With Liza Minnelli headed back to Atlantic City in 2012, here is a portrait of the artist written by the late Atlantic City Weekly contributor Sandy Posnak.
NOTE: This article was published in 2007 and written by the late Atlantic City Weekly contributor Sandy Posnak.
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 Atlantic City stage -- much too long. "Liza with a Z" is a vocalist, and star of stage and screen, with a trophy show case that deservingly runneth over.
Minnelli was only 19 years old when she received a Tony Award for her title role in the 1965 musical Flora, the Red Menace. Ironically, she wasn't immediately chosen for the lead role in the show. "I wanted to do Flora so badly that I just kept auditioning," she once said. "I just kept going back until they couldn't get rid of me, and finally I got it."
She subsequently received a special Tony Award for her stage show Liza, and copped yet another Tony for her performance in The Act. The essentially one-woman musical was penned especially for Liza by her longtime friends, John Kander and Fred Ebb. She's one of few stars to wear the enviable triple crown of show business, meaning that she has received the aforementioned Tonys, an Emmy for her TV special, Liza with a Z, and an Academy Award as Best Actress for her compelling role as Sally Bowles in the movie Cabaret. Many other stage, screen and Broadway parts brought her kudos and additional honors during her iconic career.
When Liza starred in a previous casino concert, she told us that she was first exposed to the magic of Broadway in 1959 when she visited the Great White Way with her mother, legendary vocalist Judy Garland.
"It was just the two of us ... all we did was go to see Broadway shows." The first show that they saw was Gypsy, with Ethel Merman. "When Ethel Merman came barreling down that aisle, my life changed," she said. "Up until that second I wanted to be an ice skater."
“I wish I could say I did it dancing, but the truth is that I tripped over my dog."
It had been quiet in regards to casino headliner updates, but there have been a few splashy additions recently. Caesars announced that Mary J. Blige is performing at the Circus Maximus Dec. 29-30. Blige will be performing her classic album 'My Life' in its entirety on both dates.
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...
Female impersonators are nothing new in the Atlantic City landscape. Bally’s hosted An Evening at La Cage for 11 years and the town has hosted the Miss’d America Pageant, a spoof of the Miss America Pageant featuring cross-dressing gentlemen. However, the town has never hosted a show as enticing and hilarious as 'Believe - Divas In A Man’s World.'
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,...