Rex Lewis-Clack, now 26, is well-known around Malibu for his fascinating and unusual abilities — he’s been labeled a “prodigious musical savant” from a very young age despite being blind and autistic. His improbable public keyboard and piano performances around the world over the past two decades have been inspirational and motivational to many because of the challenges he faces.
In his latest endeavor, Rex became part of a troupe of visually impaired actors and performers known as “Theatre by the Blind” that put on “The Braille Legacy,” a new production at Inglewood’s Miracle Theater, on June 24 and 25. The production was presented by “Artsup! LA,” and was written up in both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.
“I was over-the-top proud of Rex, as his phenomenal piano playing pretty much began and ended the play, continued through every scene transition, and through every song (backed up by his three fellow musicians),” his mother Cathleen Lewis related. “However, while all three of his fellow musicians were sighted and able to see the musical score, Rex had to memorize the 150 pages of sheet music — a gargantuan task!”
Although Rex doesn’t normally have his mother sitting next to him on stage during a performance, “Braille Legacy” was an exception due to its complexity. She was there to help keep Rex focused, and to give an occasional cue from the script, which she had on her lap.
“He knew 95 percent of the cues for musical entries, but the director had added in several extras for him to play at the last minute, with almost no rehearsal,” she explained. “The musical director told me after closing night that she heard many people in the theater talking about Rex and his amazing piano playing. Even the director was amazed that Rex had memorized 150 pages of music.”
Stevie Wonder spoke to the cast and audience after one of the performances, saying, “And so I celebrate you, I celebrate everyone involved in this wonderful, blessed production. And you must continue to do it, because for me we have a broken world that only us who can really see can fix.”
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