Sunday, June 16, 2024

Liza Minnelli: She’s Mourning Pal and Canceling Shows


Liza Minnelli is perhaps the last great tragic show biz survivor. Even more than perpetually ill Liz Taylor.

You’d think, especially with the release of an excellent new album, called “Confessions,” Liza would be hard at work and cooking with gas, as they used to say. At the end of September she pulled off a private show to launch the album in New York, and appeared on “Larry King Live” and “The View.”

Alas: Liza has canceled a bunch of shows (from October 15 in Spokane, Washington seven shows through Nashville on November 13th). Her website says it’s due to illness, but I’m told it has to do –at least partially–with the untimely death of her longtime ex manager Gary Labriola.

But Labriola died on October 17th, and Liza’s cancellations were already underway before that.

Her rep, Scott Gorenstein, says Liza came down with bronchial pneumonia right after doing “The View” around October 12th. She’s been out of commission ever since.

Insiders say Minnelli has all kinds of problems–her usual demons, etc–and that’s not so good right now. As a singer who doesn’t write songs, Minnelli suffers from the same financial battles as many of her peers: no royalties from songs played on the radio. Therefore, she must tour to make money. And canceling dates doesn’t help.

It’s not as if the pending Performance Rights Act would necessarily bail Liza out: she was never a chart topping singer. But enough stations around the world play her original versions of “New York, New York” and “Cabaret” that it wouldn’t hurt. Liza, sources say, has run through most of the resources she inherited from her mother, Judy Garland, father, Vincent Minnelli, and godmother, writer Kay Thompson (author of the Eloise books).

Her next show is set for Staten Island later in November. Let’s hope she makes it. We’re rooting for you, Liza!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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