Liza Minnelli to perform at Gift of Life 20th anniversary gala

Liza Minnelli to perform at Gift of Life 20th anniversary gala

The Gift of Life announced Tuesday, Aug. 11, that Liza Minnelli will be performing for the Gift of Life 20th anniversary gala “A Legacy of Love” on Thursday, Oct. 29 at the Julie Rogers Theatre. Tickets are $125, and sponsorships are available.

The surprise announcement came at a press conference at the Beaumont Civic Center on Tuesday, Aug. 11

“She is a legend,” said Norma Sampson, executive director at Julie Rogers Gift of Life. “She’s got the perennial background that has made her an icon in the entertainment industry.”

Minnelli has done it all in her extraordinary career, on Broadway, television, and the silver screen. In 1973, Minnelli won an Academy Award for her leading role in the film Cabaret. She won a Golden Globe Award that same year for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, also for Cabaret. Minnelli took home an Emmy in 1973 as well for Outstanding Single Program – Variety and Popular Music for Liza with a ‘Z’: A Concert for Television.

Other notable awards include Tony Awards in 1965 for Best Leading Actress in a Musical Flora the Red Menace; in 1974, Special Tony Award for Liza at the Winter Garden; and in 1978, Best Leading Actress in a Musical for The Act. Minnelli was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008 and received the Grammy Living Legend Award in 1990 for “Contributions and Influence in the Recording Field.”

For many years Minnelli struggled to step out of her superstar mother Judy Garland’s shadow, but through hard work and dedication, Minnelli cemented a legacy of her own.

She made her film debut as a toddler in the musical comedy In the Good Old Summertime (1949), which starred her mother and Van Johnson, according to In her first leading Broadway role, Minnelli appeared as the title character in Flora, The Red Menace in 1965. Minnelli went on to co-star in the dramatic comedy Charlie Bubbles (1967) opposite Albert Finney. Playing an offbeat misfit named Pookie, she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in the 1969 film The Sterile Cuckoo. Two years later, Minnelli landed her greatest film role, playing floundering nightclub singer Sally Bowles in the musical Cabaret (1972).

Liza Minnelli’s sister Lorna Luft is a breast cancer survivor and continues to struggle with the disease, Sampson said.

“I read that she is going back through treatment again, so it’s been devastating for Liza. She understands that, and she’s really excited about coming to our little corner of the world.”

Sampson said she hopes that Minnelli’s appearance coupled with celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Gift of Life program, which has impacted the lives of more than 100,000 children and adults since its inception through free mammograms, cancer screenings, education and other support, will inspire Southeast Texans to attend and join the battle against cancer.

“We felt like this was a great marriage between our 20th anniversary celebration and bringing in this legendary star,” Sampson said. “We really hope that this is going to solidify the belief in our cause and afford people the opportunity to see a once in a lifetime performance,” Sampson said.

For tickets and more information about the event, call (409) 833-3663 or visit