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Looking for Liberace

Liberace's former home hosted a party last night that he would have approved of. A boy from West Allis, Wisconsin, who made it big, Liberace bought himself a double-wide trailer with a $65,000 sunken marble bathtub.

Liberace's former home hosted a party last night that he would have approved of. A boy from West Allis, Wisconsin, who made it big, Liberace bought himself a double-wide trailer with a $65,000 sunken marble bathtub.

The man who started his career as Walter Buster Keys was never too discerning about his clothing or even his house. (The Liberace "mansion" isn't much bigger than an average suburban split-level, and the nimble-fingered pianist collapsed more than once from the strain of hauling around his 400-pound costumes.) But he loved his music. That's about the only fine thing Comdexees found at the S3 party last night.


While most revelers stuffed their faces with cheddar or elbowed each other over the all-male Sistine Chapel roof fresco ripoff, up-and-coming rocker Liz Larin and guitarist Randy Jacobs unobtrusively smoked up the patio.

Liberace's famous quote, "Too much of a good thing is wonderful," was obviously the guiding principle for the chef last night. Every room in the house, even the garage-sized closet, was heaped with piles of mediocre nibbles: casino-buffet-size pressed meats, coffee brewed thinner than tea, and vaguely obscene-looking pyramids of cheese chunks (the only saving grace being that it wasn't Velveeta).


Still, there's something perversely satisfying about lying in a bathtub that's worth more than your car, sitting down for a nosh in Liberace's closet, his very closet, and peering into this god of gaudery's Greek temple master bathroom to find a very plain throne.

Ambiance: 9

Food: 3

Drinks: 2

Music: 10

Kitsch factor: 10+

Overall rating: Worth the trip, but not tonight's big winner.

Photo credits: Donald R. Winslow, CNET

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