Minnelli brings nostalgic mood to new Broadway show

Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:09pm EST
 
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By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Billboard) - As she prepares for the launch of her new Broadway show, Liza Minnelli can envision an extended run and possible tour. But she isn't making any plans.

"Y'know, I really go one step at a time here," Minnelli told Billboard.com. "I just want to get to the opening night, and then we'll see what happens after that."

"Liza's at the Palace ..." starts a three-and-a-half-week run December 3 at New York's Palace Theater. The production, which brings Minnelli to the venue where her mother, Judy Garland, staged a Tony Award-winning 19-week run in 1951, is filled with personal touchstones.

The second act features a tribute to Minnelli's godmother, Kay Thompson, which the entertainer has been performing in her shows for the past year and a half. A new first act combines her greatest hits with other favorites, including a re-creation of Garland's "Palace Medley" that Minnelli says will be particularly nostalgic.

"It's memories -- I went to every matinee," recalled Minnelli.

Working with producer Phil Ramone, Minnelli recently recorded a studio version of the show, which will be available at the Palace during the run and then will be released February 3 on Hybrid Recordings. There are no plans to film the production, but Minnelli noted, "You never know, that could change in 12 minutes."

Minnelli said that she's looking forward to getting the long-gestating show on the boards and seeing how it plays in front of a paying crowd.

"I come at it from every angle," she said. "It's not only the performer's angle, but the writer's angle -- 'What should it look like?' And if I was sitting in the audience, what would I like to see? The creative process of the whole thing is the most fascinating (part) to me. Unless I can really throw myself into it completely, I don't think it's worth doing."

Reuters/Billboard

 
<p>U.S. singer Liza Minnelli performs on the last night of the Jazzaldia Jazz Festival in San Sebastian July 27, 2008. REUTERS/Vincent West</p>