Always another stage on Liza Minnelli's horizon

Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:26pm EST
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By Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Does a pure entertainer like Liza Minnelli, now 63 years old with 60 years of performing behind her, ever really retire?

"I'm a Minnelli, so there's always something to do," she said in an interview, adding that her career's greatest moment is yet to come. "I'll think of something. I always do."

Minnelli first took to the stage at age three. Her latest hit was the Broadway show "Liza's at the Palace...!", which won a Tony Award for best special theatrical event this year, and was filmed for television.

"To receive Tony Awards throughout your life and then at this stage to get one? Come on!" she said with her signature belly burst of laughter, hours before a recent screening of her show. "I really was surprised."

The daughter of generations of performers, Minnelli's singing and acting career has spanned film, television, theater and nightclubs. The award for "Liza's at the Palace...!" was more personal, she said, because it was a tribute in part to her god mother, the late actress Kay Thompson.

"It's hard when you have a whole lifetime of memories, to think of what stories to tell, and how to describe them," Minnelli said of Thompson, whose nightclub show inspired the second act of "Liza's at the Palace...!"

"I saw it when I was two. I remember the stage came up to here," she said of Thompson's nightclub act, peering out over her hand. "I remember the whole thing, I remember seeing these legs flying around, and her energy."

Having won Tonys in 1965 and 1984, and a special award in 1974, Minnelli is no stranger to Broadway. But ending up nearly a year ago at the Palace Theater, Broadway's vaudeville pillar, was a surprise, she said.   Continued...

<p>Performer Liza Minnelli arrives for a screening of "Liza's at the Palace" in New York November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri</p>