Life truly is a cabaret, old chum, for Liza Minnelli. Or so it will appear when she and new husband David Gest host ”Liza and David,” their newly announced VH1 reality series, which will consist of dinner parties thrown at the couple’s Manhattan penthouse, with celebrity guests dining, drinking, and offering supposedly impromptu music performances in the Gests’ living room.
At a Los Angeles press conference yesterday announcing the show, Gest and Minnelli made a point of saying the series will not be like ”The Osbournes,” the hit on VH1’s sister channel MTV that started the whole celebrities-at-home reality trend. Filming won’t take place 24/7, and certain rooms of the house will be definitely off-limits to cameras, Minnelli said. ”I was brought up a certain way… and I won’t let anyone in the bedroom or in the bathroom, or things like that,” she said. ”You have to have some privacy.” Of course, the way she was brought up was in a media fishbowl, since her parents were Hollywood A-listers (Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli). So she knows how different stars’ real lives can be from the distorted view that media accounts may provide to fans. ”They will get to know us [on this show]. It’s kind of the only way to combat some of this,” she said.
Minnelli, 56, and Gest, 48, met last September when she appeared in Michael Jackson’s tribute concerts, which Gest produced, and they married in March in a lavish wedding whose reception featured dozens of celebrity performers singing for hundreds of guests from the ranks of old Hollywood royalty. So Gest believes he’ll have no problem finding famous and talented folks to invite to dinner. The names of potential guests he floated included Mary J. Blige, Usher, Alan Jackson, Ja Rule, Dr. Dre, Truth Hurts, George Jones, Al Green, Barry White, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks & Dunn, B.B. King, Donna Karan, Kirk Douglas, Tommy Mottola, Clive Davis, and the Jacksons. Even Michael Jackson, who was Gest’s best man, might drop by, though the Gests should be careful not to invite him on the same night as Mottola.
VH1 says it has bought 10 episodes of the series, which will premiere in October. That’s about when record buyers can find ”Liza’s Back!”, the first CD from her recent signing with Davis’ J Records.