Out of the Game and Into The Fitz

You could say Rufus Wainwright was fated for the musical stage before he was born. Brought up in a family of folk singer/songwriters, Wainwright grew up surrounded by music—even his sister Martha is a folk-rock singer. Wainwright’s destiny was met as he started piano lessons at age six. He’s spent the last 33 years honing his skills, for which we will sing “Hallelujah.”

Tina Tyrell

His newest album, Out of the Game, was released in May of last year and—finally—Wainwright is coming to St. Paul Saturday, April 13, to delight us with his new tunes live.

Though his music is best described as “popera” (or pop-opera), with a hint of that definite ’80s up-beat sound, Wainwright is said to find inspiration in Judy Garland (he once did a Garland tribute concert and named his sixth album Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall) and Leonard Cohen (who also happens to be the grandfather of his child, Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen).

Wainwright may be best known for his emotion-fueled covers of songs like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (anyone remember that scene in Shrek? I still cry. Every time.) and The Beatles’ “Across the Universe,” used in the acid-trippy film of the same name. But, despite a messy addiction to cocaine and crystal meth in the early 2000s and overcoming the loss of his mother to cancer in 2010, Wainwright has produced 10 albums since 1998 and won a plethora of awards, including a Grammy for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album” in 2009.

By some miracle, tickets are still available for Wainwright’s concert this Saturday at The Fitzgerald, so don’t procrastinate and miss the performer whom Elton John once called “the greatest songwriter on the planet.”

Rufus Wainwright
Saturday, April 13
8 p.m.
Fitzgerald Theater
10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul
651-290-1200, fitzgeraldtheater.publicradio.org