To kick off its twelfth season, Men Alive - The Orange County Gay Men's Chorus will welcome a very special guest star: the legendary Liza Minnelli. This concert marks her first appearance in Orange County, CA in almost twenty years.
This inimitable showbiz icon will perform with the chorus at the 3,000-seat Segerstrom Hall on the campus of The Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa for "Liza Minnelli with Men Alive in A WINTER SPECTACULAR"—an evening of Broadway hits, Pop Standards, and, of course, Holiday Music.
For this two-night event taking place December 13 and 14, Ms. Minnelli will grace the audience with a full signature set accompanied by her own band, and will also be collaborating with the chorus on some special select numbers. Single tickets go on sale to the general public on October 1.
Winner of four Tony® Awards, an Oscar®, a special "Legends" Grammy, two Golden Globe® Awards and an Emmy®, Liza is one of the entertainment world's consummate performers. In film, on stage and in television, Liza has won critical acclaim, a multitude of fans, and recognition from her peers in show business, giving new dimension and credibility to the word "superstar."
Liza began her professional career in 1963 at the early age of 16 in an Off-Broadway revival of the musical "Best Foot Forward," for which she received rapturous notices and her first award, the Theatre World Award—the first among many show business honors. Over the years, Liza's other Broadway appearances have been memorable. In 1975 her enormous strength and talent were put to the test when she agreed to replace an ailing Gwen Verdon in the Broadway run of Kander and Ebb's "Chicago." With only one-week's rehearsal, and no public announcement, Liza played to sold-out audiences for a period of five weeks.
Liza has also had an active career in both movies and television, including her 1972 triumph as Sally Bowles in "Cabaret." The film won eight Oscars, including a Best Actress statue for Liza. The role also earned her a Golden Globe and a British Film Academy Award. The unqualified success of "Cabaret" put Liza on the covers of both Time and Newsweek in the same week.
Liza starred in the first concert ever filmed live for television in 1972. The seminal "Liza with a Z" produced a Top-20 album and won the Emmy for Outstanding Single Program and the prestigious Peabody Award.
In between her many TV and film roles, Liza has never stopped touring and has long been considered one of the most exciting concert performers, electrifying audiences around the world and setting records at the most prestigious venues, from the Palladium in London and Opera House in Sydney, to the Olympia Theatre in Paris and New York's historic Carnegie Hall.
In early 2000, Liza was hospitalized for encephalitis. The prognosis was grim: she was told she would never walk, talk, dance or sing again. But Liza's incredible will, determination and relentless hard work proved the doctors wrong; by June 2002, she was back on stage at the Beacon Theater in New York. Her triumphant comeback CD entitled "Liza's Back!" was released in October 2002. In 2010, following a much talked about cameo in "Sex and the City 2," Liza released "Confessions," which was recorded with her longtime collaborator pianist Billy Stritch. The CD debuted to great reviews and was recently performed as a live concert at the Hollywood Bowl.
Throughout her lifetime Liza has supported various charities and causes. She served on the board of directors of The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential for 20 years. She also has dedicated much time to amFAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. In 1994, Minnelli recorded the Kander & Ebb tune "The Day After That" and donated the proceeds to AIDS research. That same year she performed the song in front of hundreds of thousands in Central Park at the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Today, when her busy schedule allows, she works with students at The Actor's Studio teaching master classes in acting and singing. Her well-known generosity of spirit, enthusiasm and commitment to her craft are unequaled in the entertainment industry, where she continues her extraordinary career with ongoing concert tours around the world.
Together with Men Alive Chorus, which in just twelve seasons has risen to become one of the nation's premiere musical organizations, Ms. Minnelli will surely make "A WINTER SPECTACULAR" the season's must-see musical event!