For my first music event of 2010, I checked out Cyndi Lauper’s new True Colors Cabaret series at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, also in association with Broadway Impact and True Colors Fund, benefiting GLBT equality (yay!). Tonight, Rufus Wainwright and Karen Olivo, currently starring as Anita in Broadway’s revival of West Side Story, are the headliners.This is my first visit to Feinstein’s and I’m so excited about how intimate it is. I just saw Karen in WSS before Christmas with my parents. Half-price tickets, balcony, could barely see her. The first and only time I’ve seen Rufus perform was at Radio City Music Hall in 2008… again, way in the back. Now I’m sitting 10 feet from both of them! Amazing.
The event was hosted by the cutest, little, ugly coyote you’ve ever seen, Piper Perabo, and starts the show by introducing Tony Award-winning Karen Olivo and she opens with “A Foggy Day in London Town,” which was just great. Then Olivo announces that the cabaret portion of the show is over and she brings up her band (five more guys!!) to the tiny stage and continues to perform a number of beautiful songs near and dear to her heart. Madly in love with her husband, Matt Caplan, he joins Olivo on stage for one song that they wrote together. Really sweet.
After about 30 minutes, Karen’s set ends and Rufus is hanging out in the wings. Oooh, I just spotted him yucking it up with Hair cutie Gavin Creel. Piper introduces Rufus and shares that he will be performing selections from his wildly popular “Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall.” The best gay gasp/pearls clutch I’ve heard since I saw Gypsy and it was announced that Patty Lupone had injured her foot (only to be relieved that she would be wearing orthopedic shoes during the performance… lol).
Before he “did Judy,” he played a few selections from recent albums, and one from this forthcoming album. A favorite he performed was “Leaving For Paris,” which was originally penned for Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge. Sadly, it didn’t make the movie soundtrack, but it’s a beautiful song.
Finally, “Zing! Went the Strings of my Heart,” kicked off the Judy portion of the show and he closed with one of my favorite songs of all time, “The Man That Got Away.” What I would do to have witnessed his entire Judy performance at Carnegie Hall back in 2007. Love, love, love Rufus Wainwright. So original, so unique. And so funny. Every redux, bum joke and belch was chocked up to “it’s cabaret.” Songwriting talent, voice, pianist, flirt, comedian. That’s Entertainment.