Paul Cirino, late thirties, high school teacher
Who did you think was better? Rufus tonight or Judy in ’61 (on the album)?
Oh you’ve got to be kidding. I’ve never seen Rufus, so I wanted to see Rufus, but let’s face facts.
What did you think of the “guest stars”?
Lorna Luft was a really nice surprise. I guess Liza was laid up tonight, but Lorna sounds great!
Josh Windt, 43, sales (with Roely Henssen)
What inspired you to come tonight?
JW: We are from the Netherlands and we’ve never been to Carnegie Hall and we’ve never been to Rufus Wainwright.
Did you know who Lorna Luft was?
No, never heard of her.
Peggy Jennings-Bernstein and Paul Bernstein, in their fifties
Peter, you saw Judy in ’61. Who was better? Rufus tonight or Judy then?
PB: Not a fair question.
PGB: She’s an icon, it’s hard to follow in her shoes. I think he’s very brave doing this.
PG: It’s hard to beat Babe Ruth.
Rich Price, 49, works at University of Illinois
What did you think of the show?
I think Rufus was a bit wooden to begin with, he was a bit intimidated. I think he warmed up in the second act and loosened up, especially when bringing his family on.
What was more fabulous? The audience or the show?
I thought there were some very fabulous people in the audience that I would like to know.
Kieran Mulcare, 23, works at Marc by Marc Jacobs (on the right)
Did you know who Lorna Luft was before tonight?
No, was she the one who came on and everyone clapped loudly? I was like “This woman is popular!” I felt bad I didn’t know who she was, but everyone else seemed to know.
Chrissy Manning, 30, nanny on the UES, and Jessica Fischer, 29, waitress at Rachel’s in Hell’s Kitchen
What was your favorite part of the show?
For me I thought it was nice having his mother and his sister out on stage. The way they were together, their chemistry and stuff was awesome.
How did you feel the audience reacted when Rufus sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”?
Oh I was crying too hard to notice what everyone else was doing.
Michael Strong, 41, assistant vice-president, Sothebys.com
What did you think of Rufus’ family joining him on stage?
I thought, Wow, what a distinctly American thing. I wonder if in Europe when people perform they bring their sister and mother and some other random person onto the stage and dedicate songs to their aunt?! And I thought probably not.
Who was more fabulous? The audience or the show?
The show. But the audience is a very important part of this event, and I don’t think if he did it every night for a month it would be the same. Maybe in San Francisco … but anywhere else.
Taboo!, age: “Please!”
What did you think of tonight’s performance?
Are you familiar with the Judy Garland concert from ’61?
I knew every word by 1966 when I was, like, seven years old.
What did you think of all the guest stars?
Oh, my God, Lorna Luft! There was actual Garland DNA on that stage! And what about his mother?! She saved me from teen suicide, she used to be big in the seventies. She used to sing with Linda Ronstadt on the album Like a Wheel. And the sister! I dare to say, she’s better than him! Woah, and that outfit-woo! The shoes! What do you call that? Salmon silk? Gorgeous. And the way she emoted, beautiful. God bless them.