HAVING appeared in Paris, the night before, Rufus Wainwright told an enraptured Manchester audience that Jean Paul Gaultier had let him ‘borrow’ the slinky black leather ensemble he was wearing for the show.
Making an entrance in sparkly ostrich feather cape over tails, he told us he would be giving us three opportunities to marvel at Gaultier’s work. Removing the fabulous feathers after his first two songs, then the coat and later a short bolero to reveal clinging body-hugging dungarees. Sitting with some difficulty at the grand piano he described the designs as not too practical for playing musical instruments, adding that was probably why Madonna could wear as much JPG as she liked!
Why, oh why, after a show full of talent did it devolve into a camp fiasco for a well-rehearsed encore? Well known Jewish singer, song writer, Adam Cohen and Wainwright dressed in short white togas with shiny blonde wigs looked uncomfortable and cold, even with oiled legs! Backing singers Cristal Warren and Stella Blackman, accomplished soloists in their own right, were dressed as pantomime cut-outs, certainly undermining their contributions to the musicality of the show. Maybe I’m not sure that ‘glad to be gay’ shouldn’t be tempered with patrolling by the style police. The image of Wainwright, above, at the piano with the show’s stunning and subtle lighting plots is the one I’ll take home with me.