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Liza with a Z  /  Cabaret

Liza with a Z: A Concert for Television
August 12, 2018 - 7:00 pm
Intro by Sam Wasson, author of "Fosse."

A letter from Liza Minnelli:

“Hello everybody and thank you for being here to celebrate Bob Fosse, and tonight, my work with him. I actually don’t remember when I first met Bob, but it seems I’ve known him all my life. Our first collaboration was Cabaret.

He wasn’t the person portrayed in All That Jazz. He was serious, but he was a great communicator so that he could tell you what to do and not boss you around. He never did that, and I watched him like a hawk; even when we were filming I could see him near the camera, with a very intent expression. He was smoking and looking, and I could tell when he liked it. I could read him. And he was a great director, he told you exactly what he wanted, kindly. I did what he told me, and I could do it, and he knew that.

He changed the way movies were made. You felt like you were really there. When we made Cabaret I felt significant because Fosse was directing me. That meant a lot. And then when we did Liza with a Z he created a new hybrid because it was both a film and a concert. You could tell, anybody could tell, how much he loved me by the way he filmed it.

It was a special, life-changing experience to work with him. I adored him then, and I miss him now.


Liza with a Z: A Concert for Television  (1972)

Shot with eight 16mm film cameras for NBC, this four-time Emmy-winning special features a fresh-from-Cabaret Liza Minnelli in a wildly dynamic, sequin-studded song-and-dance spectacular, blown up to 35mm. The Archive is proud to screen Minnelli’s personal print of this thrilling televisual trip, featuring the “sensational with an S” numbers “Son of a Preacher Man,” “God Bless The Child,” “Bye Bye Blackbird,” and “Say Liza.”—KJ Relth

35mm, color, 55 min. Director: Bob Fosse. Screenwriter: Fred Ebb. Cast: Liza Minnelli.

Cabaret  (1972)

Bob Fosse won an Oscar for Best Director for his masterful handling of sociosexual and political themes in the form of a musical, a genre previously reserved for lighter subject matter. Liza Minnelli stars as Sally Bowles, an émigré aspiring to stardom in a decadent Weimar Germany nightclub full of crossdressers, gay men, lesbians and members of Berlin’s middle classes enjoying unprecedented sexual freedom. Just as the world affects the body (as Fosse’s choreography tells us), implanting gestures and movements, so show business is not immune from changes in the political order, even if—or especially if—it seems to be completely separate from the outside world. Minnelli and Joel Grey as the devilish master of ceremonies, also earned Academy Awards, as did Geoffrey Unsworth for cinematography.

Print courtesy of the Constellation Center Collection at the Academy Film Archive. 35mm, IB Technicolor, 123 min. Director: Bob Fosse. Screenwriter: Jay Presson Allen. Cast: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Joel Grey.