Archives for category: Mr. Showmanship

A classic piece from 20/20 about Liberace.

This just popped up onto YouTube.  It is the opening of the Liberace show as it appeared in Las Vegas.  Liberace was one of the first performers to combine a video presentation with his stage show.

This includes appearance by Scott Thorsen so I wonder if it will be reenacted in the upcoming Behind the Candelabra film.

The Liberace Show 1981

 

I loved and had to share this video which focuses on Lee’s stage persona!

Fans came out in force to audition for the Liberace bio-pic.  Here is the Las Vegas announcement.

And sadly here is the mangled announcement made on Palm Springs television.  Someone needs some Liberace education!

On PBS Liberace’s legacy lives on through the program Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook.

It appears that Michael has a better opinion of Lee than his cat. 

Check out this episode online.

Watch Saloon Singers on PBS. See more from Michael Feinsteins American Songbook.

Liberace inspired performers here is your chance. Get cast in a musical about Mr. Showmanship!!!

‘ALL THAT GLITTERS’

Casting Call Details!

AX Productions (prod.) is casting a workshop of All That Glitters, a new musical about Liberace. Synopsis: “The mythic story of a boy in overalls from West Allis, Wisconsin; a Depression-era kid from America’s heartland who had dreams—big dreams; a boy who, despite his superstar struggle against the dark side of his sequined world of glitz and glamour, would become the most popular entertainer of his time.” Alexander DeJong, score-dir.-choreo.; A. DeJong & James A. Walsh, book; Tom Nelson, additional music; Jack Lee, music dir.; Steven Freeman, assoc. music dir.; Isabel Glasser, asst. dir.; Karen Sieber & Tim Foster, asst. choreos.; Stephanie Klapper Casting, casting. Rehearsals begin April 2; presentations run May 8-11, 2012 in NYC.

Seeking—Boy Liberace: boy, 10 years old, a boy in a million who struggles to please both his fervently Catholic mother and his abusive father, a piano prodigy, actor need not play piano;

Young Liberace/Scott: male, 20s-early 30s, two-character track includes

Young Liberace, very charismatic, charming entertainer with great comedic timing, becomes television’s first matinee idol, in order to protect his career and live out his passion, he had to hide his personal life,

Scott, a lost boy, the love of older Liberace’s life, loses himself in their relationship, actor must have a great presence and personality, actor need not play piano;

Older Liberace/Father: male, 60s, two-character track includes

Older Liberace, the consummate showman in his 60s, at the top of his game professionally, while his private life is one of struggle, heartache, and chaos,

Father, very proud Italian immigrant with a thick accent and an explosive temper, equal parts machismo and bohemian self-indulgence, a classical musician, frustrated both in his career and in his marriage, actor must have a great presence and personality, actor need not play any instrument;

Mother Judge: female, two-character track includes Mother, of Polish descent, headstrong, dogmatic, conservative, Catholic, very judgmental, and Judge, judge in the Liberace/Scott palimony suit;

Lil’ Lil/Miss Bea Haven/Lucille: female, African-American, multi-character track includes Lil’ Lil, burlesque queen of considerable stature, larger than life, with a big presence, Miss Bea Haven, a sassy Broadway star, and Lucille, Liberace’s secretary;

Martin Sherwoodson/Paderewski/Doctor: male, 50-65, multi-character track includesSherwoodson, Liberace’s pushy manager, willing to all the necessary dirty work to protect his meal ticket, Paderewski, Polish, world-famous, majestic, classical pianist, thick accent, and Doctor, Liberace’s long-time family physician, actor need not play piano; Eugene: male, late 30-40s, Liberace’s flamboyant, openly gay choreographer, later becomes his stage manager;

 George/Lawyer: male, early 40s, two-character track includes George, Liberace’s older brother, violinist/orchestra leader who lives and works in Liberace’s shadow, and Lawyer, argues the Liberace/Scott palimony suit, actor need not play violin;

Carlucci/TV Repairman:, male, 30-40s, two-character track includes Carlucci, once Liberace’s lover, now demoted to the role of houseboy, thick Hispanic accent, an over-the-top mother hen, and TV Repairman, blue-collar and disgruntled;

Randi/Mabel Krauss: two-character track includes Randi, 1940s nightclub performer of questionable gender, and Mabel, working-class German woman.

Equity principal auditions will be held Feb. 27, Feb. 29 & March 2, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. & 2-5:30 p.m. (all three days) at Pearl Studios NYC “500,” 500 Eighth Ave., 4th fl., NYC. Prepare a brief song that shows you off. Bring sheet music in the correct key; an accompanist will be provided, but may not transpose. Bring pix & résumés, stapled together. $736 min./wk., plus pension and health. Equity Workshop Contract.

Click here to view the entire casting notice! 

Wes Winters keeps the Liberace spirit alive in Las Vegas. You can still see him perform even though the show room bearing his name at the Liberace museum is now closed.

If you are driving in from California on a busy Friday or Saturday night you can skip the I-15 back up and stop over at the South Point Casino to see Wes for free in the Grandview lounge.  Unwind from your drive and toast Liberace!

A great bet is the every Sunday brunch at Envy Steakhouse 11-3pm for $29.95 a person with bottomless mimosas. It is a great relaxing end to your busy Vegas weekend.

If you are coming to Vegas for Valentines there is not better Liberace themed bet than Wes’ show.

“Wes Winters Valentines Supper Club” is scheduled from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14 at Sam’s Town Live in Sam’s Town, 5111 Boulder Highway. Tickets are $50. For information and reservations, visit samstownlv.com or call 284-7777.

What a fitting tribute 25 years after the world lost Liberace.

Check out the Liberace Master Class and perhaps even those most devoted fans among us will learn a thing or two!

Thank you to Dave Frank  Director, Dave Frank School of Jazz, NYC for this great presentation. He keeps it swinging from 52nd street for our New York readers.

Check out America’s Got Talent contestant Daniel Joseph Baker a contestant consistently compared to Liberace for both his dress and piano talent as well as a “pure Vegas style talent” whom we all know who set the bar for Vegas piano players.

A young man bullied from from a small Texas town he is coming into his own and Daniel Joseph Baker is ready to take on the world!

 

Inspired yet again by the lovely Ava Gardner Museum  which is thriving while Liberace’s has closed, I would love to know how much interest there would be for an annual Liberace Festival just like the museum for Ava has enjoyed.

Check out the details for the Ava Gardner festival.

Do you think that Las Vegas could pull off a Liberace festival to benefit his scholarship foundation? Would you purchase tickets 6 months in advance?

Many of those who once worked with Lee are now gone. Yet we still have remarkable people still around who can honestly and authentically answer questions about the man, the music, the costumes, and the legacy in a panel discussion just as other classic celebrities are now honored.

I salute the Ava Gardner museum on their great work and I believe one day we will have the same vibrant energy at work for Lee.

London may be ablaze in riots but fans have still come out to see Bobby Crush’s show Liberace Live From Heaven.

Check out the review from West End Whingers about this show. The reviewer provides the premise:

Liberace is poised at the gates of heaven and has to convince St Peter (voiced by Stephen Fry) and God (voiced by Victoria Wood) why he should be admitted through the Pearly Gates or take the elevator to hell. And then we the audience ultimately vote to seal his fate.

You will have to read the review to see if they voted Lee into heaven or not!

Liberace lives on internationally! He would be so pleased!

What do you know its Liberace, Herman’s Hermits, and Louie Armstrong. Classic swingin’ action!

The first key to the city of Las Vegas from new mayor Carolyn Goodman was given to Engelbert Humperdinck whom also received a star on the Las Vegas walk of fame. 

~

Check out Norm Clarke’s column about the impact Liberace had on Engelbert Humperdinck’s career:

… in 1968, fellow headliner Liberace offered him some stardom advice.

“He told me  ‘don’t mingle’  (with fans.)’  Always come in through the back of the house.  Make yourself scarce,” Humperdinck said.

Read the complete story in Norm Clarke’s Las Vegas Review Journal article here. 

July 20, 2011 was officially declared as HUMP DAY with Mr Humperdinck receipt of the Keys to the City in a ceremony at City Hall. He then went on the receive the 55th star on the Las Vegas stars walk of fame followed by a fan appreciation concert that night at Paris Hotel.

You can check out all of the exciting new Humperdinck developments at his official website. Also view his interview on local Fox 5 Vegas from this link! 

I am taking my husband here this weekend to check out pizza with a Liberace connection as reported in Las Vegas Weekly.  Click link below to get the details:

Delicious pizza, with thanks to Liberace

Radio City Pizzeria offers pies with a backstory

Check out Liberace’s part of the story of this new Las Vegas restaurant from the official website: 

One day, Marilyn met a customer that was auditioning to become a Radio City Rockette.  After chatting with her, Marilyn informed her daughter Jody that the Rockette’s were looking for new performers and after auditioning in 1974, Jody became a Radio City Rockette.  She met Elias’ father, Dr. Ghanem, in 1979 when the Rockette’s were performing with Liberace at the Las Vegas Hilton.  The legendary pianist introduced the couple to each other and the family has called Las Vegas home ever since.

 The legendary pianist introduced the couple to each other and the family has called Las Vegas home ever since.

I love this new sweet video with such a sweet nod to Liberace by Cee Lo Green.

Thank you Chris Vargas for being the first to share it with me! 

I have had several web searches onto the blog asking if Cee Lo Green purchased Liberace’s piano. I don’t know.

The brief Twitter post states that the museum loaned artifacts to the shoot. Wouldn’t it be a hoot to have contest to see how many the most devoted Liberace fan can spot?

The bath tub is NOT the same one as Liberace. It is still a great nod to his love of the tub and iconic bubble blowing pictures.

I would LOVE to see a VH1 Pop-up video about this video and what items are connected to Lee. (Pop-Up video is back so it could happen.) 

The piano CeeLo played in the video while resembling one that Liberace owned is not the same piano as Lady Gaga posed upon for Harpers Bazaar.   It does however look like the one played at Billboard music awards in Las Vegas.   The Liberace Foundation is secretive about what items from the collection have actually been sold to third parties. You can still dine in Las Vegas at Carluccios where they have the original piano from when Liberace owned the restaurant autographed by the legend himself. Get there soon before one day a huge celebrity like CeeLo makes the local restaurant an offer they can’t refuse for such an awesome piece of Liberace history.

Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the passing of Liberace so we can only wait for the next great tributes to come.

The tweets today about Liberace are about this new film by Chris Vargas.

Liberaceón, a three-channel video installation with a 16 minute narrative

Catch the detailed story here from the East Bay Press.

Chris Vargas teases his treatment of Lee’s life as:

In this project, I rescript portions of the late showman’s biography in order to insert him into a queer history of radical AIDS/HIV activism, but that’s all I’m going to say (for now).

I hope to one day see this film. While I celebrate all things Liberace, I know his dying wish was not to go down in history remembered only as a person who had AIDS. In fact his living protege Steve Garey has compelling evidence that Lee did not die of AIDS at all that the forced autopsy by the Riverside county California coroner was politically motivated. Liberace had emphysema which was the primary cause of his death hastened perhaps by HIV but his health would have failed regardless of the virus.

Celebrate Liberace for all that he was and his enduring legacy. Mr. Showmanship was a person so uniquely special to our world that I have trouble believing any re-imagination of his spirit would ever be necessary.

I sent Chris Vargas an email offering that perhaps my research or contacts may have information that would be helpful to his project.

You can catch Daryl Wagner on stage at Harrah’s performing as Liberace now through May 15th with the Legends in Concert show. The Legends show alternates multiple acts to keep the performance exciting each and every time you visit Las Vegas. Link to purchase tickets here.

I hope that Liberace’s living protege Steve Garey has a chance to see the show when he comes to town this month.

As we celebrate the joy Mr. Showmanship brought to our lives in tributes that live today, please support the enduring legacy by lending your name to the effort to recognize him on a postage stamp.

This piano was apparently custom built for Liberace when he came to Vancouver for Expo 86. It now resides at the Vancouver East Cultural Center.

Expo ’86 brought the world to Vancouver British Columbia Canada for a World’s Fair experience like no other!

It was the party that put Vancouver BC on the map and of course Liberace was there!

He even left a piece of his legacy behind. A piano that you can see at the East Vancouver Cultural Center.

Sadly one year later Lee would already be gone.

Crowds filled the 4000 seat outdoor auditorium to see make his last Canadian appearances.

Captured below are pictures with the links to lovely memories Lee left behind with everyone including an 8 year old boy from the audience to the band.

Kevin Eck of the Baltimore Sun recognized Liberace as the number 7 WrestleMania celebrity of all time!

Nice to know that a professional expert on all things wrestling is giving Mr. Showmanship his due for coming on the show as time keeper. The footage of Liberace is NOW AVAILABLE on YouTube see below.

Read Kevin Eck’s blog post about Liberace by clicking here or the image above.

Check out my earlier post about Liberace’s WrestleMania appearance.

Lee’s appearance starts at 7:25 in the clip to 9:06 captures the priceless commentary that this is a “happening” and Lee dancing with the Rockettes! The crowd was on its feet! Mr. Showmanship conquered WrestleMania!

YouTube requires that to view this video you click on it a second time to view it on the YouTube website.

For my 100th post about Liberace on this blog please take a moment to celebrate his genius and fabulousness.

Photo from Bobs Liberace World - the ORIGINAL - Online Virtual Liberace Gallery. Please visit.

If you are a Liberace photo lover you will not want to miss this great gallery of photographs from Life Magazine on their website.

_____

Please honor the legacy of Lee Liberace by asking that a stamp be commissioned in his honor.

To get Lee on a stamp – it will take a stamp! The stamp committee does not accept email, electronic petitions, or any form of non-mail communication.

The official address to send this request to including why you believe Liberace should be honored with a stamp goes to:

Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
U.S. Postal Service
1735 North Lynn St., Suite 5013
Arlington, VA 22209-6432

Many of us no longer go to the post office on a regular basis or even buy stamps. There is another non-email option that will get your message in the hands of the USPS for just $1.00.

Easy letter sender which is linked from USPS will take your message, print it out, put it in an envelope, put on postage, and mail it for you – for just $1.00. So you can be just 10 minutes away from sharing with USPS Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee why Liberace should be on a stamp!

Click here to send an easy letter for just $1.00.

Either way – your snail mail or automated mail – getting the word out that Liberace a true American Icon should be honored with a stamp is easy and you will feel great having taken the time to promote his cultural legacy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.