Rufus Wainwright’s show at the Pabst Theater last night was sort of like a vacation into an exotic, foreign country. It was mezmerizing, sexy, sometimes uncomfortable and tiring but constantly surprising.
Because he was shooting the show for a DVD, he apologized in advance for doing some of the songs over. But to the enthusiastic crowd, the almost-three hour show on a Monday night was worth every second. Before he started, ushers handed out wands with stars on them to the audience, in keeping with Wainwright’s newly released album “Release the Stars.”
As the audience waved the silver-tipped wands in the air, Wainwright released bright shining jewels throughout the night. Wainwright’s voice, his diction, his piano and guitar playing, and his stage banter were perfect — for the most part, except for the three songs they had to do over for the DVD.
He made four costume changes (a multicolored suit, liederhosen, a bathrobe and a suit), sang a Gaelic song once without a mic (to test the Pabst’s acoustics, he said), did a few Judy Garland covers, and brought his “special someone” out and clambered onto his “special someone’s” shoulders to sing a song while members of the audience danced on stage. Wainwright took the audience’s breath away at every possible moment.
For his encore, he came out in a bathrobe, then put on lipstick, diamonds and heels, then took off the robe to reveal a smart suit without the pants, all cabaret-like. So let’s pretend I’m sending you a postcard, and that in it, I wrote, wish you guys were all there. Enjoy the photos.
P.s. The Magic Numbers weren’t too shabby either.