Liza Minnelli Explains What She Is!

Categories: Liza Minnelli

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The high point of last night's Astaire Awards for Broadway/film dancing had Liza Minnelli winning the Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award amidst a sea of applauding Fosse hands.

"She's a standup, knockaround broad," said Tony Danza by way of tribute.

"She goes for the kill and always comes back with a trophy," crowed Mikhail Baryshnikov about the honoree.

And Chita Rivera remembered being told she'd costar with Liza in The Rink, a show about a mother and daughter. "Who plays the mother?" Chita said she deadpanned after a beat.

Then Liza herself sashayed out and was funny and warm and grateful.

She said she just doesn't get the word "diva," which is often applied to her.

"What I am is a gypsy," Liza told the crowd, "who is more alive onstage than anywhere else, because I'm with you.

"You've given me everything I've ever needed--and my friends have given me everything I've ever wanted."

Brava, gypsy!

She also relayed an interesting story about dancing with Baryshnikov. When Liza told him she couldn't get the hang of a certain choreographic bit, he replied, "Then do it harder."

And that's what legends like Liza and Chita always do.

I saw them in the original Chicago together--Liza filled in for ailing Gwen Verdon at one point--and it was beyond magical.

Someone in last night's audience called out that Chita should do it again.

"If you wanna kill me," she laughed.


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16 comments
Scoop
Scoop

The "gypsy" and "knockaround" comments aside, Liza is a trooper!

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

Me, too, Cat. Saw a matinee and went right back for the evening performance.

CapitalCat
CapitalCat

Saw Verdon, Rivera and Jerry Orbach in the original Chicago in 1976--magic.

Musto
Musto

Well, as I said, Odom Jr. won. The Artist won for Film, Porgy & Bess for show. Lisa Nicole Wilkerson won for Best Female Dancer, for Porgy & Bess.

BobbyBaby
BobbyBaby

I would have been nice to know the winners.

Bwaybill
Bwaybill

The "gypsy" thing is what makes Liza endure--she's got dancing and Broadway and show biz in her veins and she's a real trouper, despite all the hardships.

rolph
rolph

Great writeup!! Wish I'd been there.

Musto
Musto

Yes, I saw that cast and it was indeed sublime.

Then I got a call asking if I wanted two tickets to se Chita, Liza, and Orbach do it and it was sublime in a whole other way. Liza had learned the whole part of Roxy in a short time and was brilliant. Gwen was amazing in the role too. And Chita...incomparable both times. That was the same year as A Chorus Line. What a year for the American musical.

Liz
Liz

Liza and Tony Danza?

RC61Austin
RC61Austin

Michael:  Do you recall the "Taxi" episode where a guy is smitten by a studly Tony Danza? Tony is totally oblivious to the guy's interest.   Tony's character is too shy to let the admirer down, so Judd Hirsch gets the job.  Tony D. was dreamy in his prime. 

Bobwhite
Bobwhite

a friend of mine said he saw liza and danza kiss....any more info on the engagement?

Discus
Discus

it looks like this might be a real thing between danza and minnelli

Libi
Libi

It was a joke.

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