Yesterday, the rumored Rialto return of enter-tainment icon Liza Minnelli was finally confirmed.
The quadruple threat -- Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and, of course, Tony winner -- will "bring her unmatchable magic to Broadway," according to the Web site for her upcoming show Liza's At The Palace...!
It's been nearly nine years since the song stylist who's made sure we know that her first name's spelled with a "Z" and not and "S," last performed in her Minnelli On Minnelli concert at the dawn of this millennium. The legendary Minnelli will return to the Great White Way's Palace Theatre for a limited engagement of concert performances at beginning December 3 and running through December 14.
Liza's At The Palace...! is described as:
[T]he evening will feature an incomparable Minnelli songfest including many of her personal favorites and signature hits, followed by a dance-filled tribute to the groundbreaking late-1940s nightclub act of Minnelli's godmother, Kay Thompson. Gary Labriola will serve as Executive Producer.
Along with a twelve-man orchestra led by conductor/drummer Michael Berkowitz and pianist/musical supervisor Billy Stritch, Liza’s At The Palace…! will be highlighted with many of Liza’s showstoppers such as "Cabaret," "Maybe This Time," and "New York New York" –- all written especially for her by the legendary Broadway song writing partnership of John Kander and Fred Ebb. For the first time onstage, Liza will pay an affectionate salute to her godmother, the late Kay Thompson who was a legendary performer ("Think Pink!" from Funny Face), author (“Eloise at the Plaza”) as well a gifted vocal arranger and Music Director/vocal coach at MGM Studios who worked with stars such as Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Lena Horne. Supported by a quartet of dynamic singer/dancers, Liza will perform musical hits (with the original vocal arrangements) from Thompson's act including such numbers as "I Love a Violin," "Clap Yo' Hands," "Jubilee Time" and "Hello Hello" -- set to brand-new staging and choreography by Mr. (Ron) Lewis. Accompanying her onstage will be Cortés Alexander, Jim Caruso, Tiger Martina and Johnny Rodgers.
The concert performance will be scripted by Liza and Tony Award-winner David Zippel, and will be full of personal stories, anecdotes and heartfelt reminiscences embraced in a theatrical setting featuring scenery by Ray Klausen, costumes by Halston, lighting by Matthew Berman and sound by Matt Kraus.
Although I've had a couple chance opportunities to see this legend in person -- both were off the statge, including at the most recent Tony Awards as well as on 45th Street -- I've promised myself that if she ever returned to Broadway, I'd be there.
So you can bet when the presale begins on Wednesday, October 22, I'll be among the fans burning up the Internet and phone lines so that maybe this time, I'll be able to see Liza Minnelli perform. (Regular tickets go on sale on Sunday, October 26.)
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).