It’s taken 30 years but Liza with a Z is back in the borough! Returning to Royal Festival Hall for the first time since 1973 the Academy Award winning singer and actress, best known for her role as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, will -for one night only- be giving it her all with a mixture of Broadway hits, cabaret songs and jazz numbers.
“London is like my second home, I love it here,” Liza tells the Weekender. “I’ve been here so many times and have so many friends that it’s always a treat.”
The Tony award winning performer admits she is still ironing out the final details for the show but reveals she’ll be performing a selection of songs from her latest album. “There’ll be a couple of surprises. I’m not going to tell you everything!” she teases.
Choosing a final line-up is no mean feat with a musical career spanning four decades, the diva concedes. “I know so many songs. My preferences change every so often but I really love Kander and Ebb’s The World Goes ‘Round, that philosophy and how it changes from desperation to a kind of acceptance. They wrote it for me when we did the movie New York New York.”
The daughter of Hollywood darling Judy Garland, Liza first shot to stardom in the 1972 film version of the Broadway musical Cabaret. Did she have any idea this film would become so iconic? “Not at all,” she responds. “But it’s like no other film. Fosse was an original.” While the cast and crew were shooting the movie, the head honchos at the studio would try to send instructions, to no avail, the actress recalls. “The studio would send notes like, “Too much smoke. It’ll break up in drive-ins.” In front of us, Fosse would tear up the telegram and just throw it over his shoulder and we went on.”
The 66 year-old has more recently made a name for herself with a cameo on Sex and the City 2 and through her role of the Vertigo-suffering Lucille 2 on sitcom Arrested Development. Cult fans of the American series will be pleased to hear Liza is reprising her role in the upcoming fourth season, due to be released later this year. “Yes, it’s true,” she confirms. “After the show was cancelled I’d hear all the time that plans were in the works to bring it back and people would ask me all the time if I was going to be returning and all I’d say it ‘I hope so’ because the writers are really the best there are,” she says. “The cast is so hysterical. We filmed the new season last autumn and I had a blast.”
Liza Minnelli is performing as part of the Southbank Centre’s Berlin in the ‘20s and ‘30s and the Rest is Noise. Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. March 1 at 7:30pm. Admission: £40-£120. Phone: 0844 875 0073. http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk