RUFUS570.jpeg
  • TINA TYRELL
On Monday night, nobody but Rufus Wainwright will be onstage at Benaroya Hall. With a piano. He’ll fill the space usually occupied by dozens of string players and horns and trumpets and tuxedos. That seems about the size of him. His songs are just unusual and intelligent enough to demand respect, but likable, singable, lovable, even. When he tried his hand at opera a few years ago, the chief criticism of the New York Times classical music writer was that there were too many arias and too few Rufus Wainwright songs. The songs rise to all sorts of levels and make all kinds of connections; the song “Oh What a World” from Wainwright’s 2003 album Want One is based on Ravel’s obsessive 1928 orchestral work Bolero.

Wainwright is the fabulous fully grown son of a marvelous musical family, and his latest album, Out of the Game, arrives just as he’s married his longtime boyfriend, Jorn Weisbrodt. (When asked when he came out of the closet, Wainwright likes to say, “I was born in the living room.”) Together, and with Lorca Cohen (Leonard’s daughter), they co-parent a little girl who’s now a year old. “I’m out of the game,” he sings, like he misses it. “I’ve been out for a long time now.” Helena Bonham Carter stars in the video. She’s a librarian in serious need of sex. He plays three scourge-ous library guests. They all end up in bed. Wainwright turned 39 in July, and his publicist said we had 10 minutes.

Where are you?

I’m in Los Angeles at the moment. At the Chateau Marmont hotel. Which is nice.

Did you have to travel alone?

I’m here with my husband, actually. I have a show at the Henry Miller Library up in Big Sur, so we’re going to go up, spend a week there, and use it as our honeymoon.

[Ed. note: Writer should have followed up by asking what honeymoon fantasies a person fulfills at the Henry Miller Library.]

I read you got married in August. What was your wedding like?

It was all-inclusive, all-inclusive. The rich, the poor, the artistic, the business-minded. I tend to touch all the bases, you know, with what I do, and yeah. I think in one way it was glamorous but it was also very democratic as well.

Continue reading »

Rufus Wainwright plays Benaroya Hall tonight.