By Andrew Gans
26 May 2013
The two-hour film, which explores the relationship between the late pianist Lee Liberace and his young lover Scott Thorson, is executive-produced by Emmy winner Jerry Weintraub and directed by Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh from a script by Oscar nominee Richard LaGravenese.
The cast includes Douglas (Liberace), Damon (Scott Thorson), Dan Aykroyd (Seymour Heller), Scott Bakula (Bob Black), Rob Lowe (Dr. Jack Startz), Tom Papa (Ray Arnett), Paul Reiser (Mr. Felder), Cheyenne Jackson (Billy Leatherwood) and Debbie Reynolds (Frances Liberace).
"Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace: virtuoso pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television," according to HBO. "A name synonymous with showmanship, extravagance and candelabras, he was a world-renowned performer with a flair that endeared him to his audiences and created a loyal fan base spanning his 40-year career. Liberace lived lavishly and embraced a lifestyle of excess both on and off stage. In summer 1977, handsome young stranger Scott Thorson walked into his dressing room and, despite their age difference and seemingly different worlds, the two embarked on a secretive five-year love affair. [The film] takes a behind-the-scenes look at their tempestuous relationship – from their first meeting backstage at the Las Vegas Hilton to their bitter and public break-up."
About the late pianist, director Soderbergh said in production notes, "It’s important that the people understand that Liberace wasn’t a goof. He was a seriously talented, proficient musician. He was a real showman. That kind of ability is rare and it’s important that audiences recognize that – otherwise, it just becomes a cartoon, if you don’t take it seriously. He was really amazing."
The film also features music adapted by the late Tony-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch.
Other HBO broadcast dates are May 26 at 11 PM, May 27 at 11:30 AM and 9 PM, May 30 at 10 AM and 6:30 PM, June 1 at 4 PM and 11:55 PM, June 4 at 12:30 PM and 8:30 PM, June 9 at 9:30 AM and 5 PM, June 12 at 11:30 AM and 7:30 PM, June 15 at 2 PM and June 18 at 2:45 PM and 1 AM. HBO2 air dates are May 27 at 11 PM, May 31 at noon, June 6 at 4:25 PM, June 19 at 2:15 PM and 10:30 PM, June 22 at 6:25 PM and 3:55 AM, June 25 at 10:15 AM and 8 PM and June 30 at 12:55 AM.