Sin City’s official celebration of the piano master’s 104th birthday will be a star-studded benefit affair…
Earlier this week, we told you about “Puttin’ On The Glitz“, a benefit concert to honor the late showman Liberace. It’s just one event scheduled during what’s known as “Liberace Legacy Week”, which coincides with the piano master’s 104th birthday. Now word comes of an even bigger event, and this one promises to be the granddaddy of them all.
The “Liberace 104th Birthday Benefit” will take place at 8 pm on Wednesday, May 17th, at Alexis Park Resort. The evening kicks off with a magnificent red carpet-experience. Students from the Nevada School for the Arts will be playing an actual Liberace piano placed atop the carpet at the resort’s porte cochere.
Alexis Park Resort on E. Harmon Avenue
Celebrities from Las Vegas productions will be on hand to pose for photos, and I’ve been told that a number of cars from Liberace’s famed automobile collection will be displayed. Guests can sip champagne as they pose for once-in-a-lifetime pics with his fabulous, flamboyant vehicles.
The red carpet portion of the evening is open to the public. Then at 7:30 pm, doors open to Athena ShowLounge for the main event. Ticketed guests can settle into their plush seats for an evening hosted by famed social media personality Perez Hilton. It’s a large-scale benefit tribute to the all-time king of glitz, Liberace.
Host Perez Hilton (right) with VEGAS 411’s Sam Novak at a 2018 event
“Liberace and Perez Hilton just makes sense! I am honored and thrilled to be a small part of a big evening celebrating the even bigger personality that was Władziu Valentino (Liberace’s birth name). I am so happy that the Liberace Foundation is keeping his legacy alive in the best way possible – by helping other artists! I am even happier that Las Vegas has named a street named after him and that I am now a local! I love living here, and we have lots to celebrate, watch and enjoy on May 17th.” said Hilton in a press release.
Organizers have promised a number of artifacts and surprise guests for the red carpet and concert event. A celebrity guest list is expected to be joined by members of The Liberace Foundation board of directors for what will be a memorable night. Here is a partial list of entertainers expected to perform throughout the evening:
- All Shook Up
- All Motown
- Carpenters Legacy
- Frankly, Frank starring Gary Anthony
- Raja Rahman, Nevada School of the Arts Interim President and CEO
- Bobby Brooks Wilson
- Nelia Ross
- Rose Kingsley
- Gina Eckstine
- Roy Hamilton, Jr.
- Uli Geissendoerfer
- Mocha Blu
- Ane’ Marshall
- Lisa Gay
- The New Dimensions
- The Matt Dorman Project
- Nieve Malandra
The show will be under the musical direction of Ned Mills (The Carpenters Legacy). It will be produced by Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts, with Pete Housley as Executive Producer. Lisa Gay, who serves as Entertainment Director for the Liberace Foundation, will direct this event.
The Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts was founded by Liberace himself in 1976. The not-for-profit organization, which resides in Las Vegas, owns and licenses the Liberace name, likeness, and other intellectual property. It also exhibits the Liberace Museum Collection worldwide in support of the arts. The involvement of the Liberace Foundation makes this event the only official Liberace Legacy Week celebration in Sin City this year.
In addition to the May 17th gala, advance ticketholders will be invited to a very special gathering the evening before. It’s the unveiling/reopening of Liberace’s restored, legendary Tivoli Gardens. The preview will be hosted by Susan Liberace, Jonathan Warren, members of the Board of Directors, designer Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl and restaurateur Sacbe Meling.
Photo via liberace.org
Liberace’s Tivoli Gardens features a restaurant and two ornate bars. Shuttered for a decade, Liberace himself created this time capsule from the Golden Era of Vegas. Inspired by the original Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park in Copenhagen, the pianist naturally added his own Sin City flair. It became a hotspot for Las Vegas society and show business royalty.
According to Jonathan Warren, chairman of the Liberace Foundation, the venue features a brick, indoor garden restaurant with an elaborate English pub-style bar attached. Liberace later added the iconic piano bar, a room completely surrounded by mirrored walls. The music and Lyrics to I’ll Be Seeing You (his signature closing number) encircle the space at its crown. The restoration of Tivoli Gardens has been enhanced with artifacts, images, and faithful designs by Paulina Biggs Sparkuhl.
Photo via liberace.org
After the soft opening on May 16th, Tivoli Gardens will be serving a casual daily vegan menu. It will also be available to host special events. Tivoli Gardens is located next to the Liberace Museum at 1775 E. Tropicana Avenue.
Remember that all ticket holders to the Liberace 104th Birthday Benefit will also be admitted to the Tivoli Gardens preview. Alexis Park Resort is located at 375 E. Harmon Avenue, across from Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. You can reserve your seats by following this link.