Rufus bids farewell to Judy

September 25, 2007

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We went to the Hollywood Bowl with Frank and Terry to hear Rufus Wainwright’s farewell concert to Judy Garland. My longtime readers will remember that we attended the premiere of this show last year in Carnegie Hall. Rufus is clearly more comfortable with all these songs now days although I have the distinct feeling he is ready to say goodbye to the show. His upper range suffered last night, but most of us didn’t really care. The notes were there even if his belting power wasn’t.

The orchestra (LA Phil – sic) was terrific, and I dare say, sounded much better than the band in NYC last year. The average age of the orchestra had to be 60, but these dudes played this music like it was their own (I’m fairly sure many of these guys probably DID play with Judy back in the old days). I was thrilled to see the Hollywood Bowl packed to the top, although not completely sold out, damn near.

I also had the impression many were hearing Rufus for the first time. I had to inform several people “No, this isn’t HIS music, it’s a recreation of a concert Judy Garland sang in 1961.”

We were also amazed at the huge lines for the men’s room at intermission–a problem that usually only women face, but last night we estimated that 80% of the audience was male. The women laughed at the long line as they waltzed into their facilities.

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[Top picture from Pitchfork. Ann Powers has a nice review in today’s LA Times.]

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad Wood September 25, 2007 at 9:49 am

The restroom situation is indeed funny. At certain seminars I attend at hotels, the demand for women’s restrooms at breaks has led to converting (well, really just assigning) most of the Men’s rooms to the women. The other hotel guests can be pardoned for their confusion/discomfiture…

dennisbade September 28, 2007 at 8:21 pm

Only 5 days late, I think it’s worth noting that the orchestra backing Rufus was the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, NOT the LA Phil. These musicians are versatile studio players and they excel in charts like these.

Roger Bourland September 29, 2007 at 8:06 am

Oops! I could have sworn I saw some blurbs that called them the LA Phil. But as I looked at the group, I didn’t recognize a single one of them, so you’re right.

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