CFCC releases Liza Minnelli contract, e-mails


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Forty-five minutes of performing and a 20-minute VIP meet-and-greet will earn Broadway legend Liza Minnelli $125,000 when she comes to Wilmington next month.

The 69-year-old star will headline the opening of Cape Fear Community College’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center Oct. 3 with the North Carolina Symphony.

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The college released its contract with Minnelli today as part of an open records request by several media outlets, including WWAY. CFCC initially said that information in the contract was protected from release, but the school’s president later said it would need to be released under state law.

“As a public institution, we understand the need for transparency in the (c)ollege’s operations and we respect the right of the news media to request the (c)ollege’s public records in accordance with state laws,” CFCC’s attorney James Norment said in an e-mail that accompanied the released information.

According to the contract, Minnelli will perform for five minutes with the Symphony at the beginning of the show before returning after intermission for a 45-minute set. After the show, she will spend 20 minutes taking pictures with 30-40 VIP guests.

In addition to her performance fee, CFCC must also provide Minnelli with a two-bedroom hotel suite and 13 double rooms for two nights, as well as ground transportation by two high-end SUVs and an eight-passenger van between the airport, hotel and venue. The cost of airfare is not part of the deal.

The payment for the show appears to be in line with the market rate. Industry sources had previously told WWAY Minnelli typically fetches about $100,000 per performance. An industry insider who reviewed the contract for WWAY said the exclusion of airfare for Minnelli and her team and no requirement to pay a deposit are good terms for CFCC.

Other requirements of the contract include no alcoholic beverages backstage or in dressing rooms or the production office while Minnelli and her team are at the venue. Minnelli also requires a Germ Guardian H 3000 humidifier for her dressing room that her contract rider says is “a must for Ms. Minnelli’s health” and that the venue be no warmer than 65 degrees. A carton of Marlboro Lights and ash trays originally part of Minnelli’s rider were crossed off the list of requirements because tobacco products are not allowed in the venue.

E-mails released as part of the records request show that CFCC contacted promoters about several other stars to be part of the opening gala, including the B-52, Duran Duran and Barry Manilow. The e-mails also show discussions about possible performances by Alanis Morrisette, as well as Natalie Cole, who may perform at CFCC in the spring.