Monday, February 2, 2015

Dark Monday • Liza Minnelli is 'Stepping Out'

Liza Minnelli in Stepping Out (1991) photo Liza_Minnelli_stepping-out-1991_zps0aca58c9.jpg

I have to admit, when I was coming up with an idea for this Dark Monday post, it began with wanting to feature Liza Minnelli, for it has just been too long. Don't get me wrong - I listen to her all the time. Yes, I am a big fan. But it has been too long - about 7 months - since I have featured her on the blog. So tonight I feature a scene from the 1991 film, 'Stepping Out', where Liza, as the main character Mavis, sings the title song, written for her by the great team of John Kander and Fred Ebb. The show is based on a play of the same name that premiered in London in 1984, and later on Broadway in 1987. It was the story of a fading West End star who teaches a tap dancing class in a dingy church hall. It was thought of as a great vehicle for Minnelli, and the story was adapted to be based in Buffalo, New York, and the role of the teacher was beefed out a bit. And there was the addition of the song, Stepping Out". This is Liza singing the title song.

And while it hit the movies in a limited release, the film was not a financial success. This was surprising, as the cast was pretty impressive. Along with Liza, the credits included Shelley Winters, Julie Walters, Ellen Greene, Jane Krakowski, Bill Irwin, and Andrea Martin, among others. But as I say, any movie with Liza in it is worth seeing. But I have been a fan of Liza's since I saw her on Broadway, in 'The Act', which I saw on a high school trip. Since then, I have purchased her albums, seen her movies, you name it. I still would love to see her performing live again. And her recent album, 2010's 'Confessions', is so wonderful, I never tire of listening to it.

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