Aidin Vaziri | Rufus Wainwright had a pretty great year. He released a lively new pop album, “Out of the Game,” produced by Mark Ronson. The 39-year-old musician also married his longtime boyfriend, Jöorn Weisbrodt, with whom he has a 1-year-old daughter in a parenting partnership with Lorca Cohen, daughter of Leonard Cohen. Now he’s bringing the annual Wainwright family holiday show to the West Coast for the first time, with guests Emmylou Harris, Maria Muldaur and Van Dyke Parks. Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s “Christmas 101” is Wednesday at Oakland’s Fox Theater. We spoke to him by phone during a tour stop in Germany.
Q: he tour you’re on now ends with you singing a duet with a giant rubber sandwich.
A: It’s a definite pop-rock extravaganza with a bizarre finale with lots of skin and backup singers.
Q: But that’s not the show you’re bringing to Oakland?
A: No. The show we’re bringing to Oakland is festive as well, but more traditionally so. It’s something we did for years in New York and London and Montreal. Around the Atlantic, it’s considered a classic.
Q: Your mother, Kate McGarrigle, who died two years ago, started the tradition. Did you hesitate doing it without her?
A: We took a year off after she passed away, but then we brought it back, and it’s really great. Now that Martha and I have children, Christmas has become a totally different thing. It’s not about the eggnog anymore.