Monday, January 3, 2011

Liberace lives again in Milwaukee!

I must confess that the little I knew about Liberace during his lifetime was the glitter, dazzle, and opulence of his public persona. I didn't grow up in Milwaukee originally, so I hope I may be excused. Nevertheless, I was entranced by the Milwaukee Rep's tribute to Liberace with its eponymous show at the Stackner Cabaret. The music is wonderful. Jack Forbes Wilson, who plays Liberace, is very entertaining.

Given the nature of Liberace's own showmanship - he called himself "Mr. Showmanship" and, according to the show, it was a deliberately self deprecating alter ego - it comes as no surprise that the show was entertaining. I also found the story unexpectedly moving. It sounds a bit schmaltzy, perhaps, out of context, but Wilson convinced me that the key to Liberace's amazing success was mutual love - to give the audience what they love and to love the audience back.

My own personality is pretty much the antithesis of Liberace's. The medium I work in, photography, doesn't have an audience in the same way such a performer does. However, I too believe that to be the best photographer I can be I have to love what I do. If that comes across as a cliché then it seems to me that there's a fine line between a cliché and an eternal truth.

Congratulations to the Rep! If you haven't seen the show already, it runs through January 16. The house was pretty full last night, so I hope you can still get tickets.

Check it out: Milwaukee Repertory Theater.

Oh, and Happy New Year from Arts Without Borders!

You haven't heard from me for a while because I was in Santa Fe last week, where the art scene is always lively. I hope to bring you highlights soon.

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