[07/16/05 - 12:00 AM]
Showtime, Liza Minnelli and Award-Winning Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron Proudly Present the Fully-Restored, Digitally-Remastered Presentation of Liza Minnelli's Classic 1972 Television Event "Liza with a "Z" - a Concert for Television"

[via press release from Showtime]

Showtime, Liza Minnelli And Award-Winning Producers Craig Zadan And Neil Meron Proudly Present The Fully-Restored, Digitally-Remastered Presentation Of Liza Minnelli's Classic 1972 Television Event "Liza With A "Z" - A Concert For Television"

Four-Time Emmy� Award-Winning Program, Directed And Choreographed By The Legendary Bob Fosse, To Air On Showtime In 2006

LOS ANGELES, CA, July 16, 2005 -- LIZA WITH A �Z� - A CONCERT FOR TELEVISION, which was performed on May 31, 1972 and filmed with eight 16mm cameras by Academy Award�-winning cinematographer Owen Roizman at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre, has undergone a major restoration and will debut on SHOWTIME in 2006, it was announced today by SHOWTIME President of Entertainment Robert Greenblatt.

The multiple Emmy� award-winning special, which was directed by the renowned Bob Fosse, fresh from his Oscar� win for 1972's Cabaret starring Minnelli (who also took home the Oscar for her performance as Sally Bowles in that film), was broadcast by NBC only once, on September 10, 1972. Ms. Minnelli, who owns the rights to the special, has teamed with producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (executive producers of the Oscar�-winning Chicago, which ironically began as a Bob Fosse stage musical) to present the first-ever fully-restored, digitally-remastered airing of the special.

"If you weren't present at the filming, and you didn't see the special when it aired once on NBC in 1972, chances are you never saw this extraordinary event," said Greenblatt. "The inimitable Bob Fosse conceived and filmed this project in a way television specials had never been done before, and it captured Minnelli at the zenith of her creative power. We're thrilled to unwrap this musical gem and showcase it for a generation that's never seen it before."

"Neil Meron and I are very proud to team up with our friend Liza to present this landmark show to a new audience," Zadan said. "It's almost like discovering a lost Fosse-Minnelli-Kander-Ebb movie. I was fortunate to have been in the audience as Liza's guest the night the show was filmed at the Lyceum Theater and Fosse's film perfectly captures the magic of that extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime theater experience."

"LIZA WITH A �Z� was a first," said Minnelli. "It was the first filmed concert for network TV ever done. Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb and I produced it. Bobby wanted to do it on film because we had just done Cabaret and we wanted to do another project immediately... so it was eight cameras, once through, with a live audience. It was a special time, we were all at a certain peak of excellence, and we were together again as a team. I'm so proud of it."

Upon its premiere, LIZA WITH A �Z� was immediately hailed as tour-de-force, garnering the program a prestigious Peabody Award along with four Emmy� Awards including best performance for Minnelli, best direction and also best choreography for Fosse, and best music, lyrics and special material for writers John Kander and Fred Ebb.

Even upon its original broadcast, the scope of Minnelli's performance and Fosse's direction was not fully experienced due to the limitations of television sets at the time. This lovingly and meticulously remastered print by Michael Arick, the acclaimed restoration producer of Blade Runner and The French Connection, takes full advantage of modern digital technology to restore picture, and maybe more importantly, the sound track for the special which was broadcast in mono. It will be completely remixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 stereo from the original multi-track recordings that have been preserved in a vault for over 30 years.

With this performance Minnelli continued her meteoric rise in the pantheon of legendary entertainers. Fosse's legendary choreography and direction of LIZA WITH A �Z� would culminate a year of extraordinary artistic acclaim. The album recording of the television special went on to become a chart-topping soundtrack. In 1973, Fosse won the triple crown of performing arts: the Best Director Oscar� for the film version of Cabaret, a Best Director Tony� for Pippin and the Best Director Emmy� for LIZA WITH A �Z.�

LIZA WITH A �Z� also represented the re-teaming of Minnelli and her songwriter friends John Kander and Fred Ebb. Earlier in her career she starred in their first Broadway musical, "Flora the Red Menace," becoming the youngest actress (at the age of 19) to win the Tony� Award for a starring role in a musical. The same year as LIZA WITH A �Z,� the triumphant movie version of Kander and Ebb's Cabaret was released, winning Minnelli an Oscar as Best Actress.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME�, THE MOVIE CHANNEL� and FLIX�, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME� TOO�, SHOWTIME� SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME�, SHOWTIME BEYOND�, SHOWTIME NEXT�, SHOWTIME WOMEN�, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE� and TMC xtra. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD�, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD�, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND�, THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND� and FLIX ON DEMAND. SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL�, which is a venture between NBC Universal, Robert Redford, and Showtime Networks Inc. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME� PPV. Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.

  [july 2005]  

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