Gay History is set to be made on June 14, 2006 when (as noted on his website) the one and only Rufus Wainwright is going to perform Judy Garland’s entire, legendary April 23, 1961 Carneige Hall concert at Carneige Hall..
Proving, if nothing else, that today’s “damned kids” DO have respect for their gay elders, Rufus’ concert should in equal parts delight and terrify those of us who’ve clung to our copies of the all-time best-selling concert recording like the Relic of the True Cross that it is.
Why is he doing this? Well as anyone who has ever been in his presence for a nanosecond knows, Rufus is an Opera Queen AND a Drama Queen to the Manner Born. Judy’s epic performance has clear parallels with Callas’ Norma , Schwartzkopf’s Der Rosenkavalier, and other great bel canto peaks.
Tickets go on sale at the end of March, so lucky New Yorkers should line up right now. As for the rest of us, let’s hope it’s being filmed for posterity.
And let’s also hope that Rufus gets the sort of accompaniment that won’t leave him complaining — as he did at Lance Loud’s memorial service, before launching into “Over the Rainbow,” “The verse, mother — the verse!”