Thursday, October 15, 2009

LIZA! LIZA!! LIZA!!!

It's nice to see Liza in the news again and in a good way! Wow! What a year! The Palace show (which I saw!), a Tony for that show (her fourth), an appearance on DROP DEAD DIVA (hysterical), a recent hot show at the MGM Grand in Vegas (filmed to be aired next month), she just filmed an appearance for the upcoming SEX AND THE CITY sequel and NOW she is wowing Australia!
She has broken box office records there. I have compiled a few articles here about her Australia appearances. Enjoy!
Liza Minnelli an 'old broad' worth grabbing





LIZA Minnelli measures her trips to Australia in changes to the Sydney Opera House.
BRYCE HALLETT
October 13, 2009

THE "girl with an int'resting face", as the showman Peter Allen wrote of his American wife Liza Minnelli in Tenterfield Saddler, fronted the Sydney media yesterday after an absence of 20 years. It was a class act.

The entertainer may no longer be the girl of Allen's autobiographical song - they married in 1967, divorced seven years later and remained friends until his death in 1992 - but she still has the trademark effervescence that has made her as famous as her legendary mother Judy Garland.
(Peter Allen, pictured here with Tom Postillio) Minnelli, 63, performs at the Opera House this week in her first Australian trip since touring with Sammy Davis jnr and Frank Sinatra. She first came to Sydney with Allen, playing Chequers nightclub in the 1960s. On later visits she saw the Opera House at different stages of construction, little knowing she would one day grace the Concert Hall stage.


''I choose songs that mean something to me, songs that talk to people rather than just singing into space under a spotlight.''

Minnelli's generosity and warmth starkly contrast with the tabloid horror stories about her battles with alcohol and drug addiction, personal failures and disastrous marriages. In 2000, she was incapacitated by viral encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. She was unable to walk or talk. Her doctor said recovery was unlikely. ''I said 'Nah!' I chose not to believe him. I went back to work and haven't stopped working … My advice to younger artists is [to] believe in what you're doing and do what you believe in.''

Aside from her near-mythical lineage, Minnelli shot to fame playing Sally Bowles in the 1972 film Cabaret .
She won an Academy Award for best actress. '''It was so much fun. Here we were, can you imagine, making a musical in Germany about the Nazis yet no one seemed to notice so we got away with it. No one really knew what we were doing … I just adored it.''
Minnelli's whirlwind delivery can be traced to her godmother Kay Thompson. She had been Garland's vocal coach at MGM and sang in nightclubs in the late 1940s and early '50s. ''I was two years old when I was taken to see Kay perform,'' Minnelli says. ''She was an all-rounder and influenced all of us.''
Minnelli's triumphant return to the New York stage last year echoed the sentiments of theatre critic Ben Brantley a decade earlier when she took over from Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria on Broadway. "Her every appearance is perceived as a victory of showbusiness stamina over psychic frailty … Minnelli asks for love so nakedly and earnestly, it seems downright vicious not to respond."

Minnelli performs at the Opera House on Friday and Saturday, and at the Entertainment Centre on November 2.
The Broadway star first visited in the late 1960s.

"Then, when I came again, they had sort of started it. The next time I came they were still starting it. The following time it had sort of stopped - you know, there was that long pause," Minnelli said, with undiminished comic timing, at the landmark building yesterday.

In Sydney for the start of a national tour, Minnelli was forthright about staying busy, keeping healthy and staying positive.

"If you keep going, I don't think you have time to think about stopping," she said.
Asked if the constant rehearsing and performing ever grinds her down, Minnelli, 63, replied: "I wouldn't be doing it at this age if I didn't really like it. I'm an old broad to be doing all this stuff."



Minnelli said Australia was a country she has visited for most of her life, but only really got to know while she was married to Peter Allen. "I am really excited to be playing in Australia again. This place means so much to me, and I'm thrilled to be performing the show that won a Tony award in the US - incidentally, my fourth," she said.
Minnelli has just completed a guest role in the new Sex and the City movie.
"My choreographer created a number for me in that film that I should have done when I was 22. I marry these two guys in it. And when I say that they've asked me to sing a special song that was playing when they got engaged, and everyone is expecting It Had To Be You, or something, I get to sing: 'If you like it then you better put a ring on it ..."'

Although she has been a gay icon her whole career, Minnelli dodged questions about gays in the military, and President Barack Obama's broken promises to them.
"You know, people ask me all the time why I have so many gay fans," she said. "And I'd say this, and it's really all I'd like to say on the subject: they have great taste."
Asked whether she, as Barbra Streisand has, would one day grab someone such as Diana Krall and her band to produce and play on an album, Minnelli said it's generally others, in her career, who do the grabbing.

Minnelli has recorded with the Pet Shop Boys, and recently with My Chemical Romance. "I know so many people in rock and roll, and I just love it. Because I'm a dancer I'm constantly driven in my tastes by what sort of beat they're going for and how well you can dance to it," she said.
Audiences in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane can look forward to an all-singing, all-dancing show, with the same 12-piece band Minnelli used at the Palace on Broadway, some of whom have been with her for 30 years.

Fans will hear songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb that Minnelli made famous, such as Cabaret and Maybe This Time.
Liza's at the Palace Filmed Sept. 30-Oct. 1; Hits Airwaves in November
By Andrew Gans
30 Sep 2009



The Tony-winning Liza's at the Palace — featuring award-winning singing actress Liza Minnelli — was filmed in the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

Minnelli began performances at the Nevada venue Sept. 25 and concluded there Oct. 1.

American Public Television (APT) will distribute the television special beginning Nov. 27.
The performance will be available to public television viewers through the month of December and will then be released to the general public in early 2010 by MPI Home Video.


Minnelli is joined onstage by her musical director and pianist Billy Stritch as well as her quartet of singer/dancers: Cortes Alexander, Jim Caruso, Johnny Rodgers and Tiger Martina. The show is directed by Ron Lewis; Michael Berkowitz is musical conductor/drummer.
All of the material performed during Minnelli's Tony-winning New York engagement will be included in the broadcast. The program captures many of Minnelli's greatest hits as well as an affectionate tribute to her godmother, the late Kay Thompson.

Eric Luskin, vice president of APT's Premium Service, said in a previous statement, "This is an exciting project and we are thrilled to bring it to public television audiences. We are very proud to work with a legendary entertainer such as Liza Minnelli, continuing our tradition of distributing top-rated musical productions to public television audiences."
The television event will be directed by Matthew Diamond and executive produced by JoAnn Young, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

Prior to Liza's at the Palace. . ., Minnelli, an Oscar winner for her performance in Cabaret, was last on Broadway in a tribute to her late father entitled Minnelli on Minnelli; she also returned to New York City's Beacon Theatre with her acclaimed concert Liza's Back! In addition to her Tonys for Flora, the Red Menace and The Act, Minnelli was awarded a special Tony in 1974 for "adding lustre to the Broadway season." Her film credits include "The Sterile Cuckoo," "Arthur," "New York, New York" and "Stepping Out." The singer is also a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress. Her album "Liza's Back!" is available on the J Records label, and "The Best of Liza Minnelli" was released on the Columbia/Legacy label.
Showtime aired "Liza with a 'Z'," and Minnelli also received the Julie Harris Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 10th Annual Tony Awards Bash in Los Angeles.

(SOURCE: PLAYBILL.COM)

Liza Minnelli Returns

By Joal, 14th October, 2009

At long last Liza Minnelli has arrived in Australia. The 63-year-old told media she wasn’t dead yet, and that performing at the Sydney Opera House would be a career highlight.

“The first time I came here, [the Sydney Opera House] wasn’t even being built. Then when I came again, they had kind of started it. Then when I came again they had stopped. Do you remember that? There was a long pause,” Liza told media jokingly at a press conference on Tuesday, “I’m thrilled to be here!”

The daughter of Judy Garland, and once married to Australian entertainer Peter Allen, Liza is familiar with the land of oz. This time around she’ll be treating audiences in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane to highlights from her career with her 12-piece-band.

And Liza has assured us the concerts won’t be a tame affair. Letting slip her appearance in the new Sex and the City film, where she weds two gay men and performs Beyonce’s Single Ladies, the performance icon obviously still has it. “Every performance I do has to be the best one I’ve ever done.
What I have to prove is the price of admission,” said Liza, Tuesday. The star may be aging, but with appearences on hit show Arrested Development and recent collaboration with My Chemical Romance, it doesn’t look like she’s about to stop.

Liza also told those assembled that there was one simple reason she was such a hit with the gays – “You know, people ask me all the time why I have so many gay fans, and I’d say this, and it’s really all I’d like to say on the subject: they have great taste.”
Liza’s latest show is taken from her Tony-Award winning Broadway hit, Liza’s At The Palace. Given a unique touch for Australian audiences, the show is said to include Cabaret, Maybe This Time and New York, New York.

But this won’t be Liza’s final hoorah, apparently. “Why on earth would it be the last [visit to Australia]?” Liza questioned one media rep. “What? Are you planning on me dying? Forget it,” says Liza, giving her signature cackle.



CAROL CHANNING NEWS!Carol Channing's new CD "For Heaven's Sake" is available now at www.ferguson-music.com and www.carolchanning.org and stores near you!"



Nelson Pressley reviews Jane Krakowski in the Washington Post: “Even under the weather, she sparkled.”

He’s much cheerier than I am. Was it the earlier show or residual charm from the interview he did?

Here’s a paragraph in his review that leads to an issue with this show that I really want to discuss:
“Krakowski is slated for a few weeks at a Manhattan club later this month, so presumably her voice will be stronger and the act will be honed. On Saturday the band members still seemed to be familiarizing themselves with the material, and Krakowski frequently glanced toward her music stand for lyrics and segue tales.”

Is it really OK that DC audiences were treated to a show that Krakowski herself onstage admitted was “underrehearsed” ? The show was not billed as a “pre-New York tryout.” Do the people paying $55 each in two sold out houses not rate a finished product? Do the people at the second show paying $55 a seat deserve to see a show with 30 minutes eliminated from the first?

Last night, I appeared at a party honoring Sondra Lee's new book, I've Slept With Everybody!" It's a great book and I was honored to be included. Sondra appeared in the original "HELLO, DOLLY!" with Carol Channing and there is an interesting chapter in the book on Carol. You will have to read the book for the story! Anyone, it was a great party! Geoffrey Holder, James Gavin, Charles Busch, KT Sullivan, Barbara Flood, David Noh, John Sefakis (Dancers Over 40) are just a few of the luminaries I saw there. John has asked me to appear Sunday, December 13th, 2 - 5pm DO40 Holiday Party, their first Dancers Over 40 LEGACY Awards, honoring five DO40 women who have excelled in their dance field(s). A little sit down affair at Swing 46.One of the honorees is Nicole Barth, whom I appeared with at the Gower Champion event hosted by DANCERS OVER 40. She was Gower's assistant for years. I've been asked, as "Carol" to go and speak not only about Nicole, but about Marge Champion as well (who they're also honoring).The other ladies they're honoring are Marge Beddow (Gwen's understudy), Gemze de Lappe (who was at the event last night with us - and an Agnes deMille dancer) and Billie Mahoney, who is flying in from Kansas City (she had a cable dance show, Dance On.. for hundreds of years). Check on www.dancersover40.org for the details... it's on the home page right next to the details of our Gennaro event on Monday!
Don't forget to contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING & HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS: http://www.carolchanning.org/Foundation.htm

With grateful XOXOXs for your support!

Richard Skipper

Follow me on Twitter @RichardSkipper





HERE IS WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MY WORK:


Made it to The Iguana Wednesday the 7th. Thoroughly enjoyed the show and all the performers. Loved meeting everyone; especially my friends' daughter, Melissa Young performing that evening. I ONLY regret that I couldn't stay for the entire show. I'll definitely be back. The best deal in town! CHUCK MOSSEAU, ASBURY PARK


Had a ball at the Iguana on Wednesday. You and Dana were fabulous. Paul loved that you did a number from "Sugar." He loves that score.
Rochelle Chamlin, featured performer

Richard - hearing you this past Wednesday nite at The Iguana VIP Lounge pull out of your back pocket a wonderful ballad as 'Old Man River' was so enjoyable! You sang with such tenderness and feeling. You really stopped me dead-in-my-tracks. I always see you exhibiting such energy and excitement in your emceeing duties that to hear you sit and hold court in that spotlight was thrilling for me and the entire audience. You are truly the "consummate entertainer".
Love, Jillian Laurain, Featured Performer








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October 21st: Jack Donahue, Stearns Matthews, Leslie Orofino, Susan Winter

October 28th: Jenna Esposito returns!, Laurie Krauz & Wicked’s very own Walter ONeil, Angela Schultz, Mauricio Villa-Lobos!

November 4th: Arianna, Moira Danis, Elaine St. George, Daryl Glenn, Lynn DiMenna

December 2nd: Cynthia Crane, The debut of The Marquee 5 (Mick Bleyer, Adam Hemming, Vanessa Parvin, Sierra Rein, Julie Reyburn) singing selections from their upcoming revue, "We Can Make It...The Songs of Kander & Ebb" and Hector Coris!

December 9th: Richard Holbrook, Josh Zuckerman, Helena Grenot, Jillian Laurain

December 30th: Linda Fields, Ritt Henn, Annie Hughes, Yvette Malavets-Blum

Keep checking http://www.richardskipper.com/schedule.html

2 comments:

  1. Great blog, Richard! I'm the biggest Liza fan there is (saw "Liza's at the Palace....!" 5 times)! I'm so happy to see all of the positive press, as I'm not interested in any of the negative gossip. She's the definition of a performer!

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