Liberace the Lavish will swirl into town tonight with his 150-pound Norwegian Blue Shadow fox cape and its 12-by-16 foot train, lined in a river of rhinestones sewn on by six little ladies who tend to such needs year-round.
Liberace the Lovable will be trailed by his entourage of 15 people, 150 boxes and trunks holding $2 million worth of costumes, three Baldwin grand pianos decorated (or desecrated) with rhinestones, and, of course, the famous candelabra.
No word yet on his rhinestone-studded limousine. He may, perish the thought, have to struggle along with a plain black rented one.
The Watergate Hotel is prepared for Liberace the Luxuriant. He will be living in the "Piano Suite," the one with the 45-by-35 foot music room and the Steinway concert grand, where Leonard Bernstein warmed up for his Fourth of July performance. The two-bedroom apartment offers accommodations in case his sister, Angie Farrell, who used to wash out his laundry in hotel rooms on tour before he attained his present glory, accompanies him.
Liberace may feel as though he's slumming. The Watergate suite only has a dining "area." In each of his mansions in Malibu, Palm Springs, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas, not to mention his penthouse in Los Angeles, he has from seven to nine separate dining places for his favorite four-to-six person dinner parties.
The kitchen -- Liberace once wrote a cookbook -- is all ready for him to to prepare his expert meat sauce (his father was Italian, his mother Polish). If he has time, he hopes to sample other people's restaurants, scouting for tidbits for his own, Tivoli, in Las Vegas.
The Watergate chefs, knowing of his love for sweets, are working on a piano-shaped confection, said information director Marie Stanley.
Not that the master will have that much time to play Liberace the Languorous. He was originally booked for a weekend of shows. But the demand for the $19.50-to-$28 tickets has been so great, the schedule has stretched to nine performances, tomorrow through Sunday. So far, no theatergoer expects to be lonely -- ticket sales to groups already amount to $150,000.