Rufus Wainwright performed his recreation of Judy Garland’s 1961 preformance at Carnegie Hall last night. The reviews are coming in, and they are, for the most part, glowing.
Roger Bourland at Red Black Window posts part one of a two part review (photo by Daniel Shiplacoff), and notes that both the Wainwright and Garland groupies were spoonfed exactly what they wanted:
“The median age of the audience was probably 45. Was this because of the material? or is Rufus’s audience primarilly baby boomers? or were these the people who could afford it? I personally missed the edge of a younger audience. (But if I stop and think about it, Rufus seems to always enchant his listeners, they all look as thought they are in a daze when they listen. There is never a kind of headbangers ball scene at a Rufus Wainwright concert.) I saw Laurie Anderson, Jon Waters [sic], David Bowie, Antony, Joel Gray, and many other familiar faces. Lots of 45 to 60 well-off gay men. Many clusters of women, and surprising number of straight couples (that is for a concert by such a queer as RW). The audience offered up 4 or 5 standing ovations in the course of the evening. I’m certain that if overtime didn’t kick in for the orchestra and stage personnel, there would have been many more encores: the audience roar said as much.”
The New York Times seems to agree:
“What unfolded onstage was a tour de force of politically empowering performance art in which a proudly gay male performer paid homage to the original and longest-running gay icon in the crowded pantheon of pop divas…For those who came to worship, Mr. Wainwright could do no wrong. His courage to stand as a surrogate for every audience member who ever gazed into the mirror and fantasized slipping into Dorothy’s ruby slippers spoke for itself.”