Minnelli, 65, makes her Borgata debut Saturday, March 24. She speaks to Atlantic City Weekly via a phone chat from her New York home.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Start spreading the news — Liza Minnelli isn’t letting a little thing like a broken leg stand in the way of her debut in Borgata’s Event Center on Saturday, March 24.
The legendary show business triple threat — singer, dancer and actress — is back on her feet after breaking her leg in three places in November.
“I wish I could say I did it dancing, but the truth is that I tripped over my dog,” Minnelli tells Atlantic City Weekly.
So the breaks were set, her leg was placed in a cast for six weeks and Minnelli has been “working on it” and feeling better.
Besides, compared to other orthopedic challenges she’s faced, a broken leg is a relatively minor set back.
A lifetime of pounding the boards required her to have both of her hips replaced, the first in 1995 and the second five years later. Then, two years ago, she underwent surgery for a total knee replacement.
“I have so much steel in my body that when I go through one of those things at the airport, it [plays a song],” she says with a laugh during a recent chat from her home in New York.
She likes to tell people that “on the top half I’m Dorothy, and on the bottom, I’m the daughter of the Tin Man,” a reference to her famous mother Judy Garland’s iconic role in The Wizard Of Oz.
Yet in spite of those medical challenges — compounded by vocal chord surgery and a near-fatal bout of encephalitis a decade ago — Minnelli, 65, soldiers on. In fact, she said her 2010 knee replacement had a musical silver lining.
Had she not been confined to bed for several weeks after the surgery, she might not have come up with the material for Confessions, her first studio album in years.
“They told me after the surgery that I had to stay in bed like forever, and I thought I was going to go bananas,” she says. So she called her longtime pianist and friend Billy Stritch, himself a fine solo performer when he’s not working with Minnelli, and told him to come to her home with a keyboard so she could at least stave off boredom with music.
Minnelli and Stritch didn’t have a clue they were actually cooking up an album, but they began coming up with ideas for songs and arrangements.
“Finally, someone said this should be an album,” she says. “I wasn’t looking to do an album. I was just trying to find something to do while I was stuck in bed.”
Minnelli’s body of work stretches across a variety of media, and she’s scored the biggest prizes from each. She won an Academy Award for her 1972 performance in Cabaret, an Emmy Award for her special Liza with a Z, a Living Legend Grammy Award and five Tony Awards, including three for best actress in the plays Flora The Red Menace, The Rink and The Act.
It’s hard for her to single out a favorite stage show, recording or TV special, but she does have one movie that holds a special place in her heart.
If you’re thinking Cabaret, think again.
“It’s pageantry at its finest. The biggest difference [this year is] we will have world-class entertainment.”
Once again, greetings and salutations. Before you wink an eye or wiggle your nose, the holidays will be here, and the Geator will celebrate by kicking off our annual Turkey Trot at Chickie’s & Pete’s in Packer Park in South Philadelphia. But locally the big news is that KOOL 98.3 continues to dominate the market with great programming from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. It really has rejuvenated interest in radio, and I’m proud to be a part of the family Monday through Friday 7-9pm. So hats off to Longport Media, Dave Coskey, Paul Kelly, and the rest of the gang for making radio fun again. And an update from Hollywood — the Lone Ranger film starring Johnny Depp...
Atlantic City audiences are looking forward with great anticipation to Liza Minnelli's Saturday night concert at Trump Taj Mahal. It's been a long time since the award-winning legend graced an Atlant...
Entertainment will become a real drag at Resorts Atlantic City beginning May 5. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. That’s when the born-again First Game in Town will debut the gender-bender production show 'Believe: Divas In A Man’s World' for an extended run.
While the modern-day casino era has brought such big-name stars as David Bowie, Gnarls Barkley, Snoop Dogg, Pearl Jam, Eminem, the Who and Alicia Keys to town, shortly after Resorts opened its doors in 1978, Atlantic City casinos began filling their stages with some of the biggest names of the entertainment world. This week, we dive into the Atlantic City Weekly (formerly Whoot!) photo archives in order to provide a glimpse into the casino stage shows of yesteryear. While mammoth stars have always performed in Atlantic City - whether it was the Glenn Miller Orchestra at Steel Pier in 1938, the Beatles at Convention Hall in 1964 or Ray Charles numerous times at the former Club Harlem -- the town's casinos have certainly kept up the tradition - today, more than ever. The photos here were taken by the late Herb Steiner and Dan Posnak, as well as Lew Steiner and Lori Hoffman. When possible, the venue and date are listed along with the performer. (Thanks to David Spatz for his help on a few venue identifications.) Tom Jones, Resorts, 8/86 Howie Mandel, Sands, 1/93 Fats Domino, Tropicana, 6/83 Sammy Davis Jr., Harrah's, 8/84 Redd Foxx, Playboy/Atlantis, 2/83 Frank Sinatra, Golden...
Several groups lay claim to the title "best Beatles cover band," and Will Lee is willing to give each their due. "Everyone's in it for the same reason," says Lee, the Grammy Award-winning bass playe...
THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT Norah Jones would be coming to Boardwalk Hall, that Kid Rock was bringing his cocky self to the Taj, that 311 and The Roots would bring their rock 'n' rap to the Taj, and that the Borgata was hosting Maxim's Fantasy Island music festival, broke up an otherwise old school summer entertainment lineup. Back in 1980, sociologists predicted that the post-war baby boom generation, born between 1946-1964, was so large it would dominate American culture in successive decades. From the looks of the music and comedy scheduled this summer along casino row and the marina properties, I'd say that trend is right on and outta-sight. Old School Casino You can't get more old school than Wayne Newton, July 23-24, and Liza Minnelli, July 2-3, at Harrah's. Resorts has Tom Jones June 24-27, and smooth Smokey Robinson July 24-25. Paul Anka continues his exclusive contract at Borgata Aug. 13-15. Also scheduled to perform this summer are Lou Rawls at Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall July 26, presented by Trump Plaza; Patti Labelle, July 17 at Borgata; The Temptations, June 25-27 at the Trop; Bobby Vinton, Aug. 6-8, at Resorts, and Dick Fox's Golden Boys with Frankie Avalon,...