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Liza Minnelli warms up for the Hollywood Bowl

The singer-actress visits Saturday. Expect selections from her 'Confessions' and 'Live at the Winter Garden' albums.

August 07, 2012|By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
  • Liza Minnelli will perform selections from her "Confessions" and "Live at the Winter Garden" albums.
Liza Minnelli will perform selections from her "Confessions"… (Danny Martindale, Getty…)

When Liza Minnelli's current tour stops at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday, expect her to draw from her 2010 album, "Confessions," and the long-delayed "Live at the Winter Garden" CD that was released in April.

But which particular songs she sings are anybody's guess.

"There is really no written script," said Minnelli, 66, who earned her first Tony Award in 1965 for the musical "Flora the Red Menace" and the lead actress Oscar for portraying Sally Bowles in Bob Fosse's influential 1972 adaptation of the Broadway musical "Cabaret." "From the years of performing, I just go with the audience."

Minnelli, daughter of Judy Garland and the director Vincente Minnelli, talked about her music by phone from New York. (This was before the death of composer Marvin Hamlisch, but Minneli said through a spokesman Tuesday that the Bowl appearance would include both comments about and the music of the man she called "a splendid talent" and "my first lifelong best friend.")

You will be performing songs at the concert from "Confessions," which is more jazz-oriented than your other albums. I love your selection of songs, including the ballad "At Last" and "He's a Tramp" from "Lady and the Tramp."

I am going to be performing "He's a Tramp."

The thing was, I did [the CD] in my bedroom. I broke my knee and had to have a knee replacement, and I could not move for six weeks, right? So I called [composer, musical director and performer] Billy Stritch and said, "Can you come over and help me? I am going bananas. Let's just sing something. Get the small electric piano in here and let's just sing."

We started to record, and it sounded just great.... It is real jazz. Billy was so sensational. It worked out so well, it became an album. It might be my favorite.

You also will be performing some selections from your "Live at the Winter Garden" CD that was recorded during your 24 sold-out concerts in 1974 on Broadway. My favorite cut on that CD is the Johnny Mercer-Harold Arlen standard "My Shining Hour."

It is a lovely song, isn't it? And the verse is so pretty: "This moment, this minute and each second in it will leave a glow upon the sky. And as time goes by, it will never die."

I read that the concert album was released shortly after your [original] engagement but was quickly pulled. What happened?

It was a conflict with the "Cabaret" [soundtrack] album.

The Hollywood Bowl show is part of your current world tour.

Yes, it is. I have been to two places [Montreal and Seminole Fla.]. Then I went to Fire Island on Aug. 4 [for a special concert with Alan Cumming]. And I am going to South America right after this.

Do you enjoy performing as much now as you did four decades ago?

Oh, my God, yes. My appreciation [of the audience] has improved tremendously.

I have always been a big fan of your mom. She would have been 90 this year.

And she would have hated that!

ALSO:

L.A. Phil's summer Bowl concerts to be heard on KUSC-FM
 
Review: L.A. Phil brings out Beethoven's majesty at Hollywood Bowl
 
Music review: Bronfman, Bringuier and L.A. Phil energize the Bowl

susan.king@latimes.com

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