Anna Played Piana

Strange, but unlikely

"My Anna played Piana in a bar in Singapore, till one day a sailor man from turkey-stan came knocking at the door." –Walt Kelly

So Anna was immortalized many years ago by Pogo Possum’s creator, but few know of the story of the real Anna after she left Singapore in 1964.

Anna had been discovered by Liberace in the 1960’s at Liberace’s highest point in his flamboyant career – Yes, he was the sailor-man from Turkey-stan that Walt was talking about. Never mind that Liberace’s background was Polish-Italian, it was close enough for walt to pen into song: "Artistic Relief" Walt called it – He said it would throw off any libel suits if he disguised Liberace enough.

Anna, was a stunning blond entertaining in the Malay Penninsula’s most famous city: Singapore. She did three shows a night, and had her pick of the highest class casino’s in which to play her tunes and sing her songs. One night Liberace was in the audience and found her talent was large, but even more interesting was her stunning similarity to the recently deceased Marilyn Monroe.

Liberace returned secretly many times to Singapore as he turned Anna’s piano act into a major review of the life of Marilyn Monroe. He would later produce the show in Las Vegas.

I recently interviewed Anna, in her Las Vegas suite – supposedly billed as the highest bedroom in the city. She talked about "Walta," pronouncing the W almost as if it were a V. She never called him Liberace: Her term of affection for him was "Walta-Vault" "Walta was a real strong man, his arms and chest were like a bank safe. He was my vault. I could tell him anything, and he would protect it: keep it secret, you know." She told me that He and Anna became lovers and that posed a huge problem for Liberace.

Now we all have heard about Liberace’s supposed homosexuality. It was a rumor which Liberace publicly denied: "I’m not homosexual, but I am still looking for the right woman." Was he homosexual??? The fact is that this question inflamed and energized the fanbase greatly! Even straight guys would watch his show just out of morbid curiosity. It was a key ingredient in his commercial success: If the public thought he was straight, his popularity would plummet. He was a hostage to his stage persona! Secretly he and Anna had been lovers, but they had to go to incredible lengths to avoid even the hint of sexual contact.

Liberace got Anna a booking in Las Vegas at the top of the old Domino Crest casino and she became the most sought after impersonator for the late Monroe in Las Vegas. Still, the fan base for Marilyn Monroe had dwindled greatly, and her audience was mostly men. She lives there still. Her looks faded years ago, and who wants to see a saggy Marilyn? She is still part owner of some of Liberace’s real estate investments, which are still incredibly productive farm-land properties that are leased to Con-Agra. These investments see her through these final years.

As I departed, I asked Anna about the real Monroe’s affair with JFK. She giggled, and said "the other brothers found my actstimulating." She would not elaborate, but I’m sure there is another story there.

PS: And what about the Elton John connection??

Author’s Note: even though this mainly is in Las Vegas, We consider that Far-Eastern LA and hence part of California

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