Featuring gifted musician Curtis Labelle, the Tribute To Liberace Tour returns to Red Deer June 27th at the Welikoklad Centre.
Showtime for the concert, which was successfully staged twice in the City back in January, is 7 p.m.
“There were so many people who didn’t get the opportunity to see it the first time,” he said. “I said, let’s come back and give them a treat and make it a little bit bigger this time around.
“We’ve added a bunch of numbers, and we have another special guest coming with us –there will also be a few new costumes, and a photo op with me as Liberace at the end,” he explained. “We are also doing a bit of backstage stuff so people can have a little tour of the show before the show – that way, they can come into the dressing room and see what it’s like backstage to see Liberace as he prepares before the show – a VIP kind of thing.”
Labelle, who has been teaching and directing in the Edmonton area for the past five years, is a recognizable name to local audiences, as he has been involved in many local productions over the years. He studied composition, conducting, piano and voice at Red Deer College under the tutelage of Dr. Cheryl Cooney, Dr. Ross Debrusin, Steve Sherman and Sharon Braun.
The concept for the show surfaced last year.
“I’ve been directing musicals and teaching. But this idea came along, and it hit me so hard – I didn’t even think twice about it. Why am I not doing this? Why am I not performing. I thought, that’s it – I’m going to do it – a tribute to to Liberace.”
It’s been an imaginative journey ever since as Labelle has delved into Liberace’s legendary, flamboyant world. Known for his over-the-top costumes, stage sets and bigger than life personality, Liberace’s storied career stretched from the 1950s until his death in 1987 in Palm Springs, California.
Labelle’s show captures songs from various periods of Liberace’s journey. And back in January, Labelle recalls being overwhelmed at the response he received here in Red Deer.
“I got into one of the numbers and all of a sudden the audience just roared with clapping – it took me so by surprise! I thought I was at a Lady Gaga concert,” he said with a laugh. “I was just floored. I was totally shocked. And when I got out, the comments I heard were, ‘Are you from Vegas, have you performed in Los Angeles?’ I was like, no, I’m from Red Deer,” he laughs.
One elderly lady, who was blind, spoke to him after the show about how pleased she was with his performance. “She had seen Liberace back in her younger years, and she came up to me afterwards and said, ‘That was absolutely the most beautiful treat I’ve ever had’. She felt my hands, my rings. She said, ‘Thank you for bringing Liberace back to me’. I was like, that is why I entertain!
“It was exhilarating – it was the best natural high you could get – it was better than anything.”
For ticket information, visit www.blackknightinn.ca or call 403-755-6626.