Rufus Wainwright – The Old Vic – each one made for the other. A mid-week evening during the week-long residency, the curtain-raiser on RW’s most ambitious tour so far – UK, US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia well into 2008. The theme is Stars and Stripes, the stage decorated with a huge black and white star spangled banner, Rufus and band decorated in stars (brooches) and stripes (jazzy, stripey mis-matched suits and shirts). I quote: “It’s great to have a band – they do as I say and I get to dress them like faggots.” Well, you all looked lovely, guys.
Oh yes, the show – mostly the luscious ‘Release The Stars’ collection, but with a few oldies and Garlands thrown in. Obligatory costume change from dazzling suit to lederhosen (oh my) to fedora tux’n’tights for the finale. As an experiment Rufus sang an old Irish folk song, ‘Macushla’, acapella – you could’ve heard a pin drop. Apparently this was at his mother’s request “Whatever Mamma says, Rufus does!” (such a good boy). So it was tear-jerker one moment, then we were ripped along to the full-on Judy Garland finale of “Get Happy” – see various Youtube clips for the full delirious experience. Audience left gagging for more – just as it should be.