And Now for Something Completely Different…

You won't find this included among ASSE's official technical tours for Safety 2008 in Las Vegas. All of those are educational and fascinating, I'm sure (and for a rundown of them, see elsewhere in this e-newsletter). But because I'm a laggard and did not get registered before they all sold out, I decided to strike out on my own yesterday after landing in this neon city, just to see what I could see. And, in short, I got an eyeful.

Frequent Vegas visitors may already know about the subject of this report, but if you're here for the first time or are planning to come soon--and if you have a taste for the unusual--I recommend visiting the Liberace Museum, located in the Liberace Plaza (of course) at 1775 E. Tropicana Ave. Dubbed "the glitziest museum in the world," the place lives up to its name. It's sort of like Graceland with more sparkles, candelabras, and feathers. In the site's two buildings (separated by a parking lot) are housed an impressive (some would say obscene) number of pianos, cars, costumes, and jewelry from the collection of "Mr. Showmanship."

In addition to the 18 rare and antique pianos on display in the Piano Gallery--including the performer's favorite, a concert grand covered entirely in glittering mirror squares that will make you squint unless you've brought your PPE--and the miles of boa-draped clothes--featuring a rhinestone-lined, full-length Black Diamond mink cape and a 200-pound "King Neptune" costume--and the one-of-a-kind autos he used for stage entrances, all parked in the Car Gallery, the most impressive part of the place was a recreation of the master bedroom from "The Cloisters," Liberace's Palm Springs estate. Among the items in this intimate room sits an antique Louis XV desk from Russia's Czar Nicholas II and various examples of Liberace's famous Moser crystal collection.

The Liberace Museum is open Tues. - Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. A $15 admission ($10 for seniors, children free) includes a one-hour guided tour on Tues. – Sat. at 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. or Sunday at 2:00 p.m. If you arrive at the museum by taxi or bus, show your receipt or transfer ticket at the register desk to receive $2.00 off the adult ticket price. There's a museum store and café, too.

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