Rufus Wainwright + Martha Wainwright
Bank of America Theatre; Fri 13
Folk duo Kate and Anna McGarrigle were always too classy (and Canadian) to raise themselves above cult status, and that’s how the sisters preferred it. Kate’s kids, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, on the other hand, have had a more on-again-off-again relationship with the spotlight, at times swinging for the charts but just as frequently forging divergent and ambitious ways off the beaten pop paths. Following a pair of modestly eclectic but ultimately conventional singer-songwriter discs, Martha last year released Sans Fusils, Ni Souliers, à Paris: Martha Wainwright’s Piaf Record, a live tribute to the titan of French chanson.
For the first time, it seemed as if Martha was taking a page from the Rufus Wainwright playbook. Since cleaning up his libertine lifestyle, her 37-year-old older brother has flirted with pop, cabaret, opera, the ghost of Judy Garland and now lieder. His most recent record—or song cycle, as he described it to us—All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu features stark solo piano interpretations of three Shakespeare sonnets as well as “Zebulon,” a devastating tribute to Kate, who passed away last winter after a long battle with cancer.
Martha and Rufus have worked and performed together before, but no doubt the death of Kate McGarrigle inspired this joint tour, which allows the siblings an opportunity to express the creative facets that make them distinct while celebrating the blood ties and muse that link them together.