October 2, 2008 / 6:40 PM / 10 years ago

Minnelli dances in Rome ahead of Italian tour

ROME (Reuters) - Liza Minnelli gave a sneak preview of her Italian tour Thursday by performing one of her most famous songs in front of Rome’s landmark Trevi fountain.

Liza Minnelli performs in front of the Trevi fountain during the presentation of her Italian tour in Rome October 2, 2008. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

The 63-year-old entertainer delighted hundreds of tourists by dancing and miming to “New York, New York,” the song John Kander wrote for her and the title of the 1977 musical film in which she starred opposite Robert De Niro.

The actress and singer star is in Italy to perform for the first time in over 15 years. She will appear in seven concerts across Italy with the opening night in Rome on October 29. In keeping with tradition Minnelli threw a coin into the Baroque Trevi fountain saying she was wishing for love and compassion for all the children in Italy.

She said the international turmoil in the financial world was affecting everyone including the showbusiness industry.

“And I think the only thing that keeps all of us going is music. Do you remember in the 1930s during the Great Depression? Do you know what the number one song was? ‘We’re in the money, we’re in the money.’ So entertainment gave people their dreams back and I think that’s the job I want to do,” she told Reuters. The daughter of actress Judy Garland, Minnelli started performing at the age of 3. She has been a singer, dancer and actress, appearing in films and stage shows and won an Oscar for best actress for her performance in Cabaret in 1972.

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