Believe it or not, Christmas is coming and so is “Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s Christmas 101” to the West Coast. The show, full of guest stars, family and friends will be performed on Dec. 19 at the Fox Theatre in Oakland and on Dec. 21 and 22 at Royce Hall in Los Angeles.
The legendary McGarrigle/Wainwright Christmas show was started in 2005, inspired and masterminded by their late mother Kate McGarrigle. The show, full of eclectic carols in French and English, traditional and not so traditional, starring McGarrigles, Wainwrights and many friends – famous and infamous – played two shows in Montreal and was a huge success. Kate’s dream then became to take the Christmas show across the country – playing in as many cities as possible.
However in 2006 Kate was diagnosed with sarcoma, a rare and deadly cancer. There was no show in 2006, but in 2007, the family brought the show roaring back into Carnegie Hall in NYC. Kate curated and planned the show, but she was too ill to perform. She did come out at the end however, to the delight of the whole audience.
After that show, Kate went into a kind of remission and decided to make the annual Christmas show a benefit for the Kate McGarrigle Fund, a fund dedicated to research for a cure for sarcoma, a sorely underfunded cancer.
The 2008 Christmas show at Carnegie Hall was an incredible success and raised lots of money for the fund. Although very ill once again, in 2009, Kate wanted to do the Christmas show one more time in London at the Royal Albert Hall. It sold out in 15 minutes and was an amazing, emotional show with the legendary duo Kate and Anna McGarrigle performing together for the very last time. Less than a month later, Kate passed away.
Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Kate’s children, decided last year to revive the family tradition and start up the Christmas shows again as a way to honor their mother and raise money for the cause. Last year, the shows were triumphant and critically acclaimed in Montreal and in New York City once again.
Kate had always wanted to show to come to the West Coast and this year, it is happening.
All proceeds from the concert will be going to The Kate McGarrigle Foundation. There will be regularly priced tickets and Gala tickets (regular ticket plus $101) which will entitle the purchaser a great seat, a reception with the artists following the show, and a special gift bag.
This wonderful family tradition, passed down to the next generation, is sure to delight Californians all along the 101.
See the Tour Page for information and ticket links