January 30, 1962
Liberace played Chopsticks and Chopin Monday night, and every classification of music in between, delighting a large audience in Liberty hall.
Not only did the soloist exhibit the ultimate in musicianship, but proved that he is a great showman as well.
Liberace’s celebrated candelabra – glowing in its gold elegance on the darkened stage – was placed in its accustomed place on the concert grand, and the performer’s costumes were just short of indescribable.
When Liberace first appeared, he was wearing a gleaming golden-hued dinner jacket, and commented to the audience, “I didn’t get dressed like this not to be noticed.”
After intermission, Liberace appeared in tails, and he explained that each button on the coat contained a letter of his name, with last “C” and “E” appearing on the coattails.
The program included classics, such as the theme and finale from Tschaikowsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, and a medley of Chopin piano compositions including the Minute Waltz and the popular Polenaise.
One of the program’s highlights was a specially-arranged group of George Gershwin selections. He began and ended the medley with Rhapsody in Blue and the theme from that composition was intertwined with other Gershwin favorites, such as “I Got Rhythm,” “Summertime.” “Embraceable You” and others.
Liberace also played a number of Latin tunes, some jazz and boogie woogie, many old favorites, and ended the program with audience requests. He sang “No New Tunes on this Old Piano,” and during the same routine danced a soft-shoe to “Me and My Shadow.”
The soloist easy, soft-spoken manner and his sly jokes made a hit with the audience, as did his piano playing. On several occasions, applause began during his playing.