Friday, February 15, 2008

Rufus Wainwright - Old-time Gay Entertainment

This comes from valentine's partyboy land on a train with the same clothes I wore yesterday night. Such are the perils of the commuter relationship. We went to see Rufus Wainwright last night at Radio City. I don't know many of his songs so I slept a lot, but he put on a good show. At one point he sang without a mike, and he has some pipes on him. Hehe. If every gay man wants to be a diva, Rufus has succeeded, he reminded me of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose with that
powerful voice.
The best part of the show was the encore. First he sang a duet of "Across the Universe" with Sean Lennon, which was excellent. Then his mother and sister came on and he sang her old folk song "New York State." The big finale was one of his Judy Garland tunes- he put on earrings, lipstick, and heels, took off his robe to reveal a skirt suit and donned a Liza Minelli hat, and began belting out "Get Happy, get ready for the judgment day" while his band mates danced around him in nun costumes. It was pretty obvious that they weren't dancers, tripping over each other and just having fun.

See, back in the golden era of the 50s, men were men and fags were fags, and the worst thing to be called was "half a fag." Rufus would never be called half, and his show recalls the drag and burlesque acts from the 50s. It was like stepping back in time, I felt like Sinatra and Dino might be doing a show next door.
This is a phone photo, those colorful blobs are Rufus in drag and his merry nuns dancing. While I'm glad he didn't do the whole show like this, it was a pleasant surprise to be transported back to the days
when if you went to see a show in NYC the dancers might be Marys.
Ring a ding ding!




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2 comments:

loaferplay said...

What does "men were men, and fags were fags" mean?!! Fags ARE men too, for your instance! Don't talk fags like they are a different gender! And there are many different types of "fags", not all are feminine too you idiot.

Tommy Salami said...

Relax, subtlety is often lost through the internet, and no offense was meant. I'm not going to go into the sociological constructs of gender vs. sexual orientation, but I did not mean to imply that all gay men were like Rufus. I have some friends who might sock me in the eye if I did.
It was meant as something you'd hear back in the day when the drag shows that Rufus was trying to evoke were popular.
My uncle ran gay bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan for decades, and Rufus's show reminded me of his friends who worked in such shows.
Perhaps you shouldn't be so easily offended. No offense was meant.

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