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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 25 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 43
Rufus Wainwright rides into Tacoma - Now 40 and married, the 'wandering troubadour' isn't settling down anytime soon
Arts & Entertainment
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Rufus Wainwright rides into Tacoma - Now 40 and married, the 'wandering troubadour' isn't settling down anytime soon

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT
PANTAGES THEATER
October 30


It's been a year of milestones for Rufus Wainwright. He blew out the candles on his 40th birthday cake in July, he celebrated a one-year wedding anniversary in August with husband Jörn Weisbrodt, and his self-titled debut recording turned a decade old in May. Like always, the American-Canadian artist is multi-tasking on his projects, from touring to staging a self-penned opera to composing songs for upcoming films. Speaking of touring, Wainwright will perform live at Tacoma's Pantages Theater on October 30, marking his first-ever appearance in our sister city (that I know of, at least). For tickets, go to www.broadwaycenter.org. While in Palm Springs, the Grammy-nominated entertainer spoke cheerily with me by phone. This is what singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright got off his chest inside The Music Lounge.

Albert Rodriguez: We're excited to have you back! This time you'll be playing in Tacoma. Have you performed there before?

Rufus Wainwright: I don't think that I've ever played Tacoma, so I'm excited to discover that. I've always been a big Pacific Northwest fan, anyway. There's always something I can gnaw my eyes on. [laughs]

Rodriguez: On previous tours, you've played an album in its entirety or the show has carried a specific theme. Can you set up the Tacoma concert?

Wainwright: I'm just coming up there alone with a piano and guitar to sing. This is what I do now. [laughs] And it's fun because being solo I then skip between my many albums and make each night a different experience, so it's really about how everyone's feeling that day and what makes sense to listen to, and to reflect on. I'm a wandering troubadour and I'll be coming to your town soon. Lock up your men! [laughs again]

Rodriguez: The last time I saw you perform here in Seattle, you broke down on stage.

Wainwright: I know, that was an amazing show - at least I hope it was. I do apologize.

Rodriguez: You got married since the last time you and I spoke, so ?congratulations!

Wainwright: Thank you!

Rodriguez: Do you have any advice for couples in the process of getting married, like how to plan their wedding or what to expect?

Wainwright: Arguably, Gay men getting married is straight marriage times two, if you're going to be old-fashioned about it. So, I'm foreseeing a great many incredibly fabulous Gay weddings to come in the world, so I think we can uphold that tradition and be totally outrageous.

Rodriguez: You recently played at a pre-Emmy Awards party. Did you meet anyone cool there?

Wainwright: I met Jon Voight, which was fun. I saw Claire Danes there, who I actually know from years back. It was lovely to see her. She never changes, and it was great to see her again. And, Allison Janney. It was fun.

Rodriguez: In Tacoma, will you introduce any new music, such as songs that are in the process of being recorded?

Wainwright: It's definitely possible. I find myself needing to express my present feelings and I write all the time, so very often I'll just sort of pull something out that's newly alive.

Rodriguez: Might you include songs from your Judy Garland album [Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall]?

Wainwright: That's the one territory I don't really touch, in terms of when I'm alone. For that, I really need a jazz accompaniment on the piano, so you won't hear any Judy, unfortunately.

Rodriguez: For some of the older songs, like 'Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk,' do you ever change the arrangement completely to make them sound fresh?

Wainwright: Not much [laughs]. Being a singer, I really enjoy taking years to perfect a song. There's been a natural process, which occurs when you sing a song for many, many years where you just slowly master it, so I like to let it be a natural process.

Rodriguez: I know you released a new album just last year, but are there any plans for another album soon?

Wainwright: Not for a while, I don't think. I'd really like to record my opera, Prima Donna, soon, and I have some theatrical releases that I'm involved in. So I don't think I'll be putting out an album in a while. I might just see what happens.

Rodriguez: There's been a lot of discussion about what's happening in Russia. You're soon headed to Europe on this tour. Would you consider going to Russia now and performing there?

Wainwright: I'd have to cross that bridge when I got there - or not cross it. It sounds really scary and certainly if I went I guess I would have to have some sort of diplomatic community because I am very open about my homosexuality and I believe in Gay rights, so I think it'd be tricky to go there right now, in all honesty.

Rodriguez: At the end of the night when you go back to your dressing room, what makes a great show vs. a good show?

Wainwright: I always measure everything, for better or worse, in terms of emotion - if tears were shed or seams were busted [laughs]. It's a cool feeling to be in complete exhaustion or to be laughing inside. You gotta feel things up there [on stage], and that's ultimately rewarding.

Editor's note: In addition to his October 30 date in Tacoma, Rufus Wainwright will also perform October 28 in Edmonds, at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, and October 29 in Olympia, at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

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