Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy! (2007)
Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright, Lorna Luft, Kate McGarrigle.
time: 120 mins
is deservedly turning into one of the "wow" music
DVDs of this or any other year.
his brave song-for-song recreation of a 1961 "comeback"
concert by the legendary Judy Garland after she'd suffered
years of personal problems, singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright
breathes new life into classic songs in a touching tribute.
by the hottest 36-piece orchestra I've ever heard, swinging
like crazy in Garland's original arrangements, Wainwright
puts his heart and soul into a 31-song set lustily applauded
by a star-studded audience at the London Palladium that includes
movie icons like Sir
Ian McKellen and Jeremy Irons.
a triumphant sellout in 2006 at New York's Carnegie Hall and
the Hollywood Bowl, the show
is a triumph for classic songs that really say something -
as opposed to most of the pop song crap today. Don't even
get me started on gangsta rap...
isn't Judy Garland - and he also isn't Sinatra or Tony Bennett
- but his voice is pleasant enough, and often very moving
in songs like "Do It Again" and "Over The Rainbow".
He also has great showmanship for barnburners like "That's
Entertainment" and "Zing! Went The Strings Of My
to the sense of occasion is a guest appearance by Garland's
55-year-old daughter Lorna Luft, who duets with Wainwright
on "After You've Gone" then brings the house down
solo with "Hello Bluebird" - a song Garland sang
on the same stage during her last movie shoot.
vocal performances of the night belong to Wainwright's sister
Martha, who pours it out in an anguished Stormy Weather
and a touching Someone To watch Over Me. Yeah,
no wonder Rufus tells the audience "I wish I had Marthas
voice! Wainwright's mother Kate McGarrigle also plays
piano on several songs.
isn't a dud song on the recital and man, that orchestra is
phenomenal. Spectacular sound on this collector's DVD.