The embodiment of the word flamboyant, Liberace knew how to put on a show. His extravagant jewelry, glitzy costumes, and candelabra that sat on top of his grand piano, all made for a delightfully outrageous presentation.
Liberace loved to joke with the audience about how they’d all paid for his lavish accouterments, and his devoted fans ate it up every time.
On stage this gifted entertainer was larger than life. Offstage, he was a flesh and blood human being with flaws and problems. Though many suspected Liberace was gay — which he was — he never admitted it in public.
The multi-dimensions of the man are lovingly presented in Brent Hazelton’s Liberace, at Walnut Street Theatre in the Independence Studio on 3 through April 12.
Starring actor, singer, pianist Jack Forbes Wilson, the show features famous pieces from Liberace’s repertoire, from classics by Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Chopin, to standards, boogie woogie and ragtime.
Wilson assumes the persona of Liberace, broadly smiling, telling corny jokes and talking to the audience. Between the music he shares anecdotes about events and people in Liberace’s life, to include Elvis, and Scott Thorson, a former lover who sued him for palimony at a time when no one had even knew what the word meant.
It’s a colorful performance about a bona-fide superstar, known as “Mr. Showmanship,” who was adored by his audiences. Wilson has a lot to live up to and he delivers the goods in this one-man star performance.
Tickets, starting at $30, are available online.