Minnelli Paying Musical Tribute To Godmother
Liza Minnelli plans to use her next album to pay tribute to her godmother, the singer, actress and writer Kay Thompson.Liza Minnelli plans to use her next album to pay tribute to her godmother, the singer, actress and writer Kay Thompson.
"The Godmother and the Goddaughter" will be comprised of "things that I learned from her and some of her songs," Minnelli tells Billboard.com. It will also include a duet with Thompson that was recorded before her death in 1998.
"She's most famous in the public, I think, for writing the 'Eloise' books," says Minnelli, whose childhood antics inspired some of those tales. "But, in fact, she was the [vocal] director for MGM when she was in her 30s. In the 1940s, for a woman to be the head of the entire vocal department for MGM was a big deal. She was really good and wrote really well and had a great act."
At MGM Thompson worked with composer Arthur Freed and schooled stars such as Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra and Minnelli's mother, Judy Garland. Thompson re-launched her singing career in 1947 and also worked in films, including "Funny Face." No release date has yet been set for the album.
Meanwhile, Minnelli will be performing select concerts during the summer and is gearing up for the release of her next film, "The Oh in Ohio," in which she plays a sex therapist enlisted to help Parker Posey's character.
"It's quite funny," says Minnelli. "It's a really good scene, really well-written, and the movie itself is wonderful. I really worked on the character; I took her into a blonde person with a whole life-force going for her. It was the only way I could do it, because the part was so vivid to speak that I got really embarrassed doing it."
Like many, Minnelli is hoping for a renewal of the TV series "Arrested Development," in which she played the character Lucille Austero. But she's also in the midst of writing her own screenplay, "about a lady who owns a nightclub in New York and her experiences. It's a story about music, about somebody who lives in a place where there is constantly music. So I guess you can call it a musical."