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Liza Minelli Saves the Day with Backup Baton at Pasadena POPS Concert

Published on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 | 12:11 pm

Famed singer and actress Liza Minnelli made a spontaneous appearance last Saturday with the Pasadena Symphony and POPS to save the day after conductor Michael Feinstein’s baton broke as soon as he got on stage.

Feinstein, a pianist, music revivalist and five-time Grammy-nominated musician known for his work on The Great American Songbook, was conducting Cole Porter tunes at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden when his musical tool “malfunctioned.” He was about to resort to using his finger before Minnelli, a good friend of his who was watching the performance, stepped in to save the day.

“She was waiting in the wings and brought him a replacement baton,” said Marisa McCarthy, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Pasadena Symphony and POPS. “They hugged and kissed but she did not perform.”

Minnelli’s half-sister, Lorna Luft, also a singer and actress, will be performing at Pasadena Symphony and POPS on September 10 as a part of “A Salute to Warner Brothers,” a production where Feinstein will incorporate music from every decade of Warner Brothers movies, McCarthy said.

“We are going to have two soloists and two special guests, one of the being Lorna Luft,” McCarthy said.

For more about the POPS and its remaining season, see



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