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Catching Up With Rufus Wainwright

Photo: Alex Lake

Our favorite foppish piano man, Rufus Wainwright, has once again shacked up on the record store shelves with his brand new live CD/DVD Milwaukee At Last!!!

Filmed at the historic Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI, during his 2007 Release The Stars Tour, the 10-track CD and 23-track DVD include songs from his Release The Stars, Want One, Want Two, and and the hugely successful Rufus Does Judy albums along with backstage footage and rehearsals.

Other than peddling his new CD/DVD, Rufus will be taking time out of his busy schedule writing a new album and readying his first opera, Prima Donna, for its North American debut in Tornoto at the Luminato Festival in June 2010 to play a benefit concert for the Ali Forney Center which aids homeless queer youth in NYC.

The A Place At The Table event takes place Monday, October 5, at the Chelsea Art Museum and will feature a cocktail reception with food tastings from up-and-coming NYC chefs, live and silent auctions, and a solo performance by Rufus and NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Lewis A. Fidler will be honored. Money raised will benefit the center which is the nation's largest and most comprehensive organization dedicated to homeless queer youth.

We recently caught up with Rufus and he graciously answered a few questions about Milwaukee At Last!!!, A Place At The Table, and Courtney Love:

Out: You've performed all over the world. Why did you choose Milwaukee, WI, of all places to be the show you released as the live CD/DVD?
Rufus Wainwright: Well don't worry, it isn't the beer! [Laughing] But it does have to do with beer. The Pabst Theater is an amazing opera house in the middle of the Midwest and a great treasure -- I've always wanted to perform there.

How did you get involved with the A Place At The Table fundraiser?
I was asked to do it and I was almost a gay homeless person myself at one point so I know what it's like. I'm happy to be involved.

The night before A Place At The Table you're playing a fundraiser for The (RED) foundation (which aims to eliminate AIDS in Africa) along with your sister, Martha Wainwright, Antony, Bono, and Courtney Love, among others. Do you have any good Courtney stories?
One of my good friends is Melissa Auf der Maur who played bass in HOLE. We're both from Montreal and Courtney once deemed us the King and Queen of Montreal!

You're currently recording a new album. Can you give us a little preview?
A solo piano voice record. I need to take a break -- and so do you. [Laughing] Of course in writing these songs it's turning out to be the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm all alone out there!

For more information about Rufus and Milwaukee At Last!!!, available in stores now, check out his website.

The A Place At The Table fundraiser takes place at the Chelsea Art Museum, 556 West 22nd Street on Monday, October 5. Tickets are available for $150, VIP tickets are $250, and sponsored tickets range from $1,000 - $2,000. To purchase tickets, get more information abut A Place At The Table and the Ali Forney Center, head to their website,

Previously > What's Poppin' With Wilson Phillips?

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