Friday, 20 June 2008

The 62nd Annual Tony Awards

15th June 2008 - Radio City Music Hall, New York City. Liza presented the Best leading Actor in a Musical Award, won by Paulo Szot for South Pacific. Here are a few pictures of OUR leading lady.

Monday, 16 June 2008

The Brilliant Billy Stritch

An award-winning composer, arranger, vocalist, and jazz pianist of extraordinary range and sophistication, BILLY STRITCH breathes new life into the Great American Songbook, all the while bringing an easy sense of humor and showmanship to his performances.Born and raised in Sugar Land, Texas, Billy Stritch got his start at age 12, playing piano at his neighborhood First Presbyterian Church. Word spread about the child prodigy, and the local country club hired him for a four-year weekly gig in the piano bar. The dreaded requests came in droves, prompting Billy to rush home and learn all the requisite standards, which would subsequently fill his tip bowl! Inspiration came from jazz greats like Oscar Peterson and George Shearing, but his older sister’s love for Elton John and Billy Joel opened up a new world of pop music which informs his playing to this day. After being turned on to singers like Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Mark Murphy and Carmen McRae, Stritch started to find his own voice to use in conjunction with the piano mastery.

Read more of Billy's biography and all the latest info at;

John Kander and Fred Ebb

Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb have forged one of the longest-running and most successful creative partnerships in Broadway history; their bold, brassy style giving rise to a series of enormously popular and provocative musicals including Cabaret, Chicago, and Kiss of the Spider Woman. Kander was born March 18, 1927, in Kansas City, MO, and began studying music as a child; he started his professional career in 1950 with Second Square, and between 1955 and 1957 served as choral director and conductor for Rhode Island's Warwick Musical Theatre. From there, he arranged the dance music for Gypsy and Irma la Douce, and made his Broadway composing debut with the 1962 flop A Family Affair. Later that same year, Kander met Ebb, with whom he soon collaborated on the songs "My Coloring Book" and "I Don't Care Much," both later recorded by Barbra Streisand. The duo's first stage musical, Golden Gate, went unrealized, but it did convince producer Harold Prince to hire them for his Flora, The Red Menace, a satire of bohemian culture and radical politics which also featured Liza Minnelli in her Tony Award-winning Broadway debut. Kander and Ebb's next collaboration continued in the political vein of Flora, but with much more serious overtones; 1966's Cabaret, a brilliant examination of fascism in pre-war Berlin, rocketed the duo to massive critical and commercial success, winning seven Tony awards (including Best Musical) on its way to a run of 1,166 performances and an Oscar-winning film adaptation. Kander and Ebb resurfaced in 1968 with two new musicals, The Happy Time and Zorba, followed three years later by 70, Girls, 70; in 1972, they also composed a number of songs for Minnelli's Emmy-winning television special Liza With a Z. After contributing material to Streisand's 1975 film Funny Girl, later that same year Kander and Ebb launched Chicago, which was largely overlooked during its original run but was revived to massive success two decades later. In 1977, they scored Martin Scorsese's film musical New York, New York; the title song later became a signature hit for Frank Sinatra as well as the Big Apple's unofficial theme. Also that year, the duo launched The Act on Broadway; both projects starred Liza.

A Time to Live - 1985

Liza played the part of Mary-Lou Wiesman, A mother struggling to cope with her sons muscular Dystrophy and the agonising fact that, one day, she will lose her son. Liza gained a Golden Globe award for her portrayal of Mary-Lou, Showing that as an actress, She is at the top of her game.

Everyone asks the question "Why do you like Liza?"

"Why do you like Liza Minnelli? What's the attraction?"
It comes up a million times and I give everyone the exact same answer that I am going to write here. If Liza asked me herself, "Why do you love me?", this is what she'd get.
Babies and animals love you unconditionally. They love you because you love them. You feed them, you care for them, you make sure they're alright. I love Liza unconditionally because she does all these things without even knowing me. She feeds me music that changes my life and alters my mood, She makes sure we all are happy with what she puts up onto the stage and she cares about our opinions. On a personal note, The warmth she gives to other human beings, the way she'd not afraid to hug someone in pain, how free spirited she is. She's the kind of person you could go up to and say "I have a problem. Can I tell you about it?" and she'd say "Sit".
I feel a huge connection with her because I've been where she's been. I've been at rock bottom before and she's helped me get back up again, without even knowing she's done it.
I try not to call myself a "fan". Even though this blog is titled "An intimate look at a fan's devotion" I don't particularly like the word. I feel it's too harsh. I'm an adorer. I adore her.
I know that if I have a bad day, a really bad day, I can sit down and watch a interview and listen to her tell everyone how she stayed strong and she got through it and it helps me gain a little courage and face the problem I have at that time. She's the kind of person that would be your best friend or the mother you could only wish to have.
I guess a part of me, since I was a little girl, had wished that Liza had been my mom. I know it sounds strange but, even though I love my mother, she was never always completely there in mind. My mom has battled with Bipolar Disorder for 25 years and has been in and out of hospitals all my life. As a result of this, She would drink heavily, My brother and I carrying her to bed more often than not. My relationship with my mom deteriorated when I hit my teens and when many of my problems began although now that I am older, 21, our relationship has got back on track. I guess I wished that Liza was my mother, Not because she was famous and rich but because I felt I had an emotional connection with her. A overwhelming feeling of love and all I wanted to do was protect her. Eight years old and I wanted to protect a woman I had never met but who I had such a deep connection with. I often thought about the year I was born and that, had I been Liza's daughter, it would have been in her marriage to Mark.
Having met Liza four times in the past year and a half, I have got more of an understanding of the kind of person she is. She truly is the most remarkable, strong and independant woman I have ever met. A truly willful and positive person. A lover not a fighter. She shows dedication, timeless effort and is an absolute phenomenon. Without her in my life, I would have no substance. A good way to explain it is if you are a Christian or a Catholic. You follow the bible as your guide. You turn to it for stability, for growth, to live your life. Liza is my bible. She gives me substance and order in my life and I know I can overcome many fears and problems. Because I know I have her wisdom to look at. I know I have her words.

Liza and Mark

Liza and Mark were Married on the 4th of December 1979, Liza's third marriage and her longest, lasting 12 years. They were divorced on 27th January 1992. It has been said that the reasons for the divorce was the fact that Mark couldn't handle the fame that surrounded Liza and often felt left out, although this has been mentioned in several biographies and reports, It is not entirely known if it's factual or not. I feel that this relationship was one of stability for Liza, Mark being a Sculptor meant he was not in the attention of the spotlight before the relationship began and I think Liza benefited from this. It is saddening that their relationship didn't make it. It was my favourite relationship and they seemed so suited for each other.

The Sterile Cuckoo - 1969

Magazine Covers from over the years

Our Liza

Liza in Glasgow 2008

I got into Glasgow for 3pm and made my way over to meet my friends Conor and Clare at their hotel. What a great pair they are. Very funny and friendly and very easy to talk to. We walked the reasonably short distance to the SECC and got to the stage door for about quarter to four. There was only a handful of people waiting, mainly autograph hunters in search of a Celebrity signature. Me met Neil there, He's a great guy. We went out for drinks after. Anyway, We were waiting for about half an hour when Billy Stritch came outside for a cigarette and turned the corner, away from everyone. I decided that it would be a good idea, and a morale boost for him, to go over and say Hi and conor came with me. He was so friendly and we chatted for about 10 minutes about the weather and when they were going back to New York and stuff like that. I showed him my picture of me with Liza and he remember who I was from the Sarasota Concert. He told me I looked beautiful and he gave me a big cuddle and told i him I'd see him later. A few minutes later we were told to move to the other door as Liza would be heading straight for the dressing rooms. She arrived at about 5.15, got out the car, shook Clares hand, then mine and then saw Conor and gave him a kiss and a cuddle. She didnt have time to sign anything right there and then but we were told to hand stuff to her Manager and she'd sign the backstage. So she went to her dressing room and conor was allowed to go back. Conor did ask Ron, Liza's choreographer, If I could come back too. He had said No originally but once he was inside, he asked Liza and Liza said it would have been fine but by that time the doors had been closed and sound checks were getting underway so I would be going backstage after the concert anyway but Ron made sure Conor told me that it would be a definite, considering I didn't get to watch the rehearsal.
Liza's manager came out about half an hour later so I got my picture back all signed. Conor came out at about 6.15 and we went back to the hotel, had drinks and then made our way back to the SECC. We had a quick drink and took our seats. I was sitting up on the lower circle while Conor and Clare where on the ground level. Liza was fantastic. really skinny, superb voice, very reminicent of her radio city days and she just gave it her all. She opened with Teach me tonight which was fantastic! Everyone was up on their feet. I cant remember exactly what she sang but I know she did My ship has sailed, Mammy, sara lee (which everyone just adored) maybe this time, the man I love and a few more that I can't remember. She finished the end of the first act with Cabaret. I ran down to Conor at Intermission to say Hi and he told me Alan Cumming was sitting right infront of him. I went out for a smoke and as I was coming back in, I ran into Alan Cumming! lol I shook his hand and he introduced me to his boyfriend, He went for a pee and I took my seat. Second half was terrific, as usual. the four dancers portraying the Williams brothers were better than last year and they sang and danced there asses off. Liza of course ended the show with New York New York. At the very end of the show, I made my way down to meet Conor and luckly enough Alan was still in his seat so I got a quick picture with him and his autograph which is signed on the back page of the my September play script as I had no paper! lol I'll Scan it and put it on the group page. Conor, Clare, Neil and I waited in the auditorium along with people that had won the television comp and Liza's managers decided it would be far more easier to bring Liza out than bring everyone in. She came out and was very chatty, saying she loved Scotland and how beautiful it was. She stood right next to me, brushing her arms against mine a few times and I turned to her and said "Everybody here just adores you. You can see that." She said "Oh thank you, I just love it here." then she tapped my arm with her hand lol She didnt have any time for pictures, which I was disappointed about, so she quickly signed a few peoples things and went away. I asked one of the security guards to let Johnny Rodgers know that I was waiting to see him and he was expecting me so he came out and we had big cuddles and kisses, got my picture with him and we just chatted about how he's liked Glasgow and the UK tour and how it was good to see him again. As you all know Angie and I have met him twice before and he's just a doll. Very quiet and so cute. He went away and I forgot to give him my CD so I gave it to one of the security guards to give to him. Afterwards we wenty back round to the stage door and saw Liza come out. There were alot of people waiting to see her but she said something like "Bye Babies! thank you for coming! Ill be back!" She gave me a quick wave and blew kisses and then she got in the car. There was a little disabled girl who was wheeled up to the car door and liza gave her a big hug and a kiss and signed her stuff. Then she was gone.
We went back to the hotel, dumped our stuff and went for another drink before heading to a club for some partying. Clare rocks on the dance floor! lol We practically never stopped! Of course we requested Liza and got "Losing My Mind" played to the delight of many!! Went to Macdonalds at 3am with Clare, phoned a taxi and was home for 4am.
Met with Billy Stritch and got a big cuddle
Met Liza twice and shook her hand and got patted lol
Got pic signed
Met Alan Cumming
Got pic and autograph with Alan Cumming
Met up with Johnny Rodgers got pic taken and gave CD to him

I am a little disappointed as the time we had with Liza was so rushed and I guess I am a little disappointed I didnt get to watch her rehearse. But, I have met her twice before and had wonderful experiences with her last year so I really shouldn't complain. All in all, I've seen her in Concert 5 times, been in the audience for a live tv show when she was guest staring and Ive met her 4 times. That cant be bad for a 21 year old girl from Scotland can it?