You might remember that when I saw Rufus Wainwright at 9:30 club in February, his sister Lucy Wainwright Roche served as his opening act. At the end of her set, she told us all to mark our calendars to join her at The Kennedy Center on March 24, where she'd perform as part of the Millennium Stage series. So, I did.
Every day at 6 p.m., Millennium Stage offers free hour-long performances of all sorts of visual arts, from theatre and spoken word to dance and music. It's fantastic! The seats for Millennium Stage are first-come, first-served. I got there early and found one front and center.
The Pre-Show Entertainment
To my left sat a studious middle-aged groupie, who edited documents and wrote notes until the show started. I guessed she was a professor, but who knows? To my right was an ex-Mormon missionary, who had never seen Lucy Wainwright Roche before. (Doesn't this sound like the beginning of a joke?)
I kept to myself, writing in my journal while waiting for the show to start. The ex-Mormon instantly chatted away with the couple next to him, whom he had just met, because the husband in the pair was also an ex-Mormon! (What are the odds?) Among other things, they talked about where they've traveled and what they thought about The Book of Mormon. "I knew the South Park guys wrote it, but I didn't expect it to be so South Parky," the guy next to me said. (I will find out for myself when I see it in August!)
Behind us, two elderly friends were catching up when one of them got a phone call. I wasn't listening until I heard "run it under water" and "put some Neosporin on it." I began imagining 911 calls and ambulances. Someone is actually calling in the case of an emergency for once! But it couldn't have been too serious because she changed the subject, telling the person where she was and what she was doing: "We're seeing someone named Lucy Wainwright....No, no, but she's Rufus's sister." Right after the word "Wainwright," the professor whipped her head around. I felt her glare even though it wasn't aimed at me and knew what was coming: "It's Lucy Wainwright Roche."
"Her name is Lucy Wainwright Roche."
"Oh, it's Lucy Wainwright Roche that we're seeing," the lady told the person on the phone. Her friend asked the professor if she were a member of the family. "No, I just know a lot about the family," she nodded and turned back around. She reminded me of 6-year-old Maisy's school principal in Uncle Buck! ("And, frankly, I don't think she takes a thing in her life or her career as a student seriously!")
The lady behind us got off the phone as the lights dimmed and explained to her friend, "My 44-year-old son has a splinter."
The Main Event
|© Lucy Wainwright Roche|
So far, I've learned that Lucy Wainwright Roche is very chatty during her shows, which adds to the charm of it all, and I felt the urge to say lots to her by the time she finished this performance: "I saw you at 9:30 club, and you said to come here, so here I am, and I think you're great!" or "I have the same problem with my cat as you do with your dog. What should we do about it?" or "I went to school in Ohio too, but not the same one."
She stuck around afterward to sign CDs and t-shirts, faced by a big crowd. Since I couldn't decide what to say, I didn't bother waiting my turn. Instead, I bought her CDs to listen to at home. You should get them too! You'll miss out on all the talking I was surrounded by, but sometimes that's a good thing.