Stars turned out in force Jan. 7 to wecome Liza Minnelli back to Broadway for the first time in 13 years.
Minnelli, who is filling in for Julie Andrews, star of Broadway's Victor/Victoria, while Andrews takes a four-week break, was greeting at the Marquis Theatre by a standing ovation from a crowd that included Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, Linda Lavin, Christopher Walken, Rosie O'Donnell, Tony Randall, Ed Bradley, Paula Abdul, Lucie Arnaz and many others.
Minnelli launched her career on Broadway with the short-lived musical Flora, the Red Menace, and went on to star in The Rink and The Act.
To read Minnelli's interview with Playbill, see "Call It 'V/V' With a Z" in Feature Articles.
Minnelli, who won an Academy Award as Sally Bowles in the 1972 film version of the musical Cabaret, will star as Victoria Grant through Feb. 2. Minnelli's last Broadway appearance was in 1983's Kander & Ebb musical, The Rink. She also appeared on Broadway in Flora, the Red Menace, The Act and Chicago (she replaced the role of Roxie, which had been played by Gwen Verdon and Leonora Nemetz, and which is currently being played in revival by Ann Reinking).
The new song, "Who Can I Tell" (sung by Minnelli), now closes act one, replacing "Crazy World."
Victor/Victoria won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, while Julie Andrews' portrayal of a gender-bending nightclub singer won Best Actress in A Musical for both the OCC and Drama Desk. Rachel York captured OCC and Drama Desk Awards as Best Featured Actress in a musical.
Andrews was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical, but famously announced that she was withdrawing her name from consideration because no one else from the show was nominated. Her name appeared on the Tony ballot, but she lost to Donna Murphy of The King and I.
Blake Edwards' 1982 film, "Victor/Victoria," starred Andrews, alongside Robert Preston (as Toddy, played by Tony Roberts in the current musical) and James Garner. Henry Mancini (music) and Leslie Bricusse (lyrics) wrote the musical's score, which contains additional material by Frank Wildhorn.