big brother. I loved him, I trusted him, and he protected me."
    Her story of how he decorated her New York apartment for her and then left it filled with lit votive candles was charming. But seems a bit of a fire hazard!
    Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston is currently available nationwide on cable VOD, iTunes, Amazon, and others.
    The film opens in NYC this Friday at the IFC Center and Feb 10 at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.

    January 11, 2012:

  • Liza Minnelli At Opening Night of "An Evening With Paulo Szot"    (via TheatreMania, Zimbio, and BroadwayWorld)
    The stars were out last night at the Cafe Carlyle in NYC to help welcome in with open arms "An Evening With Paulo Szot" (playing through January 28). Guests included Karen Akers, Jim Caruso, Jamie deRoy, Nancy Dussault, Christine Ebersole, Marilyn Maye, Liza Minnelli, Laura Osnes, Chita Rivera, Andrew Samonsky, and Tommy Tune. Below are some images of our Liza from last night:


    (Click thumbnails to enlarge images)

  • Sh*t Liza Minnelli Says    (via Best Week Ever)
    Christine Pedi is back and better than ever in her latest Liza Minnelli parody! Watch it here!

    January 8, 2012:

  • Liza Minnelli to Guest Star on Hot In Cleveland!    (via tvline.com)
          Watch your back, Betty White! You won’t be the only living legend appearing in Season 3 of TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland: The comedy’s just scored Liza freakin’ Minnelli!
          The bad news is that the Oscar winner’s just signed on for one episode — at least for now. But the good news is that it sounds like a great part: Judy Garland’s 65-year-old daughter will be playing the agent of down-and-damn-close-to-out actress-of-a-certain-age Victoria Chase (Wendie Malick).
          Since Minnelli was such a hoot as Lucille 2 on Arrested Development — not to mention the whole “living legend” thing — this seems like a swell bit of news to start 2012 with, wouldn’t you say?

  • Liza To Perform At NJPAC on February 4    (via NJ Today)
          NEWARK — Liza Minnelli, winner of four Tony Awards, an Oscar, a special “Legends” Grammy, two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy, will perform a career spanning set of favorites at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 8 p.m.
          Tickets for Minnelli’s NJPAC performance are $39, $59, $79 and $125 are available by calling 1-888-466-5722, online at NJPAC.org or in person at NJPAC Box Office, One Center Street in downtown Newark.
          All tickets for originally scheduled Dec. 16 performance will be valid.

  • Liza to appear again with Sam Harris this summer?    (via patch.com)
    In this exclusive interview, Sam Harris talks about just about every topic under the sun - but most notably, our Liza! Here is an excerpt; click the link for the full story!
          HARRIS: Let’s see, I’m putting together four shows at the same time.
          PATCH: Is that common for you?
          HARRIS: Yes. Liza Minnelli and I just did a duet show in New York that we’re re-gearing and retooling to do on Broadway in the summer. There’s a book show about Jolson that I’m getting ready to go to New York to work on it, that we’re doing next year in Philadelphia. Then I have several contracts in January and they’re all different. I love this [set]. It’s so eclectic. I’m doing a U2 song, I’m doing Sondheim and Broadway and original things. Lesli and I are singing “Stormy Weather” together. I’m singing “Red House Blues,” a Jimi Hendrix song. I’m doing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” I’m doing an Edgar Winter song and I’m doing Rodgers and Hammerstein. I’m doing Sy Coleman and things that I’ve done on Broadway. So it’s really eclectic. The way that I choose material is what it says, what it comes from. There are sections of the show that lead to one another and make sense in the bigger picture.
          PATCH: Will you sing “Old Lang Syne” at midnight?
          HARRIS: Absolutely. We’ll have to time it. That’s a tricky one. We have to time it.
          PATCH: Yeah, how do you build up the show to midnight?
          HARRIS: Well, the show will have its natural arc and I’m using these guests and I’m singing with them, they’re singing solos and then I can pretty much tell from the number of songs and the talking and things that go on the length of the show. So we work backwards and try to time it out where we can have a moment for the countdown, sing “Old Lang Syne” and then there’s a beautiful Edgar Winter song called “Fly Away” that we’re all going to sing together that’s just about hope for a good year, a new year and for the future.
          PATCH: Which of your biggest hits are part of the set?
          HARRIS: I’m doing “[Somewhere] Over the Rainbow.” I’m doing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” songs that I’ve recorded that I do frequently, but I’m also mixing it up. For example, in the show that Liza and I did together, I rewrote a completely new lyric of “Razzle Dazzle” from Chicago. Because this last year I had a number of surgeries from show injuries, on my knee, on my hip and all these back things. Liza, you know, she’s famous for her injuries and surgeries so we did this whole show about being these veterans of show business and being able to remember the injuries from the show title. So I completely rewrote a lyric from “Razzle Dazzle” which is just about going on with the show in spite of all the [injuries]. It’s a silly, funny lyric: “Give ‘em the old razzle dazzle, razzle dazzle ‘em. Flash ‘em a smile and then ironically they’ll forget you’re built bionically.” The whole thing is just about being made of all these parts and continuing to go on in show business. So I’m going to do that even though I’m doing it by myself without Liza.
          PATCH: Could you have imagined getting to perform with Liza way back in 1984?
          HARRIS: Well, Liza was one of the first shows I ever saw. When I was 10 years old, it was my first concert I ever saw when she was touring. She was just such the consummate brilliant performer and then we became very, very best friends 15 or almost 20 years ago I guess, We met and really became very close. She’s helped me with shows of mine, she’s produced a show of mine. I wrote a good deal of her Palace show and helped her through Minnelli on Minnelli. We’ve just worked with each other on our individual shows but this is the first time we’ve put together our own show. It’s called Schmoolie & Minooli.


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