Liza Minnelli fans were concerned about her health based on her appearance at the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, when she presented the best picture Oscar to “CODA.” But today, her longtime friend Michael Feinstein posted an Instagram video that he shot in the car with Minnelli right before the Oscars ceremony, his representative comfirmed. Minnelli appears energetic, lively, and clearly excited to be on her way to the event, breaking into song with the Great American Songbook rarity “(It’s Gonna Be) A Great Day” by Vincent Youmans, Edward Eliscu, and Billy Rose.
Since Feinstein posted his video to Instagram, it’s been reposted on Twitter, going a bit viral among her fans who are heartened to see the artist boisterous and full of life. One Twitter commentator wrote, “The cigarette, the sleeves, the broken broadway voice. THIS is a visual handbook on camp.”
Feinstein, a champion of the Great American Songbook tradition who’s appeared with Minnelli on multiple DVD commentaries of classic MGM musicals, had previously said on Sirius XM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” that Minnelli was “sabotaged. That’s a terrible word to use but she only agreed to appear on the Oscars if she was in a director’s chair, because she’s been having back trouble,” he said. “She said, ‘I don’t want people to see me limping out there.’ She said, ‘You know, I want to look good. I don’t want people to worry about me.’”
“Then literally five minutes before she went on, when she sat in the director’s chair back there, and because I guess they were all shaken up because of everything that had happened earlier, the stage manager said, ‘Well, she has to be in a wheelchair.’”
“She was nervous,” said Feinstein, “and it made her look like she was out of it. Can you imagine being suddenly forced to be seen by millions of people the way you don’t want to be seen? That’s what happened to her.”
Feinstein also told Page Six that Minnelli at the time said, “No, I will not be seen in a wheelchair in front of everybody. I will not do this. I refused to do this.”
Representatives for the Academy had no official comment, though word from inside the ceremony was that the event organizers were thinking of Minnelli’s health and wanted to take every precaution for her safety.
The cigarette, the sleeves, the broken broadway voice.
THIS is a visual handbook on camp. https://t.co/dHpyTIAgme
— JohnPaul (@JPJaval) April 27, 2022