Liza Minnelli Set for Second Season of NBC's "Smash"
By Adam Hetrick
Tony and Academy Award winner Liza Minnelli will appear as herself in the upcoming second season of the NBC musical series "Smash," which will return to television Feb. 5, 2013.
Minnelli's episode, titled "The Surprise Party," will air in the spring. The "Cabaret" and The Rink star is expected to sing an original song penned by Tony Award-winning "Smash" writers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Minnelli will duet with Tony winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher), who portrays composer Tom Levitt on "Smash."
"Liza Minnelli is the essence of a multi-talented, singular show business sensation, particularly for her extraordinary contributions to Broadway. So what could be more fitting than to have her legendary talent on a show that celebrates a world Liza has dazzled for decades? I had the pleasure of working with Liza when we restored her landmark television special 'Liza With a Z' at Showtime, and to see her artistry up close and personal is a thing to behold," NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said in a statement.
Minnelli also earned Tony Awards for her performances in Flora, the Red Menace, The Act, Liza's at the Palace, as well as a special 1974 Tony. She also presented a tribute to her late father Minnelli on Minnelli at the Palace and has appeared in the films "The Sterile Cuckoo," "Arthur," "New York, New York" and "Stepping Out." The singer is also a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress.
The upcoming season of "Smash" will include newcomers "Hairspray" star Nikki Blonsky, Jesse L. Martin (Rent), Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, Tony Award nominees Jeremy Jordan and Sean Hayes, and Andy Mientus of Off-Broadway's Carrie.
Upcoming episodes of "Smash" also promise Tony winner Bernadette Peters premiering a brand-new tune by Shaiman and Wittman. It will have orchestrations by Tony Award winner Jonathan Tunick.
For the series' second season, Josh Safran succeeds Theresa Rebeck (Seminar) as showrunner — the person in charge of all aspects of the story. Tony Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and Tony nominees Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are among the show's executive producers.
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