Enjoyable and affectionate recreation by Wainwright
Back in 2006, Rufus Wainwright appeared at Carnegie Hall in a "two-night-only" recreation of Judy Garland's famous 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. In this film we get to see him doing the same show earlier this year at the London Palladium in front of a packed audience including the odd celebrity here and there.
Before I review this show firstly I must point out two things that are perhaps not all that important but are just things I'd like to "put out there". Firstly, the television version of this show is less than half of the length of the full show, which was two and a half hours long when it was put on at the Palladium and Carnegie Hall. Secondly, I am straight; perhaps not a man's man but I'm not the target audience for this show! The tone of the show was one of affection and it is clear that Wainwright and his London audience do hold the original Judy Garland musical in high esteem because there is a lot of energy and "love" in the room throughout, which served to make me enjoy it more even as a casual viewer.
The songs will be familiar to even the hardest of hard men and I did enjoy hearing them being song in the big-stage setting that they deserve. This is not to say that Wainwright just apes Garland, because he doesn't and indeed his delivery is very much his own. I'm not really a fan of his but his charismatic and talented delivery here really made the show and, although his talking bits seemed to amuse him more than the audience, he did hold the stage very well and had good presence.
It helps to be target audience by being a fan of Garland or Wainwright but even the casual viewer will recognise the songs and take pleasure from this energetic and enjoyable recreation.
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