The race to bring fabulous music icon Liberace to Broadway is on! Although there are plans to adapt the Emmy-winning HBO film Behind the Candelabra for the stage, the lavish bio-musical All That Glitters is looking to get there first. Producers have announced plans to bring the show, which features Three’s Company star Richard Kline as one of three actors portraying the flamboyant piano man, to Broadway in December 2014 following a Toronto premiere.
All That Glitters is the brainchild of Broadway dancer-turned-impressario Alexander DeJong, who wrote the music and lyrics for the show (additional music is by Tom Nelson), as well as co-wrote the book (with James A. Walsh) and will direct and choreograph. The musical will also feature a top-notch design team, with Tony-winning set designer John Arnone (The Who’s Tommy) and Tony-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley (Jersey Boys) joined by legendary costume designer Bob Mackie, who actually designed many of Liberace’s opulent stage costumes. Jack Lee will provide the show’s musical and vocal supervision.
According to press materials, All That Glitters will be “as dramatic as Liberace’s life, every bit as funny as he was and even more spectacular than any of the man’s own shows ever were.” The musical will follow the star (whose full name was Wladziu Valentino Liberace) starting with his childhood in Milwaukee, through his rise to fame as one of the greatest showmen of the 20th Century and ending with the controversial final chapter of his life, when the very-closeted star was diagnosed with AIDS. Kline will play Liberace in his later years, with two yet-uncast actors taking on the younger roles.
Kline got his start on Broadway in the early 1970s, appearing in classic plays including Mary Stuart, Twelfth Night and The Crucible. He is best known for playing Larry Dallas, the ultimate ladies’ man, on 116 episodes of the classic sitcom Three’s Company. Other notable theater credits include City of Angels on Broadway, the national tour of Wicked, the American premiere of By Jeeves at Goodspeed Opera and the Kennedy Center, It Shoulda Been You at the George Street Playhouse and his acclaimed one-man show Boychik. He previously headlined the 2012 workshop of All That Glitters at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
No theater has been named for the musical’s pre-Broadway run in Toronto in Fall 2014.