Ring Them Bells? Liza Minnelli Looking to Play the Palace

News   Ring Them Bells? Liza Minnelli Looking to Play the Palace
Tony Award winner Liza Minnelli is in talks to return to Broadway in a concert show that may play the Palace in late 2008.
Liza Minnelli
Liza Minnelli Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Minnelli's last Broadway bow was at the Palace in a tribute to work by her director father, Vincente Minnelli, in a show titled Minnelli on Minnelli. It played a month starting in late 1999.

If the deal is made, the limited-engagement concert is expected to be a tribute to Minnelli's late godmother, the actress and vocal coach Kay Thompson, who coached Minnelli's mother, Judy Garland. Thompson was famously captured on film as the diva fashion-magazine editor who scatted with Fred Astaire in "Funny Face."

It's not hard to guess that the Broadway concert will also include some of the songs that Minnelli made famous. The current concert tour is set up so that the first act boasts Minnelli classics ("Maybe This Time," "Cabaret" and more) and the second act references Thompson. The concert's choreographer and director is Ron Lewis.

In a note to fans on officiallizaminnelli.con, Minnelli wrote, "When I sign the contract [for the Palace], you'll be the first to know. I'm terribly excited, and hope this comes through."

News of the plan first broke when a Rhode Island venue for a November Minnelli concert booking indicated that the concert was bound for the Palace. She'll sing in concert in Italy in October and early November before playing an engagement Nov. 19-23 at the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre in Woonsocket, RI. (Visit stadiumtheatre.com.)

A Palace run would have to happen prior to the Feb. 23, 2009, launch of the new revival of West Side Story there. Legally Blonde ends its run at the Palace Oct. 19.

The Palace, a famed vaudeville house that later went legit, was the site of a Tony Award-honored run by Garland, Judy Garland at the Palace "Two-a-Day," in the 1951-52 season. She won a special Tony for the appearance "for her contribution to vaudeville through her stint at the Palace." She would return to the Palace twice after that.

Liza Minnelli won two Tonys as Best Actress in a Musical — for Flora, the Red Menace (1965) and The Act (1978) — and was nominated for The Rink (1984). She won a Special Tony in 1974 for "adding lustre to the Broadway season."

Minnelli won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in the film "Cabaret." She won an Emmy Award (sharing it with Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb) for the 1972 TV special "Liza With a 'Z.'"

In addition to Minnelli on Minnelli, her Broadway appearances include Victor/Victoria (replacing Julie Andrews, briefly), Chicago (replacing Gwen Verdon), and the 1974 concert called Liza, at the Winter Garden.

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