The legendary entertainer broke her wrist in three places while rehearsing at home Oct. 13. Although her doctors requested Minnelli stay at the hospital, the Academy Award winner insisted on performing alongside her sister; the daughters of Judy Garland re-created the medley they first performed at the 1993 Tony Awards.
“Nothing was going to stop me from coming here tonight,” Minnelli said backstage beforehand. “Lorna asked me to be here and I wouldn’t let her down.” Immediately following their performance, Minnelli returned to the hospital for further treatment. On Oct. 21 attendees can also expect appearances by Nick Adams, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Jim Caruso, Kelly King, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Phyllis Newman and Marcia Strassman.
Luft, who went public with her recent battle against breast cancer, is celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Minnelli and special guests, many of them also cancer survivors, with the message, “We made it and you will too!”
“This event means the world to me,” said Luft in an earlier statement. “I’m so grateful to be feeling so well and performing again. These two Birdland nights are the perfect opportunity for me to gather some friends—including my sister—to raise money to help two essential organizations.”
Tony-winning actress (and Actors Fund Trustee) Newman added, “I’m thrilled that this year’s Nothing Like a Dame event will feature the wonderful Lorna Luft hosting a slew of fantastically talented friends. It’s going to be a great couple of nights, all in support of two great organizations: The Actors Fund and Tower Cancer Research Foundation.”