I Love Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli is a survivor. I’m sure she would roll her eyes just reading that cliché of a line. Okay, I’ll start again. She is one of the few artists on the planet to have won an Oscar, four Tonys, an Emmy Legend Award, and two Golden Globes. Yes. Every gay man of a certain season on the planet knows this, not to mention any true fan of the entertainment world, regardless of orientation.
All right. Here’s the thing. If I ever had a chance to chat with Minnelli, I’d politely grill her about her relationship with her godmother, the brilliant children’s book author, composer, actress and singer, Kay Thompson. Many of you would know her from her scene-stealing supporting role in Stanley Donen’s 1957 film classic, Funny Face. Liza paid tribute to Thompson in her Tony-award-winning 2009 Broadway show, Liza’s At The Palace.
I don’t care about the marriages, the gossip, or the drug and alcohol-fueled parties in the 1970s, although that last one is only a half-truth. I’d probably ask her what her favourite songs were to dance to smashed at New York’s Studio 54, back in the day. If she remembers.
I’m sure people have asked her a million times about Kander and Ebb. I’d ask her about her memories recording songs by other composers like Lennon and McCartney (she recorded For No One in 1968), Randy Newman (she recorded Love Story in 1969), and Lowe and Tennant (she recorded a whole album of music by the Pet Shop Boys in 1989.)
I would ask her if she had any memories making the feature she shot in Toronto back in 1991, Stepping Out. I’d ask her how her new hips are holding up. The legendary Bob Fosse’s unique style of dance choreography had a tendency to grind those dancer femurs into those dancer hip bones. Pulpy.
Liza’s on tour. She is coming to Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on October 28, 2011. If anyone can “put on a show,” it’s her.
Addendum, July 23, 2013: I unforunately missed this show, as I had to leave the city unexpectedly. I hope to see Minnelli perform live someday.